Toyota's RAV4 is a compact crossover that can fit up to seven people with an optional third-row seat. The RAV4 comes with front- or all-wheel drive; it is sold in base, Sport and Limited trim levels. Competitors include the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Chevrolet Equinox.
The RAV4 was last redesigned for the 2006 model year, and a new design is coming in summer 2012 for the 2013 model year. The 2013 RAV4 also will be available as an electric vehicle as part of a partnership with Tesla Motors.
New for 2012
The standard stereo has six speakers, a single-CD player, a USB port with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth connectivity. Later in the model year, Toyota's Entune multimedia system becomes available on Sport and Limited models.
The RAV4's exterior styling follows a "modern-rugged" theme, Toyota says. The body is free of cladding, and the spare tire is mounted to the rear door. Exterior features include:
- Available 16-, 17- or 18-inch wheels
- Standard LED taillamps
- Standard power mirrors
- Optional integrated fog lights
- Optional moonroof
The RAV4 has standard 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 forward and backward and recline. A touch-screen navigation system is optional. Interior features include:
- Cloth or available leather seating surfaces
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard power windows and locks
- Optional dual-zone automatic climate control
- Optional heated front seats
Under the Hood
The RAV4 is available with a four-cylinder or V-6 engine, both with front- or all-wheel drive. V-6 RAV4s can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped as opposed to the four-cylinder's 1,500-pound trailer rating.
Downhill Assist Control, which controls speed during off-road descents, and Hill-Start Assist Control, which holds the car in position for 2 or 3 seconds, are optional. Mechanical features include:
- 179-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 172 pounds-feet of torque
- 269-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with 246 pounds-feet of torque
- Four-speed automatic transmission (four-cylinder)
- Five-speed automatic (V-6)
- Towing package for V-6 models
Safety features include:
- Standard front-seat side-impact and two-row side curtain airbags
- Standard active front head restraints
- Standard antilock brakes with brake assist
- Standard electronic stability system
- Optional daytime running lamps
- Optional backup camera