9 June 2022 · New Vehicles
The RAV4 Journey
The "Recreational Active Vehicle with 4WD" affectionally known as the RAV, is now in its 5th generation. While still true to its spirit of adventure, the RAV4 is now a sophisticated, technologically advanced crossover, built for comfort, styled for turning heads, and equipped for adventuring the roads less travelled. Such was the RAV4's success from the outset; by 2020, RAV4 had sold more than 10 million units, with generation one seeding an excitement that would evolve into enduring popularity.
Generation one gave us something truly unique. It was a constant all-wheel drive designed for offroad driving. There was an undeniable off-road stature, yet the RAV4 maintained the street presence of a car.
When released on July 1, 1994, motorists had a choice between a two-door or four-door wagon driven by a 96kW 2.0-litre engine and 5-speed manual box. In the early days, safety features such as ABS and driver airbags were optional.
The new RAV4 drew on componentry from other successful Toyota’s, including the Corolla, Celica, and Camry. This pragmatic approach not only gave us ready-made and proven Toyota reliability but affordability as well. Come August 95, families were rewarded with an option of a 5-door with more luggage space and seating for 5.
By generation 2, the RAV4 was a confirmed success. With longevity assured, gen 2 would feature 70% purpose-built components. Significantly, power was increased with the addition of a 2.4 litre 120kW engine. Crossover technology was on the rise, and the new RAV4 delivered a passenger vehicle feel, with the all-wheel-drive technology ensuring the continuance of offroad adventure capability.
With 3 and 5 door options, there was a RAV4 to suit a broad range of Australian lifestyles.
Styling improved with the option of RAV4 Cruiser models getting colour matched mouldings, with the Edge variant keeping the grey bumpers and mouldings. The more contemporary look, with features such as the sunroof, embellished the RAV4's spirit of fun. Air conditioning and ABS remained options, but this didn't stop the gen 2 RAV4 from becoming the best-selling SUV in Australia in 2021.
The RAV4 had become so influential that other manufacturers were pulling out all stops to develop competing vehicles. The RAV4 had created a new and exciting market segment, a significant moment in motoring history.
With the 2006 release, Australians were given more variants from which to choose with the four-cylinder base CV, Cruiser, Cruiser L, and the Altitude. But the big news was the addition of the CV6, SX6, and ZR6 offering a 3.5 litre 200kW V6 engine. The significance of this option in Australia can't be overstated, as it engaged with a driver for whom power was everything. To add to this compelling option, the RAV4 was now longer, accommodating larger families with more to carry.
Independent rear suspension increased ride comfort and stability, which was also enhanced by a 76% increase in body stiffness. Clearance had increased by a significant 100mm on the offroad front, while electric power-assist steering became a first in Toyota 4WDs.
By the end of generation three, the RAV4’s popularity and position at the head of the SUV table was unquestionable.
The Australian market had its first look at generation four in February 2013. Notable features included the removal of the tailgate-mounted spare tyre to make way for a lifting tailgate.
Engine options included a 2.0- and 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, and 2.0- and 2.2-litre turbo-diesels. Gearbox technology has advanced considerably since generation one. Motorists could select from the sporty six-speed manual, the smooth and Advanced Continuously Variable Transmission, or the six-speed automatic.
Dynamic torque control was now an all-wheel-drive feature. While delivering off-road benefits, the cornering control and sport driving mode delivered a more stable and determined on-road handling, which increased the thrill of the drive and safety and comfort. But in a world now focused on reducing carbon emissions, the biggest developments would soon revolve around engine emissions.
Generation five commenced Australian sales on May 8, 2019. Available in GX, GXL, Cruiser, and Edge models, Australians would now be able to select the 2.5 L hybrid in the GX, GXL, and Cruiser variants with options of 2WD or AWD, depending on the model.
Toyota Safety Sense has revolutionised Toyota driver safety with features including Active Cruise Control, a Pre-Collision Safety system with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, depending on model and variant.
Safety technology competes with crossover innovations for an advanced drive that refines the dynamic between vehicle, driver, and the driving environment. With a vehicle that supports you, you're better placed to enjoy the cabin ambiance with JBL sound, Apple Car Play, and Android Auto, with state-of-the-art connectivity, at your fingertips or voice command.
Styling is now the most distinct of any of its carnations. The fifth and current generation RAV4 looks determined, more aggressive, sports-driven, and yet highly sophisticated, with lines that demonstrate serious pedigree over spontaneity and carefree fun.
However, the more severe countenance doesn't isolate it from its roots. The RAV4's new lines suggest it's more serious about adventure while reserving the right to dress up for a classy night on the town.
There's A RAV4 That's Perfect for You
The Australian RAV4 models continue to be manufactured out of Japan, and such is the popularity and current demand, we recommend you make your enquiries early. With 5 variants, including 2WD, AWD, and hybrid options, there's a Toyota RAV4 perfect for you and your lifestyle.
A GX 2.0L Auto CVT 2WD starts at $38,273 drive away. The premium feels XSE 2.5L Hybrid Auto CVT 2WD starts at $47,394. The popular GXL AWD 2.5L Hybrid starts at $47,604 drive away. Or for the full suite of premium features, the Edge is your RAV4, with the AWD 2.5L hybrid drive away for $57,314.
Contact the Terry Shields Toyota team on 1300 584 179 to book a test drive. Browse the site, build your RAV4 and check out our finance options so you can drive away in your RAV 4 sooner.