Toyota's been putting out good-looking cars lately haven't they?
There's the funky CH-R, the sharp-looking 2020 Corolla, the handsome Camry, and of course, the recently launched RAV4. It's like Toyota has made a vow to never make boring looking cars from now on, and we like them for that.
Speaking of the RAV4, this year marks the crossover's 25th year in the business. And back in 1994, it was the pioneering vehicle for the crossover wave. It was one of the first, if not the first, car to bring the concept to the masses.
So how far has the RAV4 come through the years? Let's take a look at the numbers.
All grown up
Even if you exclude the three-door models, the RAV 4 has grown quite a lot in terms of size. To put things into perspective, the first-generation five-door RAV4 is significantly smaller than a Toyota Rush with the latter being nearly 11 inches longer. At a mere 4,160 mm, the compact crossover was exactly that, small. The following model was slightly longer at 4,230 mm
It was by the third generation where the RAV4 became significantly bigger. By 2006, the RAV4 measured in at 4,620 mm. The subsequent model had a marginal increase at 4,661 mm. So is the all-new RAV4 the biggest so far? You'll be surprised to know that it is actually shorter that the last two generations at 4,595 mm.
All in all, the RAV4 has grown by over a foot and a half (435 mm), and half a foot wider (160 mm) between the first and fifth-generation. However, the one thing the RAV4 kept steady is height, hovering in the 1,650 to 1,700 mm range.
Tipping the (weighing) scales
Another department where the RAV4 has gained is in weight. Like humans, the RAV4 has put on a lot of pounds through the years. The first-generation model with all-wheel drive was an absolute flyweight at a mere 1,210 kilograms. It's actually not that far off the Vios of today, which is just 65 kilograms lighter.
In contrast, the modern RAV4 has gained a significant amount of weight. At 1533 kg, it's over 300 kg heavier than the first-generation model, and this new one is strictly two-wheel drive for the Philippines. Just imagine how much it weighs with all-wheel drive.
More pull, more power
Thankfully, the added weight is offset by the extra power under the hood. The RAV4 started out with a 2.0-liter engine, which was actually sourced from the Corona. Initially, it had 121 PS but later bumped up to 129 PS towards the end of its production. More power was added in the second-gen RAV4 with the all-new 2.0-liter engine now making 150 PS.
By the third-generation, the RAV4 went up from 2.0-liters up to 2.4-liters (the 2.4 was available in other markets in the previous version). It now had 171 PS thanks to the Camry-sourced engine. A new generation brought in a new engine. Now at 2.5-liters, the fourth-gen RAV4 made a bit more power at 180 PS. As for the all-new model, it's the most powerful RAV4 available locally yet. It's an updated version of the 2.5-liter in the previous model, but it now packs 203 PS.
But that's not the most powerful RAV4 ever. US-spec model was once available with a stonking 3.5-liter V6. How much power you ask? It had a punchy 273 PS and, in a small frame like that, it must have been a stealthy cruise missile.
After 25 years, a revolution
There's no doubt that the RAV4 has matured throughout the years. Bigger, heavier, and more powerful than before, Toyota's original crossover has kept up with the times. But one thing about the all-new RAV4 is its revolutionary redesign over its predecessors. Whereas the older models sided towards a more conservative look, the all-new one looks like no other RAV4 before it, and we applaud Toyota for that.
Of course, we didn't forget about the three-door model, and we're sad that Toyota stopped offering it after the second-generation. Perhaps that's the price of growing up. Still, if you do fancy one, there's always the second-hand market for the first-generation three-door, and we say it looks pretty cool next to the new one.
Rose-tinted glasses aside, the all-new RAV4 has features and specs unimaginable back in 1994. Who would've thought that the humble crossover would come with an infotainment system, digital vehicle info display, power seats with memory, and wireless mobile phone charging. If anything, the RAV4 has evolved quite a lot through the years, and has a revolutionary new design to go along with it.