autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

The Car that Created its Own Class: First RAV4 Concept

Everyone knows that Toyota invented the compact sports utility vehicle segment with its RAV4 model. And while today it’s in its fourth generation, let’s take a look at the concept vehicle that gave birth to this whole segment.
Toyota First RAV4 Concept 5 photos
Toyota First RAV4 ConceptToyota First RAV4 ConceptToyota First RAV4 ConceptToyota First RAV4 Concept
Toyota started discussing the layouts of the RAV4 in 1986 and the first embodiment of the concept arrived in 1989 at the Tokyo Motor Show. The RAV4 concept was then refined and reshaped a bit more for the same show in 1993, after which it entered production in 1994.

The RAV4, which stands for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive, was designed for consumers wanting a vehicle that had most of the benefits of SUVs along with the maneuverability and fuel economy of a compact car.

As a result, Toyota made good use of a number of tried and tested components from its extensive list, like the platform taken from the Corolla compact sedan, the engine and drivetrain from the Camry and the suspension from the Celica GT-four.

The unique recipe got instant success and most automakers adopted the idea. The Toyota RAV4 registered US sales of 56,709 units in 1996 and exceeded the 150,000 milestone in 2006 after it has been completely redesigned for the third generation run. Last year it got sold in 171,877 units while this year they’ve reached 190,000 in November.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories