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Miami Herald: "RAV4 '06: stronger and meaner"

Posted on Sun, Apr. 30, 2006

When my daughter and I shopped the mini-ute segment last year, the RAV4 was certainly high on the list with its car-like handling and reliable reputation.

But I'd spoken to several women who had owned one (women rule when it comes to RAV4s), and there was a shared concern: Not enough power.

''Of course,'' smiled one, ``that may be a good thing if you're buying one for your teenage daughter.

Toyota may have invented the mini-utility segment when it introduced the RAV4 (Recreation Activity Vehicle) in 1996, but it was getting stiffer competition over the years by beefier newcomers. So no surprise when Toyota unveiled its redesigned 2006 RAV4: Its's bigger in every direction, now offers a strong V-6 (same one as in the Avalon), and even offers an optional third row of seats.

It even looks meaner, more aggressive if you will, with its new headlight arrangement and sweeping hood.

This third-generation RAV4 is 14 inches longer than the previous one and rides on a wheelbase that is nearly seven inches longer and more than three inches wider. That translates to more legroom and, er, butt room, in the second row. Taller riders will appreciate an extra inch of headroom, too.

More to read at the full article...
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