Last post on Dec 03, 2011 at 7:50 AM
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Toyota RAV4, SUV
#725 of 2127 RAV4 2002 gas milage
Sep 21, 2002 (9:49 pm)
After much research I just purchased a 2002 RAV 4 3 wks ago... L package... 2WD Auto with ABS. So far it is great...I like everything, except for some reason, I am getting terrible gas milage. I drive quite a bit between the SF bay area and LA... and on it's maiden voyage down I-5... I noticed I was only averaging about 20.1 mpg as opposed to the 29 it's supposed to get.
A few facts: I did not wait 1000 miles before going over 55... that's pretty much impossible on the freeway. I don't drive slowly... I am quite aggressive and usually average around 85 on the freeway. I did check the tire pressure... psi is about 31 all around. I just got back and have just over 1000 miles now. This really concerns me becuz the milage was a big decision in my purchase. I realize I go quite a bit faster and am a more aggressive driver, but I believe I should at least get the city mpg on the highway which is 24... this would make a huge difference, esp. here in CA.
According to other posts I have seen... the milage will continue to increase. So my questions are ... have I damaged my new car by not "breaking in" the engine for the 1st 1000 miles? Has anybody gotten such terrible milage off the bat and can I expect it to improve? If so... any ideas about how many miles before this occurs? Any other ideas about improving milage (besides slowing down? With mixed city driving... it got about the same milage... still lower than it's suppossed to be. (can i arbitrate with toyota if the milage doesn't improve?) Any insights would be great. Otherwise... so far it is a great car, but this milage thing may be a deal breaker! - Thanks!
Sep 21, 2002 (10:02 pm)
That would be my best advice. This car almost overmatches its engine in weight, being that it is only a 2.0. Plus, it has lots of wind resistance due to its high stance. Therefore, if you bring it down to, say, 70 mph, you will probably bring that mileage up to more like 24.
No, you cannot arbitrate with Toyota over the mileage, and it is not a lemon unless there is something specifically, mechanically, wrong with it. The mileage figures on the sticker are merely estimates put there by the EPA, and they state you could get a wide range of mileage around their numbers.
My experience has been that I can always get the freeway number around town, because I have a very conservative driving style. I can usually exceed the highway number by at least 10% on an all-highway drive. HOWEVER, THE SOLE EXCEPTION to this for me was the RAV. This car is rated 23/27 in AWD, which is the model I had for a couple of weeks, and in all the driving (more than 1000 miles) I did, I could never get more than 25 mpg in that car. Since you quote 29 mpg for highway, I am assuming you have a 2WD instead. So the best you could hope for is maybe 26-27, unless you drive SUPER-FRUGALLY (believe me, I already drive fairly frugally all the time!).
And no, you did not wreck the engine by going 85 mph in the break-in period (and by doing sustained speeds for extended lengths of time, if I can read between the lines accurately). BUT, the guy who owns your RAV when it turns over 100K miles is going to hate you! LOL
Sep 21, 2002 (10:07 pm)
Do you drive with Overdrive engaged? It makes the RAV "less" powerful (go up hills with and without O/D engaged and you'll notice it) but you gain in mileage.
Sep 21, 2002 (10:37 pm)
Thanks... (it is a 2WD) Yes, I always drive with the OD engaged and I realize i will get better milage going slower... however, the milage in standard city driving has not gotten above 20.1 yet either so I think, that it may not be just the speed issue...
I am looking at my sticker now and the little average milage disclaimer says "milage will vary with conditions ... blah blah blah, but results reported to EPA indicate that the majority of vehicles with these estimates will achieve between 20 to 28mpg in the city and 24 to 34 mpg on the highway..." at this point... I would love to get 24mpg on the highway,
my experience with cars is limited... but I compare it to my old little honda civic, that was driven under the same conditions (i realize the rav 4 is not a honda civic coupe) and the gas milage was still much higher in the city than the highway.... guess I'm just looking to hear that the gas milage will improve... at least somewhat over a certain period of time... but once again... any advice is great - Thanks!
Sep 22, 2002 (6:12 pm)
My RAV's mileage kept improving over the first ~10,000 miles.
I take it easy on takeoffs, because heavy acceleration is a mileage killer.
At 31k+ total miles, on an '01 with auto trans and AWD, I am typically getting mileage of 26+ (60/40 hwy/suburbs) up to 29+ (all highway, 70mph).
#730 of 2127 roof rack & tire chains
Sep 24, 2002 (8:42 pm)
I have an '02 RAV4 L with the normal roof rack. Does anyone know if the center cross rails can be removed?
Would be easier for washing/waxing and when the snow arrives if the cross rails can come off.
Anyone know of a good WWW site for buying tire chains? I have to have them by law here in CA, although don't plan on using them with the AWD.
Sep 24, 2002 (8:54 pm)
I've had good luck getting my last two sets at thrift stores - both times in original boxes with the size clearly marked, and both sets worked!
SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
Sep 26, 2002 (5:52 am)
Yes, the cross-rails on the roof rack can be removed. It is the reverse of the original installation. Maybe a tech at the dealership can tell you, as I think all roof racks are dealer-installed (not by the manufacturer, nor at the port).
The guy who bought my rack did it, but I don't remember how, for sure.
I kind of remember that you have to ~carefully~ pry off the side-rail end pieces, then loosen the cross-rails and slide them back and off at the end of the channel.
Hope this helps.
#733 of 2127 Can I use a 225/70/16 tire in lieu of the 215/70/16?
Sep 26, 2002 (6:32 am)
Michelin's "Cross Terrain SUV" tire does not come in a 215/70/16 size. The closest size they make is 225/70/16. Can I safely use this size? The NTB salesrep says that he thinks so ....
Sep 26, 2002 (9:21 am)
It should be OK. I think u can use up to 235/60/16. By the way, I plan to buy a 03 RAV4 AWD or 03 Corolla for my wife. She just got her liscense. Which is better for a female driver? I worry that RAV4 is harder to park and handle than a small seden.