2 Full Decades of Toyota RAV4 History
When you see the Toyota RAV4 on the roads in Virginia today, it is the result of two decades of engineering and experience giving drivers around the country a capable and versatile vehicle. Toyota introduced the RAV4 in 1996, and it was among the first small crossover SUVs. As such, Toyota has had years to figure out what works well and what exactly drivers want from the RAV4. While the RAV4 has grown throughout the years, it still combines good fuel economy, versatility, and on-road driving. Although there have been variations, the majority of RAV4 models throughout the years have had 4-cylinder engines and seating for five passengers.
Toyota RAV4 1st Generation
The RAV4 was introduced to the Japanese market in May 1994. It arrived in the U.S. in 1996 with its 2-liter 4-cylinder engine. Its platform was unique and shared elements with the Corolla and the Carina. The original RAV4 was available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. It had the choice of a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Right from the start, this vehicle won awards, including the title of 1997 Automobile of the Year from Automobile Magazine. The 1998 model year saw some restyling of the fascias and a newly available 3-door model with a soft top. By June 1999, only the 5-door and soft top were available in the U.S.
RAV4 2nd Generation
The second generation of the RAV4 began in 2000 with American drivers limited to the 5-door model. There was the choice of a 123-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, 150-horsepower 2-liter 4-cylinder, and D-4D diesel. The 2004 RAV4 saw styling updates, improvements to the safety structure, and standard Vehicle Stability Control. It also saw a new 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 161 horsepower.
RAV4 3rd Generation
The 2006 Toyota RAV4 was the first model in the third generation, giving the vehicle a larger frame along with a V6 engine and more interior space. In 2007, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags were added. Two years later, Toyota updated the grille and bumpers and added a newly available 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.
Toyota RAV4 4th Generation
The current RAV4 generation debuted for the 2013 model year. The RAV4 Hybrid arrived for the 2016 model year. Learn more about the RAV4 or take it on a test drive at Miller Toyota in Manassas, Virginia.