Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get average or better mpg, have average or better reliability, good crash-test ratings, and our experts' recommendations.
By Jim Mateja
June 7, 1998
The second time around with Toyota's mini sport-ute wasn't as nice as the first journey two years ago, when testing a 1996 model. This time we encountered some hilly terrain and found the 2-liter, 127-h.p.
4-cylinder engine doesn't like sharp inclines as much as it enjoys the flatlands. With the pedal to the metal, the 2-liter wheezed, though in fairness, the RAV4 we tested had 4-speed automatic and not a manual to help even out those hills.
What it lacks in pep, it makes up for in petroleum savings with its 22 m.p.g. city/26 m.p.g. highway rating, most respectable considering that's the rating with 4WD for all-season motoring. Nice to have 16-inch all-season tires on a small vehicle
like this to provide optimum handling in a petite package. The base price on the four-door, 4WD unit we tested was only $18,708, but the options can quickly add to your debt burden. ABS runs $590 and is left off the standard equipment list to keep
the base less than $19,000. The power tilt/slide sunroof runs $915, privacy glass $295 and the value (?) package runs $2,772 for air conditioning, CD player, cruise control, carpeted floor mats and the mandatory power windows/locks/mirrors. You can save
$1,140 by not opting for the aluminum alloy wheels. With $420 for freight (Hmmm, why do Japanese automakers charge less money to ship and truck a vehicle from Japan than U.S. automakers charge to simply truck a vehicle within U.S. borders?) and
the option load, our test vehicle topped $25,000. The subcompact RAV4 is priced at the same level as a much larger Blazer, Explorer or Cherokee, not to mention a host of fine compact and midsize sedans. It also ran about $1,000 more than the
Amigo, though it had two more doors. Ah, well, $25,000 to be different, though for that money you can purchase a hard-to-find, much-in-demand Volkswagen Beetle.