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Discussion Starter #1 Give it a big Rav

25 March 2006

Stuart Innes

Toyota, credited with starting the compact four-wheel-drive "softroader" craze by introducing its RAV4 12 years ago, has got a bit more serious about the vehicle.

The latest, third generation RAV4, just released has grown larger but retains a four-cylinder engine.

RAV4 started out as a three-door hatchback on a stubby wheelbase, followed later by the five-door wagon. Now, there is no three-door, only a wagon version that is much larger inside than previously. Body length has grown to 4600mm amd wheelbase has stretched 170mm to 2660mm. Cargo space is excellent and the body feels tight.

Weight – in the top-of-the-range Cruiser L automatic as tested – is now 1590kg. Even a Holden Commodore Acclaim V6 automatic would blush at that.

Toyota sticks with its 2.4-litre engine, tweaked to give an extra 5kW power although what would be more impressive is a bit more torque. However, on the road (dirt or bitumen), performance is fine in most driving. Put a few people on board and it needs lower gears on longer hills.

More to read at the full article...
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