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1997 Toyota RAV4

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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1997 Base 2dr Front-wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $15,118
1997 Base 4dr Front-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $15,818
1997 Base 2dr 4x4 Price:   -  From $16,518
1997 Base 4dr 4x4 Price:   -  From $17,218


If you build them, they will come. That concept sure worked for Toyota's RAV4, which made a big hit when it was introduced last year, and big waves in the small sport-utility segment. Last year, it was not clear exactly what category this mini-ute fit in. Its two-door version looks like it could be an off-road plaything, with an image akin to the Geo Tracker and the Suzuki Sidekick. There's even a pair of removable sunroof panels available for this model that give it that beach-ready flavor. (These are sliding on the 4-door.) In its four-door incarnation, the RAV4 is sometimes compared to the Kia Sportage and considered almost as versatile and practical as the leading domestic compact sport-utilities. It is also certain to be compared to Honda's new CR-V. Although it has less room for people and parcels than the bigger guys, in this version, capable of carrying one more passenger, with two more doors and 8.3 inches more wheelbase, it's touted as a suburban errand runner or compact commuter car. And, with its unitbody construction and metamorphosis from front-drive sedan components and chassis, this mini is as close to car-like as a sport-utility gets. Added to that, there are two- and four-wheel drive variations of the RAV4. It also sports a lockable center differential (on manual transmissions) and an available torque-sensing, limited-slip rear differential. Even though this ute lacks a low range set of gears, its ground clearance (7.5 inches for the four-door, 7.7 for the two-door) is good enough to make light off-road duty feasible. In fact, it's even been compared to Jeep's Wrangler, which is more or less in the size class. The RAV4 can't compete with the Wrangler in really rough going, but it's more comfortable on pavement. Now a yearling in the U.S. market, the RAV4 continues to attract customers, as well as a wide variety of comparisons, depending on door count and running gear. Some call this AWD car/truck hybrid cute. Others have used the word ugly, but with affection, as in "ugly duckling." A few have even suggested that it hails from another galaxy. One thing is for sure: Toyota has hit a home run here. Expecting to market some 35,000 of these minis, Toyota sold nearly 60,000 in '96. And, they've sent many other manufacturers scrambling back to the drawing board. Competitors in this segment include the Geo Tracker, Suzuki Sidekick, Suzuki X-90, Kia Sportage, Subaru Impreza Outback and the all-new Honda CR-V, which is by far the closest comparison.

Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 120 HP / 125 ft.lbs.
Standard: 5-spd man w/OD
Available: 4-spd auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
23 / 28 / 25 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 120 HP / 125 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
23 / 28 / 25 Mpg
Front Disc/rear Drum
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Double Wishbone
Spare Tire And Wheel
Full-size Steel / Aluminum
Fuel Tank
18.4 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
34.7 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
85 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
147.2 "
Exterior Width
66.7 "
Exterior Height
64.8 "
Front Headroom
40.0 "
Rear Headroom
38.6 "
Front Legroom
39.5 "
Rear Legroom
33.9 "
Front Shoulder Room
53.3 "
Rear Shoulder Room
50.2 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
2,469 Lbs.
Wheel Base
87 "
Turning Radius
16.7 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
2 Doors
16.0 " Silver Styled Steel / 16.0 " Silver Aluminum
Monotone / Monotone With Badging
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Manual / Dual Power Remote
Black With 2 Front Tow Hook(s)
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
50-50 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Am/fm Stereo, Seek-scan
4 / Performance
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
One Touch Open Window
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
96 Months / 80,000 Miles

Used 1997 Toyota RAV4 for Sale

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