Every automaker has one or two models that perform better than all others, allowing them to survive, month after month. At Toyota, those vehicles are the Corolla and the RAV4. The profits made on these models are more modest than they are on say, a Lexus, but based on volume, the gains are definitely interesting. In July, 2014, sales of the Corolla and the RAV4 increased by 17.8 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively. Toyota Canada also had a record month for sales of it's trucks, and the RAV4 is no stranger to this phenomena. Toyota Canada is giving the Toyota RAV4 to the creator of a non-profit project, Great Canadian Journey, so that he can discover interesting Canadian destinations, as well as artists, culinary specialties of some lesser known locations, and more. The tour, which will last for two months, will also highlight the qualities of the Toyota RAV4 on long road trips.
You've probably never encountered one, but since 2012, Toyota has been building an electric version of it's RAV4 utility vehicle. Mainly sold in California, 1,594 of the electrical variation of the popular SUV have been sold since 2012. It's no surprise that the RAV4's battery and the engine come from Tesla. Toyota owns 2.4 percent of the Palo Alto, California company's stock. However, last week Tesla announced that Toyota will be ending it's $100 million contract earlier than planned. In May 2012, Toyota committed to buying the components for 2,600 electric RAV4s from Tesla over three years.
The SUV segment has been around for some time, and the Toyota RAV4 remains one of the originals; the latest version of which is expected to attract a lot of customers looking for this type of vehicle. The RAV4 enjoys a popularity that continues to grow, and Toyota expects a surge in sales with the new 2014 model, sales volume that is expected to exceed 200,000 units.
The Toyota RAV4 has some competitors, mainly the Ford Escape, Honda CRV, Kia Sportage and the Nissan Rogue. To make the 2014 vintage even more attractive, Toyota is offering free regular maintenance on the SUV for a period of 2 years or 40,000 km, whichever comes first. This offer applies to the LE, XLE and Limited versions, of which prices range from $23,000 to $27,010.
The fourth generation of the Toyota RAV4 offers many new changes, both inside and out of the small SUV. The first thing that you notice is the disappearance of the spare wheel attached to the rear of the vehicle, which has now been replaced by an integrated spoiler. Another noticeable change, this time under the hood of the 2014 RAV4 is the disappearance of the previous generation's V6 engine, which has been replaced by a more fuel efficient but less powerful 2.5 litre four-cylinder, offering 176 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. For a vehicle weighing more than 2,000 kg (4,500 lbs) it's a bit of a lightweight- the 2014 RAV4 cannot tow more than 680 kg (1,500 pounds). It's competition does much better in this area, especially the new Ford Escape and it's 2-litre, 240 horsepower EcoBoost engine that has comparable fuel consumption numbers but offers more in terms of power and flexibility.
Here's what you need to know about the 2023 Toyota Sienna Hybrid AWD, a minivan we drove for a week in freezing temperatures and through a snowstorm. Read our Auto123 review of the 2023 Toyota Sienna Hybrid AWD.