Toyota RAV4 Stands Above The Crossover Segment It Launched

October 01, 2007

October 1, 2007 – Torrance, CA - The third-generation RAV4 compact sport utility vehicle enters its third year with minor enhancements after its first launch over a decade ago. For added anti-theft security, the RAV4 Limited grade adds a standard immobilizer, which is optional on other models.

The RAV4 is among the most versatile compact crossover-type SUVs. 2008 RAV4 is offered in three distinct grades – Base, performance-oriented Sport and top-of-the-line Limited – and with a choice between four-cylinder and V6 engines and either front- or electronic on-demand four-wheel-drive.

The available 269-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine makes RAV4 one of the most powerful vehicle in its segment. Equipped exclusively with a gated-shift five-speed automatic transmission, the V6 RAV4 models offer fuel efficiency comparable with some less powerful four- and six-cylinder competitors.

"Toyota pioneered the car-based compact SUV segment with the first RAV4, and the current model stands above its class with a hard-to-match combination of performance, room, value, and proven Toyota quality," said Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor Sales executive vice president.

Style, Room and Comfort
Built on a generous 104.7-inch wheelbase, the roomy RAV4 offers optional third-row seating on base and Limited grade models. The high-strength body structure and exterior details were engineered with a focus on enhancing quiet ride quality. For example, eliminating outer moldings from the windshield and door glass enhances aerodynamics and reduces wind noise. A two-ply hood insulator with a middle air layer helps to further reduce noise transmission into the cabin.

The RAV4's contemporary design strongly conveys the Toyota identity in an aerodynamically efficient shape. The trapezoidal grille, four-bulb headlamps and distinct, sharp character lines give RAV4 a rugged yet sporty look. The 0.33 coefficient of drag (Cd) is among the best in its segment and a major factor in minimizing wind noise and maximizing fuel economy. The rear view conveys a more traditional SUV look, with LED tail lamps and an externally mounted spare tire in a color-keyed shell.

The RAV4 Sport grade stands apart with P235/55 R18 tires on 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels; color-keyed door handles and fender flares; fog lights; roof rails and cross bars; color-keyed heated and foldable power outside mirrors; rear privacy glass; smoked headlamp trim, sport-tuned suspension and unique dark charcoal fabric seats.

Externally, the Limited grade is distinguished from the Sport grade by 17-inch aluminum six-spoke alloy wheels with P225/65 R17 tires and a chrome grille. The Limited also adds a number of interior amenities and offers a wider range of comfort-enhancing options.

Most Powerful Optional Engine in Its Segment
The RAV4's standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is equipped with variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and teamed exclusively to a gated-shift four-speed automatic transmission. The smooth four-cylinder engine delivers 166 horsepower with 165 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 RPM. Fuel efficiency is excellent for the class, with EPA mpg estimates of 21 city/27 highway on 4x2 models and 20 city/25 highway on 4x4 models.

The available 3.5-liter V6 is the powerhouse of its segment, generating a best-in-class 269 horsepower at 6,200 RPM and 246 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,700 RPM. The dual VVT-i system affects intake and exhaust valve timing to optimize torque and fuel efficiency.

The V6 is paired exclusively with a gated-shift five-speed automatic transmission. The shift logic reduces the frequency of gear shifting during winding uphill and downhill driving. The V6 RAV4 can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in under seven seconds and yet has an estimated EPA fuel economy mpg ratings of 19 city/27 highway for 4x2 models and 19 city/26 highway for 4x4 models. Both RAV4 engines use regular-grade (87 AKI) fuel for customer value, and both are EPA certified as Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV II).

Sporty Reflexes, Comfortable Ride
A strong, stiff structure, four-wheel independent suspension and Electronic Power Steering (EPS) give the RAV4 agile, sporty handling and a comfortable car-like ride. The compact EPS unit contributes to fuel economy by eliminating the traditional power steering pump and by providing computer-controlled assist only when required. Significantly, EPS is interfaced with an enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system helps to enhance handling under adverse road conditions. (See page 5 for more details.)

The RAV4 Base grade model rides on P215/70 R16 tires with 16-inch steel wheels or available P225/65 R17 tires with steel or aluminum alloy wheels; the V6 models step up to standard 17-inch steel wheels with P225/65 R17 tires, and the Sport grade, in addition to its 18-inch alloy wheels, enhances driving performance with sport-tuned suspension.

Electronically Controlled 4WD
An electronic on-demand four-wheel-drive system uses an electronically controlled coupling to distribute torque between the front and rear wheels, depending on road conditions and driver input. The system can continuously and seamlessly switch from front-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive mode, maximizing fuel efficiency. In Auto mode, torque distribution to the rear wheels is decreased during low speed cornering for better maneuverability.

