Crossover SUV is the name given to an automobile in the guise of a sports utility vehicle. It is, however, built upon a car-based platform. This particular vehicle class first presented itself to the car buying public in 1980 with the automobile called the AMC Eagle. It has then gained popularity with car lovers and enthusiasts by way of the versatility that it possesses.
The reason why many people prefer crossover sports utility vehicles over all else is because of the benefits that they are able to give to their owners. These include increased cargo room, higher visibility and the option of four-wheel drive. In addition to this is the fact that these vehicles have the maneuverability and fuel economy of smaller cars. Consequently, their owners are able to enjoy the best of two worlds - that of a car and a sports utility vehicle respectively.
When it comes to crossover SUVs, the name to be reckoned with is the Toyota Rav4. It is one of the first vehicles in its class and is responsible for allowing other crossover SUVs to flourish. Rav4 stands for "Recreational Active Vehicle, 4-wheel drive". This crossover SUV from Toyota was introduced in Japan in 1994 and in the US two years later.
The Toyota Rav4 is a best-seller in an increasingly competitive sector. This is due to the fact that this vehicle offers the car buying public wonders that they have never known before. Included in this long list of intrinsic worths are parts and features such as electronic-brake force distribution, vehicle stability control, anti-theft engine immobilizer and cruise control. The power generated by the 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine is enough to make this vehicle traverse any kind of road in the easiest manner possible.
People who are knowledgeable enough about the qualities great cars should possess appreciate the fact that the Toyota Rav4 is a vehicle that combines visual appeal, comfort, acceleration and reliability in one single entity. Its unique parts and features show that it is versatility come to life. No wonder people prefer this vehicle over all else. The Toyota Rav4 has become something that they ultimately cannot get enough of.
Toyota RAV4: Key Maintenance Checklist to Boost Fuel Efficiency
The Toyota RAV4 was a daring addition to the SUV market in the late 1990s. Since then, the vehicle was improved in terms of size, fuel economy, performance, and price. You too can prolong the life of your vehicle if only you know how to properly take care of it. Here are some helpful maintenance tips for you:
- Never miss out on a scheduled maintenance service.
When you purchased your RAV4, you were surely educated about the timely care and maintenance schedules to follow. Remember that this is not some scheme of the manufacturer or your dealer to let you shell out cash. Rather, the scheduled maintenance service per mileage mark is specified to keep your Toyota vehicle in top shape and ensure your safety down the road.
- Choose and use only the right motor oil.
Sometimes you can't bring your car to the accredited service center. You would rather change the oil by yourself or get someone else to do it for you. Whichever you prefer, the most important thing to remember is to change oil as per schedule and use the specified motor oil indicated in the car owner's manual. Toyota vehicles have been designed for optimum performance, but that would only happen if the right motor oil is being used. Remember to always look for the American Petroleum Institute's (API) "Energy Conserving" logo on the motor oil container.
- The more you use your Toyota RAV4, the more you need to let it breathe.
Just like any person who travels day in and day out, your vehicle faces the same elements down the road. Road salt, dust, and dirt could accumulate and clog your air filter, which can downgrade acceleration time. When this happens, you need to consider replacing the blocked air filter with a new one.
- Don't compromise performance and efficiency with worn out parts.
Every single component of your Toyota RAV4 contributes to the delivery of its optimum performance. Tatty air filters and worn out spark plugs can significantly affect gas mileage and reduce the vehicle's supposed fuel efficiency. Thin brake pads could affect your vehicle's stopping capability. Skipping the replacement of worn out parts may compromise both your driving experience and safety. Also, there is a need for you to pay particular attention to older vehicles as they are more prone to give you trouble.
- Check your tire pressure from time to time.
You know very well the kind of work the tires perform in order to move you to places. Also, you know for a fact how relevant it is to keep your tires in good shape by doing common tasks, one of which is by maintaining the right tire pressure. Proper pressure as well as alignment not only prolong the life of your tires, but also boost your vehicle's fuel efficiency.
- Give your car a weekly bath.
Never think about washing your car as a time and effort-consuming chore. Just think about how bird droppings, dead bugs, road dirt, and chemicals could eventually penetrate onto your paint and strip away its luster over time. When washing, be sure to only use products especially formulated for cars, and not household washing detergents that could harm your paint.
Toyota RAV4: The Little SUV That Sparked a Revolution
Most often, when one tries to combine two concepts, the end result is something far less than what was there to begin with. Toyota changed all that when it came out with the RAV4, the first truly successful crossover SUV. The rationale behind the crossover was to bring together the stability, handling, and fuel economy of an automobile with the interior space, high H-point seating, clearance, and all-wheel drive capacity of an SUV—and the RAV4 pulled it all off impressively. From the time it first debuted in 1994, Toyota has only continued to improve upon this successful platform.
1994-2000: Making a splash
The first models of the RAV4 were based off the very successful Corolla brand—this gave it a reliable platform that evolved out of 28 years of development. With a 2.0-L straight-4 engine under the hood, the original RAV4 could manage an impressive 120 hp output. One could opt for front-wheel or full strength all-wheel drive, and couple it with either standard five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The RAV4 performed superbly in the first 3 years that it bagged the 1997 Automobile of the Year Award from Automobile Magazine. The year after saw a small improvement in power output, as well as the release of an environmentally friendly all-electric variant called the RAV4 EV.
2000-2005: Better and better
In mid-2000, the RAV4 came out in two new designations: the Edge and the Cruiser. They differed primarily in their appearance. The Edge had unpainted, stock-gray bumpers, side trimming, mirrors, and door handles, and featured shiny steel rims. The Cruiser, on the other hand, had all these accessories and parts painted to match the body color—it also sports alloy rims and ABS. Other than those differences, they both came in 3- or 5-door variants, and both sported a new 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT). This engine upgrade gave the RAV4 a boost in power and torque—at the expense of a small increase in fuel economy.
This five-year period saw a great deal of growth and improvement for the RAV4. In 2003, the now-popular Toyota received yet another slew of upgrades. First, new Vehicle Stability Control technology, meant to detect and reduce traction loss, was added as a standard to the braking system. Second, the engine got bumped up to a 2.4-L version of the straight-4 that gave both improvements in power (up to 161 hp) and fuel efficiency (up 2%).
2005-onward: An enduring legacy
By 2005, the RAV4 had firmly entrenched itself as a strong contender in the automotive industry. Toyota completely redesigned its amazing crossover. One of the most marked improvements was the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system. This motor-assisted steering aid made handling a breeze. The wheelbase was also extended for the American market—this helped distribute the weight more evenly, and improve both balance and steering stability. This Extended version was also larger by 21% in the interior, heftily boosting storage space.
When it came to the engine, slight improvements were made to the straight-4. The real kicker was the additional option to upgrade to a powerful 3.5-L V6 engine—the boost to 266 hp at 6200 rpm gave far more significant performance enhancement than the previous engines combined. More than that, the newest RAV4s enjoyed a lot of new technology—turn signal mirrors, satellite navigation, keyless entry, push-to-start, multifunction display, and a camera for backing up safely—with the monitor integrated into the rear-view mirror. The future is indeed bright for the RAV4, and the continuous growth through the years only promises more exciting things to come.