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History of the Toyota RAV4 | Epping, NH.


The Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular SUVs on the road today and is one of the oldest SUV models still in production. The name RAV4 stands for “Recreation Active Vehicle with 4WD.” It was first introduced in 1989 at the Tokyo Motor Show as the RAV Four concept. An updated concept design made an appearance in 1993. Once it went into production, it quickly became the stuff of legend.


First Generation

Here in the United States, the RAV4 officially went on sale in 1996. It was available with either two or four doors. In the first three years of production, Toyota sold about 300,000 models worldwide. Today, Toyota sells about 400,000 units a year just in the United States. In its first generation, Toyota introduced a few unique models including an all-electric model and a cabrio version.


Second Generation

The RAV4 moved into its second generation in 2001. This new model was more powerful and was only available with four doors here in the U.S. It was popular thanks to its nice interior and good legroom.


Third Generation

In 2006, Toyota introduced the third-generation RAV4. It was available with an impressive V6 engine for the first time. All models grew by 14 inches in length to give it a lot more passenger space. It was even available with a third row. Toyota once again introduced an electric RAV4, but it only lasted a few years.


Fourth Generation

The 2012 RAV4 made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. With this generation, Toyota moved the RAV4 closer to its roots again by giving it a smaller engine and making it two inches shorter with no third-row option. The RAV4 also gained its roof-hinged liftgate.


Fifth Generation

Check out the latest Toyota RAV4 at Hurlbert Toyota and see why this SUV is considered the cream of the crop.