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Rav 4 Awd Reliability + Towing

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hi all, i am considering the purchase of a rav 4, its an older 54 re model with a diesel engine.

how reliable is the 4 wheel drive system, and what are the main problem areas to look at when viewing a rav 4.

i have owned several freelanders and know about the problem that they can suffer when the vcu seizes and then wrecked the ird unit.

also whats the rav 4 like as a towcar, we own a 2 berth caravan, max weight of the van is 1300kg,

can anyone confirm the mass in service as shown on the mass in service as shown on the log book of a

4 door diesel rav 4 from around 2004

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Hi Prado

Sorry not technical enough to answer some of your questions, however, I have towed a 3 berth Eriba with a 2004 Rav4 without problem, great car. Try the Camping&Caravan Clubs to match specific vechicle and caravan towing and performance.

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Hi, and welcome to the forum,

You would be well advised to look through the forum regarding problems with the diesel engines in older cars. Check CharlieFarleys guide especially. Apart from that, the early to mid 2000 models, 4.2, are generally bulletproof. As ever check the service history, and the general condition of the car.

This forum is HUGELY knowledgeable on all the series, and you will get all the information you need. Best of luck.

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Toyota's Drivers' Handbook (2003) gives the following towing information:

Gross Vehicle Mass

3dr diesel 1785kg

5dr diesel 1925kg

Drawbar load, max. 75kg

Towing capacity (12% incline)

trailer braked 1500kg

unbraked 640kg

The Caravan Club would normally advise following the "85%" rule . . . i.e. the maximum weight to be towed is no more than 85% of the vehicle weight.

The 4.2's full-time 4WD system is extremely reliable and tough, and on this age of vehicle does not need to be switched into operation - it's there all the time.

Personally, I'd suggest putting 5-ply ("reinforced") tyres on your caravan - much much tougher than standard car tyres, and less sidewall-sway as well. Avon do some good ones, at little more than standard rubbers.

Keep the RAV's rear tyre pressures to textbook for best lateral stability.

Hope helpful.


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