Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Toyota RAV4 Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Toyota RAV4 Overview

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Second Generation RAV4 Is Still the First Choice For Many Small SUV Buyers

Competition is heating up in the world of the small SUV. Yet with all the new comers and crossover vehicles to choose from, Toyota's little RAV4 remains a highly desirable and sought-after vehicle. The reason? The RAV4 is still one of the most attractive, functional, versatile, affordable, reliable and out-and-out fun small SUVs to own.

The RAV4 uses an all-new 2.0-liter aluminum engine featuring Toyota's patented VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) system. The RAV4's horsepower rating is now up to 148, with 142 ft.-lb. of torque. With no V6 option on the table, buyers must rely on the RAV4's four-cylinder engine to deliver adequate speed for passing and merging. The RAV4 feels pretty spry with the 5-speed manual, a little less so with the 4-speed automatic and a little slower yet when four-wheel drive is added. On the positive side, the RAV4 gets really good gas mileage and both transmissions come standard with their own cooling units.

Out on the road, the RAV4's ride is noticeably smooth, thanks in part to its long wheelbase. The little Toyota feels surefooted at all speeds-even strong winds do not seem to bother it much. The front seats are very comfortable and hold each occupant snugly and the dash is a real joy to look at┬Śmodern and cool, but not different just for difference sake. Headroom is also excellent for both front and rear passengers, but legroom for the folks in the rear is sparse. Cargo space is good with the rear seat up and very good when it is folded down; clever rear seat hooks allow you to safely hang plastic grocery bags, avoiding spills. Interior noise levels are a bit high, especially at freeway speeds, partly due to road noise and partly due to the high-pitched high-reving engine.

Safety is also important to small SUV buyers, so Toyota has incorporated such important features as a ceiling-mounted rear three-point safety belt for the center seat occupant, driver and front passenger seatbelts with force limiters and pretensioners, dual front air bags and optional ABS.

The base two-wheel drive model starts close to $17,000 and does not even include air conditioning, cruise control or power windows. To get these items you can order them individually or opt for the L package upgrade. For an additional $3K, the L package adds in these and other options including a CD player, remote entry, colored-keyed heated outside mirrors, fog lamps and privacy glass.

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