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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I've thought of provoking valid opinion from different quarters. I think Rav4.1/MK1 2 door is the best looking in the Rav4 family and it's potential for performance and aesthetic modifications are unlimited. May be I'm biased because I own one. A second one may I add. What are your thoughts?........BTW I was online and found these. https://www.drive.net/r/toyota/g2065/
 

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I think the 4.1 2-door is awesome looking, especially the ragtop, which seems to be very rare in these parts. Just try to find a comparable vehicle in the new market today, it doesn't exist. For years, the closest thing was the Geo/Chevy Tracker, but that's long gone. You could say a Jeep Wrangler with a soft top, but they are really expensive and unreliable.



But I have to say the prettiest is the 4.2 2-door, which was never sold here:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I hear you June, but I stand by 4.1. Those curves on 4.2! It looks gentle, soft, humble, less aggressive...well, feminine although there's nothing wrong with that.
 

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Yep, 4.1 is best, although I had such a hard time finding a nice one, I considered the 4.2, which is still nice. 2 doors of course.
Now 2wd Rav4s, what's the point of them then?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yep, 4.1 is best, although I had such a hard time finding a nice one, I considered the 4.2, which is still nice. 2 doors of course.
Now 2wd Rav4s, what's the point of them then?
Exactly! I have 2wd...:crying... But it serves me right on the pavement. I don't know the marketing logic behind making such a trucklet a 2wd and a base model. But they are getting rare to find and thus expensive to buy.
 

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Well, I did start looking about a year ago, so finding the right one is not easy.
2wd is faster though, less transmission loss. Unless it snows ;)

Oh, all UK 4.1s were 4wd. 4.2s were both, 1.8s were 2wd and 2.0s were 4wd.
 

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I drive my '98 4wd 2D everywhere, under all conditions. I especially like the Escalante region of southern Utah. I've never been stuck but I'm not pretending I have a Jeep. That'll get you into trouble with this vehicle. I've thought about adding a lift kit, etc, but it really doesn't need it. I especially like the 15.3 USgal fuel tank. So, along with good mpg, I get plenty of range which seems to be lost on new models like the Jeep Renegade/Fiat 550X (12.7 and 13.2 gal respectively). BTW, I also have a 2016 Forester with manual trans. It's very similar to the first generation 4dr RAV4 but with more hp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I drive my '98 4wd 2D everywhere, under all conditions. I especially like the Escalante region of southern Utah. I've never been stuck but I'm not pretending I have a Jeep. That'll get you into trouble with this vehicle. I've thought about adding a lift kit, etc, but it really doesn't need it. I especially like the 15.3 USgal fuel tank. So, along with good mpg, I get plenty of range which seems to be lost on new models like the Jeep Renegade/Fiat 550X (12.7 and 13.2 gal respectively). BTW, I also have a 2016 Forester with manual trans. It's very similar to the first generation 4dr RAV4 but with more hp.
Very reliable cars indeed. I drove mine from central Texas to Seattle WA at least 2300 miles and it didn't flinch. I have no idea why American market does not appreciate these swb trucks. I don't see many samurais, Geo truckers and vitaras on the road. When Rav4.2 was launched, they did not introduce their 2 door/SWB model here. Keep yours. In a few years, they'll be sought after like gold. My car feels like a celebrity already. Everyone stares on the stop signs.....lol..... I'd recommend OME lift kit. When I got mine, I bought springs for a 4 door. The were heavy duty. Directly shipped from Australia. It has been a while though. I then used Bilstein heavy duty front cartridges ( you can see the pattern here, right? ) and guess what.......yes!.... Koni red adjustable rear shocks. It is solid as a rock. The ride is rough but on the freeway, it's a rocket. I see people slowing through corners that I shoots right through.
 

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I have no idea why American market does not appreciate these swb trucks. I don't see many samurais, Geo truckers and vitaras on the road.
Some of us old timers know why... some idiot flipped their Samurai, there was a big law suit and settlement, and right after that all the manufacturers pulled their 2-doors from the American market.

p.s. yes, I have the OME website bookmarked just in case :)
 

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Well, I've thought of provoking valid opinion from different quarters. I think Rav4.1/MK1 2 door is the best looking in the Rav4 family and it's potential for performance and aesthetic modifications are unlimited. May be I'm biased because I own one. A second one may I add. What are your thoughts?........BTW I was online and found these. https://www.drive.net/r/toyota/g2065/
^^ I'll bite & give you a different perspective...:)...while I appreciate, early originals, very much.
True, very pleasing to the eye / but the shorter Rav4.1 wheelbase, doesn't fit our needs.

