2004 - September: Toyota releases new beefed up engine. The new 2.4 litre VVT-i engine comes out fighting offering more power and torque in all conditions, at all speeds. This means better acceleration and performance than any previous RAV4, which now also includes standard Cruise Control. Click here for complete specs.
2004, right: The rejuvenated RAV4 has packed some heavyweight features into a lightweight All-Wheel-Drive (AWD).
It also harnesses the newest thinking from Toyota's entire AWD range. Toyota call it 'Driver Assist Technology'; a superior package of innovations that lets the driver conquer more conditions, with more control.
Its sculpted body is more muscular, incorporating a sweeping arch-shape.
2001 September: Toyota calculates that it has produced one million Toyota RAV4s since the light 4x4 was launched in 1994 (3-door hadtop).
2000 July: The new Toyota RAV4 4x4 has been long awaited. As usually happens with new models, it is bigger, heavier and more powerful than the old one, and really more expensive too but the recently introduced GST is helping.
The engine remains at 2-litres capacity but, courtesy of variable valve timing, now generates 110 at 6000 (was 96 at 5800) and 192 at 4000 (was 180 at 4400). Those 4wd.sofcom.com --> rev' numbers are very high, particularly for a 4x4 without a low-range transfer case, but the RAV4 has always been a fun machine. It has regained the looks for that role too, after having been left behind in the styling stakes.
The competition is tougher than when the RAV4 first came out -
Honda CRV (in particular),
Land Rover Freelander,
The first three are also "soft" four wheel drives;
the last two have 4wd.sofcom.com --> full chassis etc..
To a great extent Toyota is playing catch-up with Honda's CR-V.
The Freelander offers a good diesel, and might provide some real petrol
opposition if/when L-R (and Ford) put a V6 under the bonnet.
The RAV4 offers the choice of a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic gearbox (+2K). A centre differential with viscous coupling distributes drive to front and rear, without the need for human intervention; there are however no hi/lo-speed transfer gears. Suspension 4wd.sofcom.com --> is independent by MacPherson struts at the front, and by trailing arms with transverse links at the rear.
There are two levels of trim and equipment - Edge (base) and Cruiser. ABS brakes are standard on the Cruiser and optional on the Edge models. Twin front 4wd.sofcom.com --> air-bags, front seat-belt pretensioners, remote locking, and CD player are standard on all models. The rear seats have a 50/50 split fold, fore/aft adjustment, and can be removed. Air conditioning is +2.1K.
Prices are from 25,290 (3-door) Edge, to 35,740 (5-door) Cruiser ( 7/2000).
Good seat room, but next to no luggage space behind
the rear seats in the SWB RAV4 (above).|