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Christopher Bruce0000-00-00 00:00:00

Toyota RAV4 Celebrates 20 Years Since Inventing the Compact Crossover

The original car was an immediate success

The original RAV-FOUR was shown as a concept in 1989

In many ways the modern car-based crossover can be traced back directly to ToyotaToyotaToyotaJapan, 1937 > present155 models
4668 photos
10 videos
RAV-Four concept shown as a design study at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1989. The production RAV4RAV-4Toyota RAV-4Japan, 1994 > present1 photo
that was first shown at the 1994 Geneva Motor Show and went on sale in Europe and Japan later that year. The name meant Recreational Activity Vehicle with 4-wheel drive. Twenty year since then, the compact crossover is one of the hottest market niches in the automotive world

While the idea of a small SUV was hardly new, what Toyota did differently is base it on the CorollaCorollaToyota CorollaJapan, 1966 > present11 series
184 versions
115 photos
platform. The car-based platform limited off-road use, but it mixed car-like economy with a higher, truck-like ride.

Toyota predicted that the RAV4 would be a niche car in its first year but received double the units it expected in the first month. It sold 53,000 units in Europe and Japan, despite only being on sale for half of the year. Sales increased to around 150,000 units in 1995 with the introduction to the US.

Early cars were only available as a three-door with a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 127hp and either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

A second generation was introduced in 2000 with three-door and five-door body options, new engines and more sophisticated all-wheel drive. The first diesel models were also introduced during the second generation.

The third generationRav4Toyota Rav4Japan, 2005 > 201234 versions
70 photos
1 video
came in 2006 and was only offered as a five-door. It grew significantly over the previous generations

When it went on sale, there was no other car like the RAV4 on the market. HondaHondaHondaJapan, 1948 > present102 models
2432 photos
10 videos
followed it quickly with the CR-VCR-VHonda CR-VJapan, 1996 > present4 series
105 versions
166 photos
1 video
in Japan in 1995 and elsewhere in 1996. Today, Toyota counts 19 competitors to the RAV4 in Europe alone.

The modern RAV4Rav4 Gen.4Toyota Rav4 Gen.4Japan, 2013 > present25 versions
41 photos
is only available as a four-door and is aimed at families as a replacement for wagons or mini-vans. It is 235mm (9in) longer than even the larger previous generation.





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