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Hi. First time Toyota, SUV (if you could call it that), and RAV4 owner. I'm a Miata guy at heart. I own a race prepped one and one for the winter (currently for sale).

Story time!

I decided a week or so ago that my 2000 Miata needed to go, and because of this decision I was now lacking a winter vehicle. I looked at a new GT86, perused all manufacturer's new pages, and found out that no one makes a fun, small, RWD/AWD, manual vehicle anymore. The FoRS is too expensive for what it is, the various Subarus are questionably reliable, the FRS/BRZ/GT86 has terrible ergonomics and an unacceptably lethargic throttle, and the new Miata would just be replacing my old one (and also I hate the ND).

So, onto used cars. Enter the first gen RAV4. It's Miata sized, 300 pounds heavier, 10-15 hp less, and AWD. Neat! The very first RAV4 I went to see I immediately fell in love with, a battle weary 1999 manual with 189k on the clock. There isn't a single body panel on this thing without a minor blemish of some sort, but all the doors open, close, seal, and the windows all worked. Good enough for me.

Well, as it turns out, I think I've stumbled across a unicorn. I haven't looked through how '99 specs were listed, but this thing appears to be a base model AWD with AC, cruise, moonroof, power windows/mirrors, hitch, cargo mat, privacy glass, and the best thing of all, the optional torsen rear differential. Score.

I look forward to this winter. I've got a few months to fix the tranny leak and steering rack leak. Everything else is mechanically sound. :)
 

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Welcome! Also interesting that you may have found a 1st generation RAV, apparently in Minnesota, which hasn't rusted beyond usefulness. Pics would be useful, and good luck with the repairs.
 

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Aw, Blogson, take care with the generalizations. Down here in the Tropics of MinneSnowta (Winona) we do not use salt on the roads because it attracts wildlife. No body rot. It might be the same for asellus.

To asellus - welcome, enjoy and be happy!
 

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Aw, Blogson, take care with the generalizations. Down here in the Tropics of MinneSnowta (Winona) we do not use salt on the roads because it attracts wildlife. No body rot. It might be the same for asellus.

To asellus - welcome, enjoy and be happy!
From the Minnesota Department of Transportation web site:

"Why do we salt the roads in the winter?
Salt is used to make the roads safer during the winter. Salt lowers the freezing point of snow and ice and keeps the snow “workable” so it is more easily removed. Salt can be used for anti-icing, deicing or melting. Anti-icing is a technique where a chloride is applied to the roadway prior to a storm to prevent the snow/ice from bonding to the pavement. Deicing and melting is when a chloride is applied after the storm has begun in order to break up ice and snow pack or to melt glare/black ice."

Seems that they're trying to cut back on road salt use but it's still being used. It certainly was used when I lived in the state some years ago......:wink The only vehicle which I had which survived relatively un-rusted was a Chevy pickup truck. :smile
 

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Yeah, we were one of very few states that still used the super corrosive stuff up until a year or two ago. Now we do this liquid spray crap before a big storm that just turns the bottom layer of snow into a sheet of ice for the rest of the snow to sit upon. Hooray.

I'm up in the Twin Cities area, so we get salt like crazy. I have no idea where this example was from as it was bought by a shop in Andover from an auction in March or so.

It isn't rusted out, but it does have one large patch above the RR wheel that I'll have to take care of. As mentioned, every body panel has a blemish of some sort. I'll take pics eventually and post 'em.
 

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This is the Tropics of Minnesota on the Mississippi river. Seriously, the mildest weather in the state. We use lots of sand. Somehow we still manage the hilly terrain outside of the valley here in the Driftless Area.
 
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