The Toyota Rav4 is a compact sport-utility vehicle and the smallest in Toyota’s offerings of SUV vehicles. The first model was produced in 1994 and is in its third generation of design today and enjoying the success of its history while many car makers are struggling to keep up with the concept of a compact SUV.
The Toyota Rav4 has always offered front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive system which enables it to cater to all different types of drivers who may be interested in owning an SUV – either the off-roading adventurer, or for regular city driving.
The first Toyota Rav4 was a concept vehicle that appeared in the Tokyo Motor Show in 1989. The first Rav4 began selling as a 2-door in Japan in 1994 and featured a 2.0 liter, 16 valve, 4-cylinder engine. The inclusion of safety equipment allowed them the designation of cars rather than trucks. The first 4-door model was introduced in 1995, and it wasn’t until January of 1996 that the vehicle was introduced to the United States. This year also marked the introduction of the 2WD-front wheel drive vehicle.
– First Rav4 introduced in the United States with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. Four body styles were available with either a 2-door or 4-door body style in five-speed or manual transmissions.
– Minor changes only to the Rav4 this year including the availability of a power moon roof in four-door models, a standard digital clock and larger front speakers.
– New grille, front bumper cap, digital odometer and new audio systems highlighted the changes in the Rav 4 this year. Also the 2-door Rav4 Soft Top was introduced this year which brought a convertible feature to the vehicle. Structural braces in the rocker panels and rear fenders were added to the body for support and rigidity.
– New colors and matching become available as Rav4 choices, including White Pearl Mica, Quicksilver and Black.
– As of 2000, the 2-door Soft Top model is discontinued and the Rav 4 is now only available in a 4-door model.
– Entering its second generation, the Rav4 was redesigned to be roomier and more versatile as a compact. The length, width, height and wheelbase have been increased for greater room and the exterior is redesigned for a more aerodynamic appearance.
– New Frosted White Pearl color and remodeling for the bumpers. The 2002 “L” model has a monochrome look and comes in Spectra Blue Mica as well as Titanium Metallic.
– No significant changes except to add a newly available Sport Package option.
– New grille, front bumper, headlights, fog lamps and new spare tire cover design. Also offered in Salsa Red Pearl, Super White, Everglade Metallic, Savannah Metallic and Flint Mica colors. 2.4-liter engine that has 162 lb.-ft. of torque. Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control and Brake Assist is standard.
– ABS systems installed and Toyota’s Star Safety System becomes standard.