The Toyota RAV4 is a compact crossover SUV from Toyota. It was the first compact crossover SUV, introduced in Japan and Europe in 1994 and it began its sale in North America in 1996. The vehicle was designed for consumers wanting a vehicle that had most of the benefits of SUVs, such as increased cargo room, higher visibility, and the option of full-time four-wheel drive, along with the manoeuvrability and better fuel economy of a smaller car. Its name stands for “Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive”, although not all RAV4s have four-wheel drive but it is optional in some countries.
In most countries, the RAV4 is the only compact SUV from Toyota. On other markets, it is the crossover counterpart of the FJ Cruiser. Since the 2006 third generation model, Toyota has offered both short- and long-wheelbase versions of the RAV4. Short-wheelbase versions are retailed in Japan and Europe, with Australia and North America receiving the long-wheelbase versions.
The third generation RAV4 is offered in two versions: a short- or a long-wheelbase model. The short-wheelbase model is sold only in Japan and Europe, with the long-wheelbase RAV4 sold in Australia and North America. Since 2007, the extended-length RAV4 is also sold alongside its shorter counterpart in Japan as the Toyota Vanguard, albeit with a revised front-end body work incorporating a revised grille, bumper, bonnet and headlamps.
Japanese models went on sale in 2005 at Toyota Netz dealers. The 2-door was dropped beginning with 2007 model, leaving Toyota without a mini SUV until the 2009 Toyota Urban Cruiser, which is sold only in Europe. It is also the first generation of RAV4 to be offered in regular (for Asian and European markets, dropping the spare wheel from the rear) and extended (for North American and Australian markets) versions. The extended-length RAV4 is larger by 21% in interior volume from the last generation and now has an available third-row seat for two small children (North America only). The RAV4 can still be had in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive in North America and Japan; however most countries only sell the all-wheel-drive version.
The latest model of the brand came in 2011. It’s available with two engines, a 2.5-Liter DOHC 16-Valve 4-Cylinder, with 4-speed Electronically Controlled automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) that delivers 179 horse powers at 6000 rpm, with a fuel economy of 22 mpg in cities/28 mpg on highways, and a 3.5-Liter DOHC 24-Valve V6 with Dual VVT-i, with 5-speed Electronically Controlled automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) that delivers 269 horse powers at 6200 rpm, with a fuel economy of 19 mpg in cities/26 mpg on highways.
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