1999 Toyota RAV4

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1999 Toyota RAV4 Review

A classy compact SUV offering a smooth ride and good fuel economy.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1999 Toyota RAV4 is a mini-SUV that handles like a car and gets better gas mileage than traditional SUVs. Both the base and special edition models are available in either two-door or four-door body style. Four-wheel drive is optional. Its visually appealing exterior design makes it stand out in a crowd. The interior qualities produce the same effect. With its standard safety features, rock-solid suspension, and smooth acceleration, the RAV4 is a delight to drive.

The Range

Body styles: SUV
Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota RAV4, Toyota RAV4 Special Edition

What's New

The 1999 Toyota RAV4 has no noticeable changes from the 1998 models, except the special edition models now offer an optional leather interior package and new exterior colors.

Exterior

From the outside, the four-door 1999 Toyota RAV4 is stylish looking. It sports a curvaceous body that sits on large 16-inch tires. Looking at the RAV4 from in front, one sees a sloping hood with an integrated grille. On the sides of the grille are intricately designed headlights. Down below are the air intakes, front tow hooks, and daytime running lamps. A side view captures two deep groves on the lower part of the doors. There are also privacy windows on four-door models. In the rear, a full-size spare tire is mounted. Two-door models have a similar appearance, except for a manual soft rear top that replaces the back two doors and windows.

Interior

The two-door 1999 Toyota RAV4 has a fairly roomy interior that comfortably seats two adults and two children, while the four-door model can seat four adults with comfort. Its two-door models feature fully-reclining fabric bucket seats, split-folding reclining rear bench seats, full carpeting, front door storage pockets, and dual in-dash cup holders. The four-door models have all of the above, along with an auxiliary power outlet in the cargo area and a rear window defogger. The design is classy enough. There is a sporty three-spoke urethane steering wheel. The instrumentation panel behind the steering wheel in the dash is arranged in a logical manner. The controls for heating and air-conditioning and the rear defogger are in the middle below two vents.

Performance & Handling

The 1999 Toyota RAV4 packs a two-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 120 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. It comes with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The small engine is responsible for sluggish travel up large hills. Still, it manages to go from zero to 60 mph in about 10 seconds. The RAV4 handles superbly, giving drivers the impression they are operating a car. Its strut front suspension with stabilizer bar and independent wishbone rear suspension with coil springs, along with a longer wheelbase provides for a smooth, stable ride.

Safety

The 1999 Toyota RAV4 comes equipped with a dual airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS), three-point seat belts with pretensioners installed in the front seatbelts to provide increased protection in the event of an accident, side door impact beams, and rear door child safety locks on the four-door models. There are airbags installed on both the driver and passenger sides. The RAV4 gets a four-star crash test rating for driver and passenger frontal crashes, a five-star rating for driver and passenger side-impact crashes, and an acceptable rollover resistance rating.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota RAV4: 22/26 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Good ride and handling
  • Good gas mileage
  • Comfortable seating

You Won't Like

  • Expensive replacement parts
  • Cramped rear seating
  • Road noise

Sum Up

A classy compact SUV offering a smooth ride and good fuel economy.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda CR-V
  • Kia Sportage
  • Suzuki Grand Vitara
  • Subaru Forester
  • Mitsubishi Montero Sport

See the New 2014 RAV4.

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