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Toyota RAV4 Celebrating its 20th Anniversary

Toyota took a great blind step forward back in 1994 when it launched the RAV4 model in a nonexistent segment. And guess what? It represented one of the company’s biggest achievement by practically inventing the compact SUV segment.
First and Fourth Generation Toyota RAV4 28 photos
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It all started with the unveil of the RAV-FOUR concept at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show. The design study was warmly received by the public, so two years later, Toyota forwarded the project into production, creating the first RAV4.

The original Recreational Activity Vehicle with 4-wheel drive (RAV4) was conservatively constructed using existent Toyota parts, having the Corolla’s platform, the engine and part of the drivetrain from the Camry (2-liter 127 bhp) while the suspension was borrowed from the Celica GT-four.

The result was a three-door, highly maneuverable, affordable, reliable, practical and fancy-looking car that surpassed the company’s sales expectations. With a worldwide demand of over 8,000 units in the first month of sales alone, which almost doubled Toyota’s moderate expectations, the company had to increase production.

Then, a five-door RAV4 has been added in 1995, after which the second generation got introduced in 2000, which was slightly bigger and also had another 1.8-liter engine available.

In 2002, the first RAV4 diesel emerged and after four more years came the third generation, which was built on a new platform and was available only in a five-door construction. Its size was further increased and it also gained a new all-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled coupling, as well as new Downhill Assist Control and Hill-start Assist Control systems.

Last year, the automaker released the fourth generation RAV4, which is again slightly bigger, bolder-looking, better equipped and technologically updated.

Even if the RAV4 deviated a while ago from the original three-door rebel rambler style, it’s still a sought-after vehicle for medium-sized families, registering 2013 sales results of over 200,000 units in the US alone.



 
 
 
 
 

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