History of the Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 has made its mark on the industry as a versatile and affordable crossover. The customizable styling options and tech-savvy features have made it a favorite of drivers of all ages. The RAV4 has been through a lot in its near-25 years of existence. Here’s a brief history of the Toyota RAV4.
The original Toyota RAV4 debuted in 1995. The name itself stands for “Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive.” The first-generation model was boxy and designed for drivers who wanted the function of an SUV with the efficiency of a sedan.
The second-generation RAV4 launched in 2000 and saw major styling changes that appealed to younger drivers. An electric model, the RAV4 EV, saw a limited run in the early 2000s. While less than 1,500 units were sold, a third of them were still in use as of 2012.
Just five years later, the third-generation Toyota RAV4 hit the streets. It rode on a new platform and saw immediate success among more active drivers. The 2009 model year saw a refresh that included an all-new four-cylinder engine. A V6 engine was also available.
The current fourth-generation model officially hit roadways in 2013. It’s curvier engines and smoother contours combined with an updated interior made it a hit among drivers. Sales leapt to 218,000 units in 2013 alone. By 2016, sales topped 350,000 units, making the Toyota RAV4 a major success on all accounts.
You can find the latest RAV4 here at Hurlbert Toyota.