Is the power of the RAV4 adequate for family trips? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Is the power of the RAV4 adequate for family trips?

I just picked up a 03 RAV4 with the 2.0L motor, automatic, fwd. It seem severely underpowered. I am a 4cylinder guy, but I am wondering if this is how it is with this motor or if something is wrong with mine. I feel like the max speed is probably 85 MPH. I was really pushing it on the test drive, and I got to 80 MPH slowly, but it was a struggle getting it much further, and this was with two adults weighting 160lbs. I worry that when I load up the RAV4 with my family for trips, it might not have enough guts to maintain sufficient speed for highway travel. I got the RAV4 so that I can have some more space for my family on trips.

This is a replacement for my wife's 99 Accord, 4 cylinder automatic. Currently, the traveling car is my 2003 Accord 4 cylinder 5 speed, and it is quite peppy with the 160 hp engine.

Is this normal power for the 2.0L motor? I am thinking to hunt down a 2004+ to get the 2.4L engine. How do you guys hold up?

I have not started driving the RAV4 daily yet, because it has some maintenance items that I am taking care of before putting it on the road, but those should not impact the power.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 10:08 AM
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I can't answer your question but steer well clear of the 2.4l . They are known oil burners. Toyota is rebuilding them at no charge after an oil consumption test. That's assuming it meets their criteria.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 10:26 AM
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Don't know how many miles the 2.0L motor has that you test drove, but it could be in need of a good tune-up. Can't say much for the 2.4L since I never driven one. Our 2.5L is doing great so far.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 11:36 AM
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To ballpark performance I'd do a 0-60mph test on a level road, both ways and average the times. I'd call 9-10 seconds good, 11-12 seconds weak and 12+ dead.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I could test the compression. I just wanted to see real world usage, to see how it stacks up.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 06:48 PM
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Do not buy it. Something is very wrong.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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I found this 2.0L RAV4 acceleration video, and this is pretty much exactly how mine accelerates. It takes a long time to go from 70 - 80 MPH and pretty much tops off around 85 MPH. That sucks, because it sound like it might struggle when its loaded. My 4 cylinder Accord is much much peppier.


03 RAV4 fwd | 03 Accord EX-L Navi 5spd 95k miles| 94 5spd Accord -300k RIP
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 02:55 PM
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Wow that is pretty sucky. Not sure if it is because of the autobox. My 2004/05 is a German spec'd Rav 4wd which also has the 2.0L motor although it was updated from the 00-03's but not by much. It is a 5sp and I have had it around 190kmh or 118mph. I am taking it to Austria for the 4th time next month and it has no problems at all going up the alp roads loaded down. Sounds like the RAV you have either needs a serious tune up or there is something else holding it back. Since yours is a 2wd it should run a bit quicker and faster as it does not have all wheels running with power all the time.


Good Luck

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aetius757 View Post
Wow that is pretty sucky. Not sure if it is because of the autobox.

Sounds like the RAV you have either needs a serious tune up or there is something else holding it back. Since yours is a 2wd it should run a bit quicker and faster as it does not have all wheels running with power all the time.
It might be the autobox. I hate Auto transmission anything. I am a die hard stick shift fan.

It is quite peppy around town, and feels quite nimble.... that is, until you need to go from 70 to 80 MPH. I just registered it over the weekend, and my wife is driving it for the first time today. I will see how it holds up. The main thing that I need to know is that it is operating as designed. This engine came from a Corolla, so I can imagine how under performing it must be. That is why it gets such good fuel economy. My wife is a speeder, so I will see what she says after a few weeks with it.

03 RAV4 fwd | 03 Accord EX-L Navi 5spd 95k miles| 94 5spd Accord -300k RIP
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 08:40 PM
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In all honesty it's up to the individual. I don't consider ANY four cylinder engine adequate unless it is turbocharged. Even then it depends on the maker and condition of the engine along with the transmission. In my mind I cannot fathom a used 2.0l normally aspirated engine capable of any performance other than decent MPG's.

I had an '04 2.4l Accord that I put tons of money into and it was a five speed stick. It ran like many V-6 engines do after my mods but it was still just adequate in my opinion even after a stainless exhaust header and many other modifications. To me an older 2.0l would be a snail but that's just me, it may suit you. I could not deal with it, even new unless it had a turbo.

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