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1998 Toyota RAV4

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1998 Toyota RAV4 Review

Efficient style at a bargain.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1998 Toyota RAV4 offers buyers a nice package. Its looks are sure to attract a younger demographic or at least the young at heart. It is a subcompact sport utility vehicle that is reasonably and competitively priced with larger vehicles like the Ford Explorer, Chevy Blazer, and Jeep Cherokee. The price also runs in line with compact and midsize sedans. Just note that options like an anti-lock braking system, a power or slide sunroof, privacy glass, cruise control, air-conditioning, a CD player, carpeted floor mats, and power windows, locks, and mirrors can quickly run up the price.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV, convertible
Engines: 2.0-liter I-4
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Toyota RAV4 Base, Toyota RAV4 Base with Soft Top, Toyota RAV4 L Special Edition

What's New

The 1998 Toyota RAV4 makes some small modifications to the headlights and taillights, and the grille. There have also been some interior upgrades, particularly with the four-door brand new seat fabric. The convertible is also a new addition to the line.


The 1998 Toyota RAV4’s exterior may be too cute or girly, but this is a nice looking vehicle. Four-door models ride a wheelbase of 94.9 inches, while the two-door models are built on a wheelbase of 86.6 inches. Sixteen-inch all-season tires on a smaller vehicle offer optimum handling. It has rack and pinion steering and independent front and rear suspension. A full-size spare tire comes standard with all trims.


The 1998 Toyota RAV4’s interior can comfortably seat up to four adults in the four-door models; cargo area is also spacious. The two-door models are better suited for single people or couples without children because of a cramped tiny rear seat. Cargo space is less than 10 cubic feet with the back seat up.

Performance & Handling

The 1998 Toyota RAV4 has a two-liter 120-horsepower four-cylinder engine. It collaborates with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission to power the front or all wheels. It's the very first SUV to offer front-wheel drive and handles more like a car than a traditional SUV. It's somewhat underpowered and struggles on hilly terrains and sharp inclines. The five-speed manual transmission works somewhat better on hills and inclines. What the engine lacks in pep it makes up for with fuel economy.


The 1998 Toyota RAV4 was rated four-stars for both driver and passenger safety in NHTSA front crash tests. Driver and passenger frontal airbags come standard with all trims. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are available as options for all models.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota RAV4, 2WD: 24/29 mpg city/highway
Toyota RAV4, 4WD: 22/26 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Handling
  • Reliability
  • Comfortable
  • Spacious
  • Visibility

You Won't Like

  • Small back seat
  • Underpowered
  • Rear seat room
  • Interior

Sum Up

Efficient style at a bargain.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda CR-V
  • Subaru Forester

See the New 2014 RAV4.


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