The New 2004 RAV4

You have seen the ‘story’ many times before: a sluggish selling product is given a mid-life makeover that amounts to little more than a new front grille and a bigger badge on the tailgate. Where the RAV4 is concerned, there is no attempt to weave a silk purse from a sow’s ear. For a start, more than 1.4 million have been built since RAV4 first broke cover in 1994 and it is firmly established as Europe’s best-selling SUV. In 2003 in the UK sales have soared by more than 18 per cent on last year’s figures, an increase that has largely been driven by the continuing success of the 2.0-litre D-4D diesel versions, available since August 2000.

Continuous improvement is a principle central to all Toyota’s activities, so rather than resting on its laurels, it has revised the RAV4 to achieve higher levels of comfort, safety and performance. As well as improving specifications across the board, it has re-tuned the suspension and steering and developed the 2.0-litre VVT-i petrol engine to meet Euro IV emissions standards, well ahead of their 2005 implementation. Yes, there is a new front grille and light clusters, but the improvements to the RAV4 go beyond simply making it look more stylish to create a vehicle that has greater market appeal than ever before.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 30/09/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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