2001 Toyota RAV4

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

167.1” x 65.7”


Front-wheel drive



2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2001 Toyota RAV4 trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

2001 Toyota RAV4 review: Our expert's take

RAV4 was the first of the breed, Toyota’s original take in 1996 on what was to become a brisk-selling portion of the sport utility market. It was small, lightweight, stylish and affordable, appealing to young people as a sporty alternative to the lumbering SUVs driven by their parents. Really more of a tall car with off-roading pretensions than a true SUV, the RAV4 spawned many followers in a segment of mini-SUVs saddled with the unfortunate label of “cute ute.” Redesigned for 2001, RAV4 is still cute, even though it’s slightly bigger and marginally more powerful.

Based on the Camry automobile chassis, RAV4 straddles the line between car and truck. With optional all-wheel drive (front drive is standard), it will perform light-duty four-wheeling, such as traversing snow or dirt roads, but it lacks the tough transfer case or low-gear settings that allow brawny four-wheelers to survive boulder-hopping and punishing off-road terrain.

The advantage of this setup is high ground clearance and versatility of an SUV, but with the fuel economy, moderate price tag and drivability of a passenger car. New styling gives RAV4 a more aggressive look, but it seems more like a fashion statement than an SUV workhorse. RAV, with its gleaming chrome and pearlescent paint and shapely plastic inserts along the sides, has the feel of a jewel box or a modernistic case for cosmetics. Yes, the allure is definitely feminine.

The new RAV4 looks bigger and more substantial than the original version. It is slightly bigger, which benefits interior space, comfortably seating four adults, five in a pinch. The split rear seats fold forward easily and come out without much effort, creating space for a full camping trip worth of gear. The rear seats also recline and adjust fore and aft for legroom needs, both commendable features. The interior look is also high-style, much improved over the past model, but with liberal use of tacky-looking aluminum-tinted plastic trim.

The test RAV, with all-wheel-drive and five-speed stick shift, was sporty and fun to drive, even though it is light on horsepower. The aluminum four with variable valve timing boosts the RAV from 127 to 148 horsepower, which may sound like plenty for a vehicle that weighs less than 3,000 pounds. But the power doesn’t dial on until the engine in singing in the high RPMs. Torque off the line is soft, acceleration is less than impressive, and passing power on the highway is barely adequate. Manual shifting gives the RAV a bit more poke than it would have with automatic. All this power talk is relative, though, to the beefy V-6s available in most of the competition.

Part of RAV4’s continued reliance on a four-cylinder is undoubtedly because of Toyota’s new Highlander, an SUV that’s slightly bigger and heavier-duty than RAV4. Highlander, one of five SUV models now offered by Toyota, is powered by a 220-horse V-6.

The RAV4 starts off pretty inexpensive for a bare-bones version, but the options quickly add up. On the tester, the “L” package of features costs $3,120 and includes air-conditioning; stereo system; power windows, locks and mirrors; spare-tire cover; fog lamps; appearance enhancements; and, of course, floor mats. Anti-lock brakes are $590 extra. They should be standard. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels and tires are $875; leather interior, $800; power moonroof, $815; limited-slip differential, $390; and roof rack, $220. What you then have is a well-equipped RAV4 that comes dangerously close to $25,000, no longer inexpensive and encroaching into the territory of bigger, more-capable SUVs.

Though still light on horsepower, RAV4 has grown bigger and roomier, and it remains fun to drive and capable of a wide variety of chores. Sport and utility in a sport utility vehicle. What do you know?

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior 4.0
  • Performance 3.8
  • Value 4.5
  • Exterior 4.2
  • Reliability 4.4

Most recent consumer reviews


Very reliable.

This vehicle is fuel efficient. Very reliable. My daughter loves driving it. This vehicle’s size is perfect for a teenagers first car. I definitely recommend this vehicle for everyday practical use.


This car server me good as a family car

I have used for lots of highway milage for many trips in different states and in Canada If. you know how to fix it it can run.... of course it is 2001 Sports model..most popular model


Best car on gas and reliability.

Unbelievable great car all I’ve had to do is change oil and put tires on it and it just runs and runs, ac blows cold everything works.

See all 28 consumer reviews


Based on the 2001 Toyota RAV4 base trim.
Nhtsa rollover rating


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Toyota
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
7 years/less than 85,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12, 000 miles
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
160- or 174-point inspections
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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