Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Toyota RAV4 4x4?
As with any small 4x4, check carefully underneath the car for any signs of over-enthusiastic off-roading or drivers pushing the car beyond its relatively limited mud-plugging capabilities.
You need to check the floor pan and around the wheelarches for rust, too; even though they were well sealed at the time of manufacture, the youngest of this generation of RAV4 is now more than a decade old, so look carefully.
Is a used Toyota RAV4 4x4 reliable?
This generation of RAV4 seems to be one of the most reliable of all Toyotas, which is really saying something.
You need to make sure that the D-4D diesel engine has had its cambelt changed every 60,000 miles, or the belt could snap. It seems that quite a few owners ignore this, assuming that, being a Toyota, the car will go on working fine, but if it breaks then expensive engine damage is quite likely.
You’ll also need to check the suspension at all corners to ensure that the dampers aren’t leaking – a tell-tale trickle of grease or oil on the springs or the bottom of the suspension arm is the giveaway. They're not too costly to replace, however.