Toyota cars have always been a popular choice for vehicles down under and the RAV4 is no exception. RAV4 stands for Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive. These cars came out back in 1994 to fill a gap in the market for people that wanted the fuel consumption and manoeuvrability of a small car but the functionality of an SUV such as higher visibility, bigger boot space and a four-wheel drive option. RAV4s have seen numerous generations over the years and are still manufacturing today, with features varying in models sold across different countries. A model that you find in Australia may be different from a model that you find in New Zealand or America.
The second generation RAV4s were on sale between 2000 and 2005. They were available in three or five door models with the Edge and Cruiser models the most popular in Australia. Both had 2.0 litre four-cylinder engines, but the Cruiser had ABS brakes with painted bumpers, mouldings, door handles and alloy wheels, while the Edge had unpainted bumpers, mirrors and door handles with steel rims. The RAV4 was the most popular SUV in Australia in 2001.
Third generation RAV4s were released from 2005 to 2012 in two versions, either short wheelbase or long wheelbase models. The long wheelbase model sold exclusively in Australia.
The fourth generation of RAV4s had a complete facelift in 2013 and is what is on sale today in dealerships. The new generation have different engine choices along with transmissions of six-speed manual, CVT, and six-speed automatic.
When buying a private seller RAV4, always see the car first before you commit. It is always a good idea to see the paperwork of any previous mechanical work and check how many owners the car has had before you. Take the car for a test drive so you check for any signs that the car is not operating correctly. You don't want to purchase a car for a good price that is going to need thousands of dollars of repair work done. Also make sure to check the interior and exterior of the car for damage and check all seatbelts are working.