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The Mercury News
Test Drive: Redesigned RAV4 is superior in its class


MORE COSTLY THAN ORIGINAL, NEW SUV IS BIGGER, BETTER

By Matt Nauman
Mercury News

It can now be had with both a V-6 engine and a third row of seats.

I'm very impressed, which makes my nagging worry seem silly: Has Toyota, in its quest to unseat General Motors as the world's No. 1 automaker, pulled off a GM-like move with the new RAV4?

By adding 14 inches to the RAV4, and by making a 3.5-liter V-6 available on it, Toyota now offers three very similarly sized and configured SUVs.

How can we criticize GM for its long history of cookie-cutter vehicles, from its forgettable 1980s sedans to its current lineup of nearly identical minivans from four different brands, and not ding Toyota?

Well, we can't.

The redesigned RAV4 won't get the attention generated by other new Toyota models such as the Yaris subcompact or the FJ Cruiser, or even as much as the new Camry with its hybrid powertrain option. Still, it represents a huge step forward in refinement, packaging and presentation.


More to read at the full review...
 
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