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Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 is a Crossover SUV from Toyota. It was the first compact crossover SUV,[1] introduced in Japan and Europe in 1994 and beginning sales 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 maneuverability 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, which is optional in some countries.[2] The early success of the RAV4 paved the way for other compact SUVs such as the Ford Escape and the Subaru Forester.

In most countries, the RAV4 is the only compact SUV from Toyota. In 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. Toyota in Japan also sells the longer version as the Toyota Vanguard.


First generation (XA10, 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 straight-4 producing was offered. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive were available, and the RAV4 could be had with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. It was named the 1997 Automobile of the Year by Automobile Magazine. In 1998, the RAV4 was slightly restyled on the front and rear fascias, and a soft-top two-door was made available. Power was increased slightly to . In 1999, the two-door hardtop was dropped from the American lineup, leaving the 4-door and soft-top models. In Japan, the 2.0 L 3S-GE BEAMS engine with was also available.


The RAV4 EV is a plug-in, all-electric variant of the RAV4. Produced from 1997 to 2003 for fleet lease, this zero emission model was only offered for public sale for seven months in 2002, in very small quantities in California. Powered by an advanced NiMH battery pack capable of storing 27 kW h, the RAV4 EV can go up to between charges, and came with a battery warranty.


Second generation (XA20, 2000 2005)

The second generation RAV4 went on sale in the middle of 2000, and came in base Edge and upmarket Cruiser models (model designations may vary according to market), in both 3- and 5-door configurations. The main differentiation between the two models was in appearance. Edge models came with unpainted grey bumpers and side cladding, mirrors, and door handles, and featured steel rims. Cruiser models gained body-coloured (painted) bumpers and moldings, mirrors, and door handles, alloy wheels, and ABS brakes. All models came equipped with a brand-new 2.0 L 4-cylinder engine featuring VVT (variable valve timing), resulting in improved power and torque, as well as fuel consumption. Permanent all-wheel-drive was a feature. Options were ABS brakes (on the Edge), and air conditioning (on all models).

2000 2003 Toyota RAV4 wagon, Australia

The second generation RAV4 was originally offered in a number of trim levels: NV was 2-wheel drive, while NRG, GX, and VX were permanent 4-wheel drive with differing levels of equipment.[3] It continued on the Corolla platform. Although the RAV4 was available as a two-door in Europe, Asia and Australia, the American model was now only available in a four-door configuration. A 1.8 L I4 engine (only with 2WD) producing 92 kW (122 hp), 2.0 L I4 engine producing , and a D-4D diesel engine were available. Some RAV4s came with 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 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, heated seats, a sunroof and keyless entry. 16-inch wheels were standard; larger tires were available on all-wheel-drive models.

In late 2003, the 2004 model RAV4 was given a styling update, improved equipment, and, in certain markets, a new engine. In the United States the safety structure was improved and Vehicle Stability Control made standard. The RAV4's 2.0 L engine was upgraded with a new 2.4 L engine, producing and . Fuel economy improved by over 2%. The base Edge was renamed CV, and gained standard air conditioning (previously an option). The CV also received painted bumpers, which came in either silver or body-coloured shades, depending on the body colour. In addition, the model range was given a subtle facelift, consisting largely of a new front bumper with circular fog lights and white turn signals instead of the older orange lights. Electric air conditioning also became available in Europe.

In 2005, a new "CV Sport" model was added to the range, which included a non-functional bonnet (hood) scoop, giving the RAV4 a more aggressive appearance. The CV Sport model was short-lived, lasting only a year, and was introduced primarily to stimulate sales until the new model arrived in early 2006.

The second generation RAV4 enjoyed success in Australia, where it became the best-selling SUV in the country in 2001, overtaking its rival, the Honda CR-V, for the first time.

Notably, the second-generation RAV4 had the highest proportion of female drivers among all makes and models in the United States with the possible exception of the Volkswagen New Beetle, according to 2003 04 registration and survey data.[4]

Third generation (XA30, 2005 2012)

The Toyota RAV4 was completely redesigned for the 2006 model year, using an all-new platform and was first unveiled at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show.[5] The new RAV4 uses an Electric Power Steering (EPS) system.

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.[6][7]

Japanese models went on sale in 2005 at Toyota Netz dealers.[8] The 2-door was dropped beginning with 2007 model, leaving Toyota without a mini SUV until the 2009 Toyota Urban Cruiser, which is sold in Europe, North America (as Scion xD) and Japan (as Toyota ist).[9]

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.

2008 Facelift

In 2008 (for the 2009 model year) RAV4 was given a mid-cycle refresh in some markets, featuring a number of changes, including an all-new 4-cylinder engine, and a redesigned front end and tweaked rear end. The Limited model gets a different front grille and bumper cover from other models. The Sport model features a bigger spoiler and red badging along with an option on the V6 model to have a rear door without the externally mounted spare tire (run-flat tires are used on this model). New features/options include turn signal mirrors, backup camera (with monitor built into rear-view mirror), satellite navigation, smart keyless entry, a push button starter, a multifunction meter display, etc. Much of the interior remains the same. In 2009, it was also the first time for the Canadian market to have a 2WD model sold in Canada.

2011 Facelift

In 2011 (for the 2012 model year) the RAV4 underwent another facelift.


A battery electric version of the third generation is planned for release in early 2012.