A 4WD manual locking switch will disengage the Auto mode, maximizing torque distribution to the rear wheels. When vehicle speed reaches 25 mph, Lock mode will disengage, reverting back to Auto mode. Lock mode also disengages when the brakes are applied, optimizing ABS and VSC operation. RAV4 4x2 models come equipped with an automatic limited slip differential as standard.

All V6 RAV4 models, and all four-cylinder models equipped with a third-row seat, come standard with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). HAC provides additional control for on-road and off-road driving by helping to keep the vehicle stationary while starting on a steep incline or slippery surface; DAC is designed to enhance low-speed descending ability by helping to hold the vehicle to a target speed with minimal intervention from the driver.

Comprehensive Safety Design
The RAV4 helps protect occupants with a reinforced cabin with front and rear crumple zones and energy-absorbing materials on the ceiling and doors. The front seats include height-adjustable headrests designed to help reduce the possibility of whiplash-type injuries, as well as three-point seatbelts with pretensioners and belt-force limiters. Second- and third-row seats also provide three-point seatbelts and height-adjustable headrests in all seating positions.

The driver and passenger advanced front airbags are designed to inflate according to collision severity. A front seat passenger sensor is designed to determine if there is a person in the seat, and an occupant classification system verifies the passenger's weight category to determine whether the airbag should inflate. Driver and front passenger front-seat-mounted side airbags and first and second row roll-sensing side curtain airbags are standard.

Like all SUVs in the Toyota lineup, RAV4 comes standard with the STAR SAFETY SYSTEM™ that includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-Lock Brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).

The newest version of VSC goes beyond the traditional traction control function that simply reacts to challenging conditions. In the RAV4, VSC interfaces with the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system to help optimize steering assist for any given situation. The integration of EPS allows the enhanced VSC system to better anticipate the onset of vehicle loss of control and more effectively respond to driver operation and vehicle behavior.

Spacious Interior Comfort and Utility
The RAV4 seating allows for numerous configurations, and under-floor storage (on models without the third-row seat), providing cargo space comparable to some mid-size SUVs. The 60/40 split second row seat features reclining seatbacks and an armrest with two cupholders, and the seats slide fore and aft to optimize room for passengers or cargo. The second row seats fold flat with the convenience of tilt-down levers located on the side of the seatbacks; two-row models include an additional cargo are one-touch fold flat levers in the cargo area. The optional 50/50 Split-and-Stow® third-row seat on Base and Limited grades seats two passengers and folds flat under the rear deck.

A brushed metallic silver finish on the center cluster, door trim and steering wheel spokes gives the RAV4 interior a contemporary style. Three-tiered Optitron gauges provide an upscale look. Useful touches are also evident with the addition of a large vanity mirror with "eye-friendly" ceiling lights, illumination on two extra-large front cup holders and a cellphone holder in the center console.

Abundant interior storage includes a dual glovebox; front door compartments; a large center console box; front seatback pockets; a rear door storage pocket and a recessed rear storage compartment with a foldable double-flap lid. On two-row models, two storage compartments are concealed under the rear cargo area floor by a water-repellant foldable deck board.

Unmistakable Toyota Value
Form, fun and functionality are plentiful in RAV4 with an array of standard convenience features across all three grades, including air-conditioning; a tilt and telescopic steering wheel; AM/FM CD stereo with six speakers, a universal mini-jack, MP3/WMA playback capability; outside temperature gauge; remote keyless entry; ten bottle/cup holders; power windows and door locks; foldable power mirrors; illuminated entry system; rear privacy glass, and three 12-volt auxiliary power outlets.

The Limited grade brings a touch of luxury, adding dual zone automatic climate control with air filter; upgraded seat fabric; eight-way power driver seat with adjustable lumbar; AM/FM six-disc in-dash CD changer with six speakers, a universal mini-jack port, satellite radio ready and MP3/WMA playback capability; engine immobilizer system; interior footwell lighting; leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; leather-wrapped shift knob with metallic insert; cargo area tonneau cover and a multi-purpose cargo net (two-row models).

Popular Options
An impressive list of optional comfort and utility features further enhances the RAV4 driving and ownership experience. Some of the added features in the Limited are available as standalone options on the Base grade, including the audio and wheel options. A optional tow package for V6 models increases towing capacity to a maximum of 3,500 pounds.

Available features on the Sport grade, in addition to those offered on the Base grade, include a power tilt/slide moonroof with sunshade and a JBL six-disc CD changer audio system with nine speakers (including a subwoofer), Bluetooth® wireless capability, Satellite Radio ready and steering wheel audio controls.

The Limited grade in addition offers available leather-trimmed seats; heated front seats; a rear seat DVD entertainment system with rear seat audio (V6 models only), and exclusive Blizzard White Pearl exterior paint.

Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle limited warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60 months/60,000 miles and corrosion perforation for 60 months with no mileage limitation.

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