With over 14 years on the road, the Toyota RAV4 has been through many changes and is currently growing. The Most recently released Rav4 is the longest model that has been offered to date measuring 181.9 inches. The Rav4 is a compact SUV that comes in 2 door or 4 door variations and used to even be offered as a convertible, but this option is no longer available. The Rav4 has a very sleek style that uses the sharp edges and curves of the body to give a very attractive and modern body style. This is the most successful crossover SUV that Toyota has found so far.
The standard engine that comes on the Rav4 base model offers 179 horsepower, but this motor can be upgraded to an engine providing a much more powerful 269 horsepower. The Rav4 has 2 engine options, a four or six cylinder engine and also offers a n optional upgrade to an all wheel drive system. Three row seating is available in all trim levels including Base, Sport and Limited. All models of the Rav4 will function on regular and unleaded fuel.
Body styles: Crossover SUV
Engines: 2.5L I-4, 3.5L V-6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed automatic
Models: Base, Sport, Limited
In 2009, the Toyota RAV4 received its most recent powertrain upgrade – Toyota added a more powerful 2.5-liter four with better fuel economy as the RAV4’s base engine. For 2011, the RAV4 gains a brake override system. Also, there is a new Base Plus Extra Value Package, with moonroof, steering wheel audio controls, roof rails, and 17-inch wheels. There are also some minor changes to other RAV4 option packages.
The current generation Toyota RAV4 tones down some of the overly cute lines of the previous generation. The RAV4’s most unique styling cue is the triangular D-pillar, which works with rear side windows that angle toward the back.
The RAV4’s 104.7-inch wheelbase makes room for an optional third row. Air conditioning, cruise control, and tilt/telescoping wheel are standard; dual-zone climate control, leather accents, and upgraded six-speaker, six-CD audio with XM Satellite Radio are available.
The ride quality of the Toyota RAV4 is a little rough. However, the up side is that the RAV4’s on-road handling benefits from the stiff suspension. And the star of the show is the RAV4’s super-fast 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Its 269 horsepower gets the RAV4 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and through the quarter mile in 15.0 seconds at 92.4 mph. The RAV4 brakes from 60 mph in 130 feet.
Driver and front passenger airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, and two-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags are standard on the 2011 Toyota RAV4; so are antilock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, stability control, and traction control.
Base, Sport, Limited: 19-22 mpg city/26-28 mpg highway
- Large interior
- Impressive handling
- Good fuel economy
- Excellent V-6 power
- Dull interior design
- Stiff suspension
- Upscale models are pricey
Big compact or small midsize?
- Honda CR-V
- Hyundai Tucson
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Ford Escape