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I need a spare car and am looking at early crv's, corolla alltracs, rav4's. My 4 cylinder 5 speed 4runner just got hit in an accident. Only put 4,000 miles/year on it and don't want to spend over $2500.

I need to know what the main problems are and what to look for. Thanks!
 

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The first gen CRVs burned their valves if not adjusted religiously. My daughter had one - cost $1000 in repairs after it started missing. I've owned Hondas since 1978. That engine must have been Honda's worst.
Don't know much about the Corolla Alltrac but the FWD ones are good ASA you find one that isn't used-up.
Same thing with the RAV4. Last year I sold my FIL's 1998 to a good friend for $2500. He loves it!
I didn't look up where you're from but obviously rust can be a big issue on any 15+ year-old car.
 

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I need a spare car and am looking at early crv's, corolla alltracs, rav4's. My 4 cylinder 5 speed 4runner just got hit in an accident. Only put 4,000 miles/year on it and don't want to spend over $2500.

I need to know what the main problems are and what to look for. Thanks!
First generation RAV4s -----

200k mile report ---- Puff of grey smoke at start up. I change oil every 3000 miles and about half a quart gets burned away.
Needs a new steering rack (current one leaking)
No other leaks
No rattles or squeeks
SOLID as a rock !!

.... the rest will depend on how it was taken care of. It is your luck. For a car this old it is hard to give you exact information on what problems you may have with the vehicle you buy.

I bought this RAV4 as a spare so I don't put my miles on my FJ Cruiser. It has been a year. I have put about 30,000 miles on it in ONE YEAR driving around USA (Wyoming mountains and every off road possible in the North West) - It has stayed SOLID and drives great !
 

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Underpowered, especially if AWD.

Not that great gas mileage, but not awful.

Awful stock speakers. Head unit OK.

Bad valve stem seals, if not already replaced.

Rust of the front undercarriage in some.

But good enough to keep (one) for 13 years so far in our case! We liked the quirky looks, so we bought two originally.
 
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