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Not sure why they took so long to post this from what they source as a January 2006 article, but...



Motor Trend: "First Look: 2006 Toyota Rav4 V6 Sport"

Here's The Beef: Toyota's Rav4 compact SUV Gets BIG V-6 Power

By Kim Reynolds

For Alan Greenspan, inflation is something to be met with resistance. But for Toyota's redesigned third-generation RAV4--now available for the first time with a V-6 engine--inflation may be just the ticket.

While SUV buyers are shedding mega-'utes at the horror of $120 refuelings, the RAV4's expanded new size--a whopping 14 inches in length--converts what's been a compact SUV into a flexible alternative. With the driver seat positioned for this scribe's six-foot one-inch frame, second-row knee room is still a leg-crossing 3.5 inches. Surprising too are the split rear seats that can be slid approximately 4.5 inches forward to expand rear cargo room or tilted back 25 degrees. Optionally, there's also a new hypercompact fold-in-the floor third-row seat that's basically a kid department, though roomier than a few we've recently visited. Steeply inclined rear shocks are reason enough for the extra rear interior volume, though it doesn't detract from rear-wheel travel in mild off-roading.

The RAV's greater size and V-6 caused murmurs that it might be creeping too far into the Highlander's market nest. Perhaps, but it takes just one green light to differentiate them.

Where the 230-horse V-6 Highlander is powered by the Camry's 3.3-liter mill, the RAV4's thumping 269-horsepower, 3.5-liter six is snitched from the Avalon's engine cradle--dual variable camshafts and all. The result is the giddy acceleration (Toyota claims sub-seven seconds to 60 mph) only vehicles with inappropriate quantities of power can provide. Coupled to its standard five-speed auto trans, expect mileage of about 20 city/28 highway for front- drive versions, one fewer highway mpg for the 4x4.

More to read at the full article...
 
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