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News: Toyota RAV4 2007 Review

Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4
2006 Toyota RAV4 Limited
Manufacturer Toyota
Production 1994–present
Assembly Tahara, Aichi, Japan
Woodstock, Ontario, Canada (from 2008)
Class Compact crossover SUV
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Similar Honda CR-V
Hyundai Santa Fe
Mazda CX-7
First generation
1998-2000 Toyota RAV4 4-door
Production 1994–2000
Body style 2-door SUV
4-door SUV
2-door convertible
Engine 2.0 L I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2410 mm (94.9 in)
Length 4160 mm (163.8 in)
Width 1695 mm (66.7 in)
Height 1650 mm (65.0 in)
Fuel capacity 58 L (15.3 US gal)
Related Toyota Corolla
Geo/Chevrolet Prizm
Second generation
Facelifted second generation Toyota RAV4
Production 2001–2005
Body style 4-door SUV
Engine 2.0 L I4
2.0 L diesel I4
2.4 L I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2490 mm (98.0 in)
Length 4230 mm (166.6 in)
Width 1735 mm (68.3 in)
Height 1680 mm (66.1 in)
Fuel capacity 56 L (14.7 US gal)
Related Toyota Corolla
Toyota Matrix
Pontiac Vibe
Chevrolet Prizm
Third generation
2006 Toyota RAV4
Production 2006–present
Body style 4-door SUV
Engine 2.0 L I4
2.2 L diesel I4
2.4 L I4
3.5 L V6
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2660 mm (104.7 in)
Length 4600 mm (181.1 in)
Width 1815 mm (71.5 in)
Height 1685 mm (66.3 in)
Fuel capacity 60 L (15.9 US gal)

The Toyota RAV4 (pronounced "rav-four") is a compact crossover SUV built and marketed by the Toyota Motor Corporation. It was introduced in Japan and Europe in 1994 and in North America in 1996 to cater to consumers wanting a vehicle that had most of the benefits of SUVs, such as increased cargo room, higher visibility, and the option of four-wheel drive, along with the maneuverability and fuel economy of a smaller car. The early success of the RAV4 paved the way for other compact SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, the Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute, and the Subaru Forester. Its name stands for "Recreational Activity Vehicle, 4-wheel drive," although not all models have four-wheel drive as this is optional in some countries.

First generation (1994–2000)

The RAV4 was originally based on the Corolla platform, and was offered in both two and four-door versions. In the US, a 2.0 L I4 engine producing 120 hp was offered. Both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive were available, and the RAV4 could be had with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. In 1998, the RAV4 was slightly restyled on the front and rear fascias, and a soft-top two-door was made available exclusively in the US market. In 1999, the two-door hardtop was dropped from the American lineup, leaving the 4-door and soft-top models.

One interesting version, the RAV4 EV, was an all-electric 'zero-emission' model offered for sale in low quantities in California. These models came with a 60,000-mile battery warranty, and the vehicles still command high prices on the used-car market. One sold in 2006 on eBay for over US$50,000.

A significant criticism of the gasoline-powered first generation RAV4s, often called '4.1s', was that they were underpowered, and had relatively poor fuel economy via their 3SFE engines that were designed for earlier Camrys and Celicas. Later generations of RAV4s, the so-called '4.2s' and '4.3s', have addressed this concern. Like most other Toyotas, all RAV4s have earned the reputation of high reliability, and have enjoyed high resale values.


Second generation (2001–2005)

The second generation RAV4 was offered in a single trim level and still came with front or all-wheel drive. It continued on the Corolla platform. Although the RAV4 was available as a two-door in Europe and Asia, the American model was now only available in a four-door configuration. A 2.0 L I4 engine producing 148 hp was the only engine available. All RAV4s came with 16 inch wheels, anti-lock braking system, electronic stability control, air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver's seat, cruise control, a six-speaker CD stereo and power windows, mirrors and optional heated seats. A sport package added a mesh grille, hood scoop, color-keyed door handles, a roof rack, silver sport pedals, heated mirrors, gray-painted bumpers and fender flares, and sport fabric seats. Other options included alloy wheels, a sunroof and keyless entry. Larger tires were also available on all wheel drive models.

In 2004, the RAV4 was slightly restyled, and a 2.4 L I4 engine producing 161 hp replaced the 2.0 L engine as standard equipment. The second generation RAV4 has proved extremely popular in Australia, where it became the best-selling SUV in the country in 2001. In 2004, it was the best-selling compact SUV.


Third generation (2006–present)

The Toyota RAV4 was completely redesigned for the 2006 model year, on an all-new platform. It still has the 2.4 L four-cylinder engine, which now produces 166 hp, up 5 from previous year. Unique to North America, the new RAV4 also includes a new 3.5 L V6 engine from the Toyota Avalon, making 269 hp. The RAV4 is up by 21 percent in interior volume from the last generation and now has an available third row seat for two small children (US and Canada only). The RAV4 can still be had in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive in the United States, however most countries, including Canada, only sell the four-wheel drive version.

The third generation RAV4 is built on one of two possible wheelbases: a short-wheelbase for the Asian and European markets, and long-wheelbase for the North American market. In Australia, the long-wheelbase version is the only version offered.

For now, RAV4s sold in North America are produced in Toyota's Tahara, Aichi, Japan assembly plant. However, when Toyota's Woodstock, Ontario, Canada assembly plant comes online in 2008, models sold in North America will be assembled exclusively there (effective May 2009).



  • In 2006, the RAV4 was the grand prize of Tim Hortons "Roll Up the Rim to Win" contest. Two families began fighting over the RAV4 after their daughters found the winning cup in the garbage.

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