The folks at Toyota claim that the RAV4 is the world’s first crossover SUV. Yes, even before the word crossover became a part of our vocabulary. Since its introduction in 1994, 1.7-million RAV4s have been sold. Still today, eighty percent of the vehicles are on the road. Although the compact crossovers segment is still relatively new, it currently accounts for 13 percent of the market.
The base model LE starts at $24,125 and tops out at $30,015 with options. By adding-on the all-wheel drive configuration, the price drives up $1,400.
The RAV4 is the third vehicle in the Toyota and the Scion line up, offering emotional appeal. Basically, Toyota has finally gotten in the style game. Toyota finally realizes that there are a plethora of brand’s on the market today that match (or at least come close to matching) the Japanese brand in features and reliability. So, Toyota realizes that relying on reliability no longer compensates for a safe, conservative design.
Toyota’s direction to focus on adding pizazz to its design began with the sexy looking 2013 Scion FS-R sports car and it was followed-up by the radically redesign 2013 Toyota Avalon. Inside the RAV4, Toyota has spruced-up the interior too, depending on the trim level selected. The upgraded trim levels are now available with a two-tone interior trim known as color-blocking, which gives the RAV4 an upscale interior, which has usually been reserved for its premium brand, Lexus.
The RAV4 also becomes the first Toyota equipped with an all-wheel drive configuration, offering dynamic torque control. This system improves handling by distributing power from the front to the rear, while managing the vehicle’s braking system from side-to-side.