Friday, April 29, 2011

SUV Of The Day: April 29, 2011

Today's car of the day is Siku's 2008 Toyota RAV4.

The Toyota RAV4 is a compact crossover SUV from Toyota. It was the first compact crossover SUV, introduced in Japan and Europe in 1994 and beginning sales in North America in 1996. The vehicle was designed for consumers wanting a vehicle that had most of the benefits of SUVs, such as increased cargo room, higher visibility, and the option of full-time four-wheel drive, along with the maneuverability and better fuel economy of a smaller car. Its name stands for "Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive", although not all RAV4s have four wheel drive, which is optional in some countries. The early success of the RAV4 paved the way for other compact SUVs such as the Ford Escape and the Subaru Forester.

In most countries, the RAV4 is the only compact SUV from Toyota. In other markets, it is the crossover counterpart of the FJ Cruiser. Since the 2006 third generation model, Toyota has offered both short- and long-wheelbase versions of the RAV4. Short-wheelbase versions are retailed in Japan and Europe, with Australia and North America receiving the long-wheelbase versions. Toyota in Japan also sells the longer version as the Toyota Vanguard.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Toyota RAV4

The Siku model seen here features blanked out rear quater windows because this casting does double duty as an ambulance/emergency vehicle.  This one joins my collection courtesy RAOK from Dragnet_Suppoter at this year's Keystone CARnival.  Thanks Robert!

The Toyota RAV4 was completely redesigned for the 2006 model year, using an all-new platform and was first unveiled at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. The new RAV4 uses an Electric Power Steering (EPS) system.

The third generation RAV4 is offered in two versions: a short- or a long-wheelbase model. The short-wheelbase model is sold only in Japan and Europe, with the long-wheelbase RAV4 sold in Australia and North America. Since 2007, the extended-length RAV4 is also sold alongside its shorter counterpart in Japan as the Toyota Vanguard, albeit with a revised front-end body work incorporating a revised grille, bumper, bonnet and headlamps.

Japanese models went on sale in 2005 at Toyota Netz dealers. The 2-door was dropped beginning with 2007 model, leaving Toyota without a mini SUV until the 2009 Toyota Urban Cruiser, which is sold only in Europe.

It is also the first generation of RAV4 to be offered in regular (for Asian and European markets, dropping the spare wheel from the rear) and extended (for North American and Australian markets) versions. The extended-length RAV4 is larger by 21% in interior volume from the last generation and now has an available third-row seat for two small children (North America only). The RAV4 can still be had in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive in North America and Japan; however most countries only sell the all-wheel-drive version.

In 2008 (MY 2009) RAV4 was given a mid-cycle refresh in some markets, featuring a number of changes, including an all-new 4-cylinder engine, and a redesigned front end and tweaked rear end. The Limited model gets a different front grille and bumper cover from other models. The Sport model features a bigger spoiler and red badging along with an option on the V6 model to have a rear door without the externally-mounted spare tire (run-flat tires are used on this model). New features/options include turn signal mirrors, backup camera (with monitor built into rear view mirror), satellite navigation, smart keyless entry, a push button start , a multifunction meter display, etc. Much of the interior remains the same. In 2009, it was also the first time for the Canadian market to have a 2WD model sold in Canada.

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