Toyota's RAV4 is a sporty compact utility vehicle that can fit up to seven passengers. The RAV4 comes in front- and all-wheel drive; Base, Sport and Limited trim levels are available. Competitors in this segment include the Honda CR-V, Saturn Vue and Ford Escape.
New for 2009
The RAV4 gets some significant revisions. The four-cylinder engine gets a slight power boost. The front- and rear-end designs are revised. Safety enhancements include standard active head restraints and an optional backup camera. All-wheel-drive models with a V-6 now feature an available comprehensive Sport Appearance Package.
Toyota says the RAV4's exterior styling follows a "modern-rugged" theme. The body is free of cladding, and the spare tire is mounted to the tailgate.
For 2009, the front gets a restyled grille, which now resembles the Toyota Highlander's front end, and available fog lights are better integrated into the lower bumper. In the rear there are restyled taillamps; the Sports Appearance Package does away with the mounted spare on the tailgate. The RAV4 is 181.1 inches long and 71.5 inches wide, tipping it toward the larger SUVs in this segment.
- Available 16-, 17- or 18-inch wheels
- Standard LED taillamps
- Standard automatic headlamps
- Standard power mirrors
- Integrated fog lights (excluding Base)
- Optional moonroof (excluding Base)
The RAV4 has seating for five. When equipped with the 50/50-split flat-folding third-row seat, the RAV4 can seat up to seven people. The second-row split-bench seat can move fore and aft and recline. At 108.2 cubic feet, the passenger volume is the largest of its competitors; its cargo space is 36.4 cubic feet, which is also the best of its competitors.
The RAV4 has available integrated satellite radio, a navigation system and a backup camera integrated into its review mirror. Restyled fabric comes with every RAV4; the Sports grade gets a Charcoal-colored leather option.
- Available cloth or leather seating surfaces
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard power windows/locks
- Standard remote keyless entry
- Optional dual-zone automatic climate control (standard on Limited)
- Optional heated seats (excluding Base)
- Optional third-row seating (excluding Sport)
- Optional navigation system with XM NavTraffic (excluding Base)
Under the Hood
The RAV4 is available with a four-cylinder or V-6 powertrain. Both front- and all-wheel-drive models are offered; the V-6 RAV4s can tow up to 3,500 pounds, when properly equipped. For 2009, the standard four-cylinder engine gets a 13-horsepower increase without hurting gas mileage.
Downhill Assist Control, which controls speed during offroad descents, and Hill-Start Assist Control, which holds the car in position for two or three seconds, is standard on V-6 models and four-cylinder models with a third-row seat.
- 179-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 172 pounds-feet of torque
- 269-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with 246 pounds-feet of torque
- Available four- and five-speed automatic transmissions
- Available front- and all-wheel drive
- Standard automatic limited-slip differential
- Towing package (V-6 models only)
Safety features include:
- Standard side-impact and side curtain airbags
- Standard active head restraints
- Standard antilock braking system with brake assist
- Standard electronic stability system
- Optional daytime running lamps
- Optional backup camera (excluding Base)
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