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long story short, couple years ago, rav got totaled. Bought a Mercedes, now selling because of insurance and buying a rwd model for the summer. Looking for a rav as a Mad Max winter doom vehicle.

I used to own an 04 5spd awd so I know how it drives. Idk what the engine size was.

I know the gen 1 came with center locking diff but gen2 didn't have that, is this true? strange that all other gens have locking except gen 2.

If I got another gen 2 Id want one with the 2.4l engine, that way I can put in engine mods that are available for the scion tc. And manny tranny is a must. in What years was the 2.4 available?

Ive seen gen 1 ravs with the gst 3e turbo swap, But that would cost lots of money. Does the gen1 feel similar to the gen 2 in terms of handling and driving?

What were the diferent trims for the gen 1 and 2 in the us market, and what was included? Thanks for your help!
 

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The 4.2's also have a locking center diff called Viscous Coupling. This was an automatic type of locking system without having to use a button like on the 4.1, 4.3. Since the 4 wheels are always engaged (unlike later front wheel drive/slip activated versions) when the system detected slippage in either the front or rear, the diff would lock and transfer torque to the wheels that had traction. Kind of how the Audi R8 quattro system works (also uses viscous coupling). If you are looking for a used one check out the end of 2003-2005 face lifted versions. These had a lot of improvments and safety features added. Also the US and Canada had the 2.4L engine added. The only problem I have read on the 2.4 was the head bolts on some were over tightend and could start leaking water(?) Other than that, a pretty solid little 4wd. Mine loves snow and ice!
 

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No, I do not. I have read that the diesel version's clutch is pretty much on the border of how much torque it can handle. The diesel has 250nm of torque over the 193 (2.0) or 231nm (2.4) of the gas engines. There are other people on this forum who have modded their RAV's with turbos, maybe they would know.
 
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