The 2000 Toyota RAV4 is built for pavement only, which can be easily forgotten due to its cute design and sporty style. Other than the elimination of a two-door convertible body style, it makes a few changes to its compact car-based SUV. It still boasts sharp handling, a practical design, and a comfortable cabin. Unfortunately, it has also returned with the same low-powered engine.
The 2000 Toyota RAV4 is offered in two trim levels: a base model and a luxurious L Special Edition. Both vehicles come equipped with the line’s only available engine: a 2-liter four-cylinder producing a diminutive 127 horsepower. With its modest powertrain and sluggish acceleration, buyers will likely find it better suited for city driving than highway cruising or off-road adventures.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota RAV4, Toyota RAV4 L Special Edition
For 2000, the Toyota RAV4 is relatively unchanged. Most significantly, a two-door convertible body style is dropped from the lineup, a full-size spare tire is added to the exterior, and the interior is updated with a fresh cup holder design.
The 2000 Toyota RAV4 features a sprightly design and sporty stance, though its low-powered engine is anything but athletic. Base models come with 16-inch steel wheels, a full-size spare tire, tinted glass, intermittent windshield wipers, a rear window wiper, and a rear window defroster. Individual options include alloy wheels, a power-operated sunroof, a rear step bumper, side steps, a rear wind deflector, privacy glass, a roof rack, a trailer hitch, and unique exterior graphics. The L Edition tacks on standard alloy wheels and privacy glass. Special editions can be upgraded with the base model’s options. Moreover, it measures 163.8 inches in length, has a wheelbase of 94.9 inches, a curb weight of 2668 pounds, and a ground clearance of 7.5 inches.
The 2000 Toyota RAV4 offers a surprisingly spacious interior with well-contoured front bucket seats in spite of its small size. However, average-sized adults may find legroom a tad tight in the back seat. Another drawback is the lack of standard air-conditioning in the base model. Standard interior features on the base model include cloth seating, a center console, a rear split-folding bench seat, a tilt steering wheel, power steering, and a tachometer. The L Special Edition gains cruise control, air-conditioning, power locks, and power mirrors. The base model can be upgraded with a long list of options including a cassette player, CD player, CD changer, power sunroof, cruise control, air-conditioning, power windows, power locks, and power mirrors. The more upscale L Edition is also eligible for leather upholstery.
The 2000 Toyota RAV4 gets a cargo space of 26.8 cubic feet with all seats in place. Folding down the rear seats increases the storage capacity to an impressive 57.9 cubic feet. Front occupants receive 40.3 inches of headroom, 39.5 inches of legroom, and 55.9 inches of hip room, while rear-seat passengers are given 39 inches of headroom, 33.9 inches of legroom, and 56 inches of hip room.
Performance & Handling
The 2000 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a two-liter inline-four engine. With an output of 127 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque, the four-cylinder is one of the weaker offerings in the small SUV segment. It comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, but buyers can choose to upgrade to a four-speed automatic gearbox. A trailer hitch is available, though a maximum towing capacity of 1500 pounds limits load size considerably.
The 2000 Toyota RAV4 handles as nimbly as a small car on suburban streets; however, acceleration is slow and often accompanied by vibration and noise. For a young driver or small family, it could make a practical and comfortable vehicle for tooling around town. But for long-distance or off-road tasks, buyers may be better served by one of the more powerful choices in the compact SUV class.
The 2000 Toyota RAV4 gives standard safety equipment that includes driver and passenger airbags, side impact bars, front seat belt pretensioners, and warnings for oil pressure and low fuel level. Anti-lock brakes are optional on both trims. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, it earned four out of a possible five stars for front occupant protection in frontal collisions. In side crash tests, it was awarded a perfect five of five stars for the protection of front and rear passengers.
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota RAV4, automatic: 21/26 mpg city/highway
Toyota RAV4, manual: 21/27 mpg city/highway
Toyota RAV4, AWD, automatic: 19/24 mpg city/highway
Toyota RAV4, AWD, manual: 19/23 mpg city/highway
- Cute design
- Comfortable seats
- Sharp handling
- Reliable reputation
You Won't Like
- Sluggish acceleration
- Limited rear legroom
- Expensive options
Cute and comfy but could use more power.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Nissan Xterra
- Honda CR-V
- Jeep Cherokee
- Subaru Forester