The Toyota RAV4 has been completely redesigned for 2006; it is now longer and wider than its predecessor. According to Toyota, RAV4 features the only available third-row seat in the segment. There are three trim levels: Base, Limited, and Sport, and two engine choices. The RAV4 also offers two- or four-wheel-drive configurations. Also new are a speed-sensitive electric power-steering system and an available dual-zone automatic climate control system.
The Toyota RAV4 features seating for up to seven occupants with the optional split-and-stow 50/50 third-row seat. Toyota's new RAV4 4x4 models feature a standard electronically-controlled, "On-Demand Active Torque Control" system that distributes torque to the front and rear wheels electronically, and can switch continuously between two- and four-wheel drive as conditions demand. Available on the 4x4 are Downhill Assist Control (DAC), which helps control vehicle speed upon descent, and Toyota's second-generation Hill Start Assist Control (HAC 2), which utilizes braking to help prevent the vehicle from rolling backward on steep ascents. Both features originated on significantly more-expensive Lexus SUVs.
Choose from either the durable 2.4L, four-cylinder 165-hp engine or the 3.5L V-6 that, according to Toyota, leads the segment in horsepower at 269. Both engines feature Variable Valve Technology with intelligence (VVT-i), Electronic Throttle Control (ETCS), and the Toyota Direct Ignition System (TDIS), all of which help to provide improved performance and fuel economy.
A Sport model is available to provide a higher level of driving fun for enthusiasts. It features a sport-tuned suspension and lower-profile 17-inch performance tires, as well as color-keyed exterior styling cues to set it apart from Base and Limited models. As far as interior comfort, the RAV4 is almost 15 percent larger overall, which translates to more front- and second-row leg room over the 2005 RAV4. Toyota's Star Safety System is designed to protect the occupants with both passive and active features. One element is Toyota's Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), which is designed to keep the car on the driver's intended path and in control in the event of wheel slip. Available side, seat-mounted airbags and side curtain airbags with roll-sensing technology provide added protection.
The RAV4 competes in the Compact Crossover Utility Vehicle segment. A total of 24 models compete in the segment, which continues to grow in popularity because these vehicles can offer nearly as much cargo capability as a mid-size SUV, while delivering better fuel economy than their larger, heavier counterparts.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the Ford Escape is the segment sales leader, delivering 165,122 units to customers in calendar year 2005. Three other models had sales over 100,000 units in 2005, including the Honda CR-V (150,219), Chrysler PT Cruiser (133,740), and Chevrolet Equinox (130,542). Toyota sold 70,518 RAV4s in calendar year 2005.
|Base (A4)||4 speed automatic||$20,300||166-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||24/30|
|Sport (A4)||4 speed automatic||$21,875||166-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||24/30|
|Base V6 (A5)||5 speed automatic||$22,335||269-hp / 3.5L 6-cyl||22/29|
|Limited (A4)||4 speed automatic||$22,555||166-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||24/30|
|Sport V6 (A5)||5 speed automatic||$23,790||269-hp / 3.5L 6-cyl||22/29|
|Limited V6 (A5)||5 speed automatic||$24,470||269-hp / 3.5L 6-cyl||22/29|