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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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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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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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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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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.

 

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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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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.
 

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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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My 2WD RAV4 manual has been to places 90%of AWD RAV4's have never been, it has also been to Florida, California, and all points in between for vacations. I take a fishing trip to NW Ontario every year and after the pavement ends it's 70 miles of bush road. Power has never been a problem.
Maybe RAV's with auto are a dawg, but it sounds to me like there is something wrong with yours.
 

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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.



I have an 02 with the 2.0L engine, and I kinda wondered the same thing myself. I'm a college student who travels 300 miles one way to school, all highway. My personal opinion is it does alright for 0-60, takes about 10.5 seconds. But once I get above 60, 65, if I need to gun it fast from 70 to 85 to get around someone, it does it pretty quick for a small engine. Not sure if anyone else has noticed that, but that impressed me. It isn't jaw dropping, but something I noticed for a small engine.
 

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The boat ways just shy of 1000kgs and the trailer 300kg. It will tow much quicker than is legally allowed

fgsdgfsf by kempy535, on Flickr


If you are saying your Rav cant hold highway speed with 3 people then its broken.
 

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There's something wrong with that car. We've owned 3 Ravs, a 98 manual 4WD, an O8 auto AWD and a "12 auto AWD, all 4 cyl gas cars. Normal 0 - 60 in all three was around 9 to 10 seconds, and while I've never tested the top ends, it's nothing to blast them up over 80 mph when passing a long truck. We've loaded them all up on luggage and ran mountain roads... no problem and we got around 28 to 30 mpg doing it. I thought the autos would be slower, but the 98 just felt faster because I was busy shifting, there really isn't much difference. Where I did like the full time 4 wd of the standard is in mud and snow. I hate computer controlled AWD. The 12 has the shutoff button for VSC which was shut off the day we brought it home. The 08 is on unless you do the chicken dance with it at start up and I really hate that, but overall, the RAV's have served us well.
 

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I know this is an old thread but wanted to add my 2 cents.

I have also an 03, with the 2.0, and AWD. (not the sport, just an L).

I consider it to have more than adequate power, almost bordering on quick-ish. Never had any problem even when it has been totally full with either people, or stuff. One time I took out the seats and hauled a set of 4 wheels and tires, size 33" (just barely fit inside). Probably a good 350 lbs, with no problem at all on the highway (plus driver and passenger).


My son, who has a 2008 Malibu, even comments it is zippier than his car, when he drives it.
 

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No problems with mine accelerating. It actually likes when you push it to redline. That is where it's potential really gets appreciated. I admit it's not the greatest for merging onto a highway, but the 2.0L is more than enough given it's had regular maintenance performed (oil changes, spark plugs, air filter, etc)
 
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