The Toyota RAV4 is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by Japaneseautomobile manufacturer Toyota. It was the first compact crossover SUV, making its debut in Japan and Europe in 1994 and in North America in 1995. 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 fuel economy of a compact car. Although not all RAV4s are four-wheel drive, RAV4 stands for "Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive" because the aforementioned equipment is an option in select countries.
In most markets, the RAV4 is the only compact SUV or crossover available from Toyota. In other markets, it is the crossover counterpart of the Toyota FJ Cruiser. Since the 2006 third generation model, Toyota has offered both short- and long-wheelbase versions of the RAV4. Short-wheelbase versions are sold in Japan and Europe, with Australia and North America receiving the long-wheelbase versions. Toyota of Japan also sells the longer-wheelbase version as the Toyota Vanguard at Toyopet Store locations. Japanese versions are sold at two different Toyota Japanese dealerships called Toyota Corolla Store and Toyota NETZ Store.
The fourth generation RAV4 was revealed at the November 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.
US sales began in early January 2013. In the UK and Australia, the fourth generation RAV4 went on sale in February. Engines choices include a 2.0- and 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline, and 2.0- and 2.2-liter turbodiesels. Transmissions include a six-speed manual, CVT automatic, and six-speed automatic.
The RAV4 manufactured in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada has about 50 percent of its parts coming from Japan.
The UK model went on sale in 2013. Early European models include a choice of a 2.0-liter petrol or three 2.0-liter diesel engines.
Taiwanese models include 2.0-liter Dual VVT-i inline-four engine with CVT transmission with seven-speed manual mode, or 2.5-liter Dual VVT-i inline-four engine with six-speed automatic.
Indonesian models will be on sale in early 2015, first unveiled at the 2014 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) in Jakarta in September, only available in G type includes 2.0-liter Dual VVT-i engine with CVT transmission with seven-speed manual mode.
The RAV4 no longer uses the V6 from the previous generation—all engine choices are inline four cylinder engines. Also, unlike the dual wheelbase strategy employed by the previous XA30 model, the XA40 is only sold in single wheelbase (corresponding with the LWB XA30). Therefore, as of April 2014, the previous generation in short-wheelbase length is still sold in Japan in lieu of the newer XA40 which is for export only. The Harrier replaces the long-wheelbase model in Japan that was badged Vanguard.
In 2015 for the 2016 model year, Toyota released a facelift for the XA40 series. The facelift debuted with the RAV4 Hybrid shown at the April 2015 New York International Auto Show.
The full hybrid system combines a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a powerful electric motor, a 204 cell nickel–metal hydride battery located under the rear seats, a power control unit, and a power split device. RAV4 Hybrids are available in both front and all-wheel drive variants. The all-wheel edition comes equipped with a second, 50 kW high-voltage, rear mounted electric motor that offers increased traction and a 1,750-pound (790 kg) towing capacity. The engine is capable of operating independently from the hybrid system front's electric motor, driving the rear wheels alone.