Which used Toyota RAV4 4x4 should I buy?
As far as the engine goes, you haven't really got a choice. Throughout its life, the original RAV4 came only with a 2.0-litre petrol engine, originally with 129bhp, but reduced to 126bhp towards the end of 1996.
In terms of equipment, the younger the model, the more equipment it had. It was only from late 1996 that the car had standard driver and passenger airbags, for example.
On top of that, it's also worth avoiding the base three-door models, GS or EX. These missed out several important bits of kit that were standard on our favourite GX model, the next step up in the range.
The whole range was face-lifted at the end of 1997, but the best age to buy is from August '98 onwards, when the GX gained standard anti-lock brakes, air con and an electric sunroof. VX was the range-topping trim, with leather upholstery.