Recently bought a 2008 Limited, v6 with 55,000 miles (89,000 Km), private sale from a Doctor.
- Rav4.3 is perfect for us, commuting to work and long trips
I am converted to Toyoya brand now, as a first time buyer...without the v6 Rav4.4 now, our next family vehicle with be a newer v6 Highlander...but our 2008 SUV 4x4 is close to perfect.
- every 3 months, we cross boarder shop / the added cargo space is a real treat

We bought a 1989 Nissan 4x4 after it was 3 years old (with 34,000 Km), and after wife was done driving it, handed down to our 16 y/o son...we had it 14 straight years, and a true testimony on how to preserve a Northern vehicle driven on salt laced winter roads...annual oil undercoating, was the ticket.
- size wise, we truly loved our old Pathfinder experience & it too looked awesome...but always wanted something close to it, just newer. We have sort of found ourselves a better Pathfinder though, in a v6 RAV4.3

The 89 Nissan Pathfinder, also reminds me of the Rav4.1 in a lot of ways.
- both great on the eyes, fun, nimble, and a pleasure to drive & own...iconic keepers
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Yes I agree. Rav4.1 2 door is not for family utility purposes. It has no cargo space, and limited/constricted rear seats for passengers. But I have to assert that it is very practical for daily commute. I have driven them since '08 and fit my daily routine just fine. There's also another market base to whom utility comes second. Those who are royal to a certain brand for whatever reasons. I have no problem with later versions, but they aesthetically don't appeal to me.....I'd prefer something without those girly soft curves like........
But they are not available in the States..........SWB
 

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My wife and I are suckers for 90's 2 door SUVs, we own 97 RAV4 2 door and Isuzu Vehicross







We also owned another 2door RAV4 back 97-01, but had to get rid of it when our first kid was born. My wife wanted another one ever since, and we just got her another one!
 

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They were pretty rare, but underneath they were just 2 door Isuzu Trouper (not sold in US for this gen), so mechanical parts are very common. Very neat car, if you read up on its history, designed in 1992/1993, it was WAY ahead of its time!
 

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They were pretty rare, but underneath they were just 2 door Isuzu Trouper (not sold in US for this gen), so mechanical parts are very common. Very neat car, if you read up on its history, designed in 1992/1993, it was WAY ahead of its time!
Indeed! The design looks like it came out today. This one is totally on my to-buy list. Thanks for sharing it, how does it handle? The 4x4 system looks like it's pretty robust.
 

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From what I hear, it is a VERY capable off-roader, but I never took it off road. Road handling is good, with crazy steering because of such a short wheelbase!


I race cars on pavement, so I did ran it once at the drag strip, just for fun. The bigger than stock tires slowed it down a bit, but it still ran 17.0. I suspect that it should run .2-.3 seconds faster on stock tires.


https://youtu.be/CGXZzwHsHIU
 

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I agree completely! My girlfriend luckily found a 2005 RAV-4 in good shape and LOVES it. She says so about every time we drive somewhere. We had been looking for a two door for quite some time as it has always been one of my favorite cars. We finally found one at a used car dealer (as we were going skiing....stopped there as they were closing on the way home...). Test drove the car the next day and fell in immediate love with it: a 1997 two-door, two-wheel drive........with 61,000 original miles on it (good and bad both) but in perfect shape. Drives like a charm it is FUN to drive. I have done a progression of maintenance (shocks, struts, CV joints [ack ack], brakes) and minor things. I think it is the best looking of all the RAV series. I am getting 27-29 mpg with city and highway combined. The dealer had JUST gotten it in; not even listed on their web site yet, when I bought it. Now they have 2 more, one a convertible, both for $3,000 more than I paid for mine....and many more miles. GOOD FIND! She gets driven every day; an enjoyable 40 mile commute to work and we use her as our errand car. My favorite car! Pictures will follow as soon as I take some............
 
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