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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of buying.....


Newbie to the forum so hope in the right place......

Are there many from the UK here?

We have a VW Golf that has just killed itself pretty much :-( so are thinking of replacing with a RAV4.

I just wondered what are the things to look for when buying?

Also I would prefer a 4WD but have heard of extra costs, that is to be expected but are they a lot more than 2WD?

How can I tell the difference between them i.e. how can I tell which one is a 4WD and which 2WD?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 04:08 PM
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Are you looking for a 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation RAV4?

I have a 4rd generation (i.e. 4.3) and the only addional cost was to change the rear differential fluid and transfer case fluid after 3 years. I did it myself for about $20 dollars and I am not too mechanically inclined! It was optional since I do not tow but preferred changing the fluids anyway.

In the 4.3, there is the LOCK button next to the radio and the 4WD badge at the back.

2008 Base Rav4, 4 Cylinder, 4WD
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 09:03 PM
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Mate, you really need to be much more specific. Various years have various problems. Also are you thinking new or used? Bring forth some facts and folks will help you if they can.

2008 Base V-6
2008 Limited V-6
Tow Prep Package & front wheel drive (both)
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies and apologies for the vagueness!

It's a bit difficult as would be mainly the wife's car as I have a company one, but as far as I am concerned 4x4 are best, the only car I have ever loved is a Pajero I had and I dream after an amazon :-) but she prob wouldn't drive anything that big :-(

Anyway she is fussy!!

I know very little, going by little knowledge not the early ones I prefer the 2003 onwards.

Would want 4wd unless they are madly more expensive, 5 doors and diesel!

Would need to be used, unless I win the lottery in the short term ;-)

Prob priced up to approx £6k.

Can't think of any other details that could be helpful at the moment.

Thanks again for advice!!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 06:34 AM
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In the UK you can almost buy any car second hand with that amount of money. I have seen so many UK cars being sold at only a third of the price they would get sold for in the rest of Europe

2003 is a RAV4 mark 2. Good car where the 4WD is not that much more expensive then the 2WD, but only at servicing.

Manual RAV4 have issues with 5th gear at the mark 1 version, but as far as i know that was resolved with the mark 2.
Always check for the CEL (Check Engine Light) to come on after you turn the ignition key for a short while. If it stays on: bad sign, if it doesn't come on: move along, that car has been tampered with and bad things might be hidden there.

Check the profile of the tyres, if those look out of balance, high costs will come to you, so better move along then too.
See if the timing belt has been replaced (should be around 100K miles/ 160K kilometers) and if that included the waterpump (is highly recommended to be done at the same time, waterpump otherwise will go shortly after and needs belt to be taken off again).
I cannot give much more specifics about the diesel since i haven't owned a diesel RAV4 myself.
But the RAV4 are very reliable cars which can do many many many miles without major problems if well maintained.


Driving a BMW318i with LPG at the moment. Had a 2.0 RAV4.1 1997 3drs 4WD euro model w/ABS dual sunroof blue two tone previously.
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