Since its debut in late 2017, the fifth generation of the Toyota RAV4 has dominated the SUV/crossover segment by being the top-selling U.S. model among a massive pool of competitors year after year. Clearly, Toyota has found what appeals to American families and captured it in the current-gen RAV4. What’s the secret to this compact, two-row SUV’s success, and what can you expect when you buy one from Motor Inn of Spirit Lake?
The Toyota RAV4 has been around since the Japanese automaker first launched it in 1994. It broke ground by being the first-ever compact crossover SUV that used the underpinnings of the popular Corolla sedan with the body design of an SUV. In fact, the model’s name is an acronym for “Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive,” as the vehicle was available with either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
The RAV4 essentially paved the way for crossover utility vehicles to become the standard for most small families today in the United States. The RAV4 entered its most successful period yet, finding global success as it entered its fifth generation. Annual sales doubled from 2013 to 2019, becoming the best-selling SUV of any type in the world that year. It became a well-rounded crossover that offered everyday practicality, value, and utility for the average American household.
What made the fifth generation of the RAV4 so popular among American shoppers? Toyota heard the feedback from prior RAV4 buyers and overhauled the SUV to deliver what people demanded most. Engineers improved on-road comfort, handling, and visibility — which were big priorities for Americans who used their vehicle in a mix of suburban and rural settings.
Improvements like a stiffer unibody chassis and multi-link rear suspension made the RAV4 an exceptionally comfortable SUV to drive now, whether you were on the highway or a gravel road. And that’s still true today in current RAV4 models; you’ll be impressed by how comfortable riding in this SUV is!
A highlight that set the RAV4 apart was the introduction of Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD. This form of all-wheel drive sends torque to the rear-left and rear-right wheels independently as needed, which was leagues beyond what an ordinary AWD system in the industry could do. And, Multi Terrain Select mode gave the SUV improved traction across a variety of environments.
Toyota was one of the earliest automakers to begin including driver-assist functions as standard features on its vehicles. So, you can find many fifth-generation RAV4 models with Toyota Safety Sense features. In addition, the RAV4 has proudly received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA every year it has been evaluated in crash-test assessments.
Even with such improvements, Toyota aimed to keep the RAV4 affordable for families of all income levels. The base MSRP for a new RAV4 from 2018-2024 has been under $30,000, and Toyota models like the RAV4 tend to retain their value well over time, making them a great investment.
Throughout the generation, Toyota produced a greater variety of trim levels for the RAV4. This diversity made it easier for shoppers like you to find a RAV4 configuration that fit their budget, style, and tech priorities. For example, the TRD Off-Road version equipped the RAV4 with its most popular all-terrain upgrades.
Most fifth-generation RAV4 models have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. In addition, Toyota has produced hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions that utilize electric energy for improved fuel economy.
The RAV4 Hybrid uses a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack to bolster the SUV’s propulsion while burning less gas, and the RAV4 Prime PHEV uses a differently-tuned engine and dual electric motors for short all-electric range and a total system output reaching 302 horsepower.
To this day, the Toyota RAV4 continues to flaunt rugged looks and rugged performance to match. Hop on the bandwagon and become one of the many people — including here in Spirit Lake — who own a Toyota RAV4. Visit our dealership, where we always have new and used RAV4 models for sale in Dickinson County.