Model ranges include X, G, and Sport, replacing RAV4 L and RAV4 J. The X and G can be ordered with either front-drive or AWD. The Sport model with over fender is AWD only. The extended-length RAV4 is sold in Japan as the Toyota Vanguard, released on August 30, 2007. It is sold in five- and seven-passenger versions and slots between the regular RAV4 and Kluger. As it is often the case in Japan-only vehicles, the Vanguard comes loaded with high-tech gadgets, including steering-assisted stability control, keyless entry and satellite navigation. The Toyota Vanguard was facelifted in 2010.


In Australia, the RAV4 is sold in 4-cylinder base CV, Cruiser, Cruiser L and the limited edition Altitude trim levels, and CV6, SX6, and ZR6 6-cylinder variants.


In Malaysia, only the 2.0 automatic variant is available, in a single trim level. This model uses the 1AZ-FE 4-cylinder, inline 16-valve engine with DOHC and VVT-i. The output for the 2.0 L RAV4 in Malaysia is at 112 kW (150 hp) at 6,000 rpm with a torque of 194 Nm (143 lb ft) at 4,000 rpm.

North America

North American models include choices of 2.4 L 2AZ-FE I4 or 3.5 L 2GR-FE V6 engine. The V6 model has . In model year 2009 a slightly larger 2.5 L 2AR-FE I4 replaced the previous 4-cylinder engine. Either 4-cylinder engine came equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The North American RAV4 with 3.5 L 2GR-FE V6 engine is fitted with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 2GR engine was later introduced into the Australian market RAV4 in 2007. All US models feature Toyota's Star Safety System which includes Vehicle Stability Control. The new RAV4 topped Toyota SUV sales in the United States for the first time.

No manual transmission or diesel engines are available on North American models.

Facelifted for the 2009 MY North America models include the choice of a new 2AR-FE I4 or 2GR-FE V6 engine.[10] On Consumer Reports test loop the 4-cyl RAV4 tops its class in fuel economy with 23 mpg.[11] In a Car and Driver comparison involving seven other compact SUVs the V6 RAV4 tied the 4-cyl Honda CR-V for best observed fuel economy at 24 mpg.[12]


The RAV4 first model year was 2004; then only came in 2 trim levels: Base and L. This was already an outgoing generation but still sold pretty well and both came in 2WD mode only and both models had as a standard equipment 16-inch alloy wheels and roof rack. The new generation of the RAV4 which is the current one had more variations in the standard equipment and the Base and Limited trims continue to be available but on the Limited trim 4WD became an option and the Base model now had 17-inch steel wheels but the roof rack was still standard in both trims.For the refresh of 2009 the roof rack in the Base model was eliminated as a standard equipment and the Sport trim was added to the lineup and previously until the 2008MY all RAV4s in Mexico had 4-cylinder engines but for 2009 on the Sport model became available the V6 engine but also retained the 4-cylinder engine and the Limited trim was only available in the V6 engine and 4WD traction. For 2010 the RAV4 in Mexico has been simplified again to 2 trims but now the Limited trim was dropped and consequently killing the 4WD mode meanwhile the Base and Sport trims are remain unchanged from 2009. The RAV4 in Mexico has experienced good acceptance since its introduction.

Body Styles

Chassis codes (DBA-A) ACA31W ACA36W ACA33L ACA37L GSA30 GSA35 ALA31 ALA36 ZSA30 ZSA35
Engine (Japan) 2AZ-FE 2AZ-FE
Engine (China) 2AZ-FE 1AZ-FE
Engine (Europe) 2GR-FE 2GR-FE 2AD-FTV 2AD-FTV 3ZR-FAE 3ZR-FAE


Code Years Type/code Power, torque@rpm
1AZ-FE (2.0 VVT-i) 2005- (86.0 86.0mm) I4 @6000, @4000
1AZ-FE (2.0 VVT-i) 2007MY-2008MY (UK) (86.0 86.0mm) I4 @6000, @4000
2AZ-FE 2005- (88.5 96.0mm) I4 @6000, @4000
2AR-FE 2009MY- I4 @6000, @4000
2GR-FE 2005- (94.0 83.0mm) V6 @6200, @4700
3ZR-FAE (2.0 Valvematic) 2008- (80.5 97.6mm) I4 @6200, @4400
2.0 D-4D 2005-2006MY (82.2 94.0mm) I4 @4000, @1800-3000
2.2 D-4D Diesel 2007MY-2008MY (86.0 96.0mm) I4 @3600, @2000 2800
2.2 D-4D Diesel 180 (UK) 2007MY (86.0 96.0mm) I4 @3600, @2000 2600
2.2 D-4D, 2.2 D-CAT (UK) 2008- (86.0 96.0mm) I4 @3600, @2000 2800
2.2 D-CAT 2008- (86.0 96.0mm) I4 @3600, @2000 2800


The vehicles were built in Toyota's Tahara, Aichi assembly plant, and under contract by Toyota Industries in its Nagakusa, Obu, Aichi plant. Beginning in November 2008, the North American vehicles were built in the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. Second Plant.[13][14] Beginning in March 2009, Chinese models began production in by Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co. Ltd. in a joint-venture plant in Tianjin, China.[15]


Fourth generation (XA40 2012- TBD)

The 4th generation Toyota RAV4 will be in production in the third quarter of 2012. The new RAV4 will be based on the Camry platform.


Calendar year US Canada
2000 53,777[16] ?
2001 86,368 ?
2002 86,601[17] ?
2003 73,204 ?
2004 70,314[18] ?
2005 70,518 ?
2006 152,047[19] ?
2007 172,752 ?
2008 137,020 20,522[20]
2009 149,088[21] 25,784[22]
2010 170,877[23] 22,810[24]
2011 132,237[25] 21,550[26]


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