First launched in 1994, Toyota's nicely executed RAV4 was an instant hit in the rapidly-developing compact SUV segment.
The segment has grown since then and so has the RAV which now offers a V6 engine.
Toyota Rav4 On the road
Always a modern, good-looker, the original RAV4 was launched as a three-door wagon and was powered by Toyota's venerable 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. The leader of the two-model range was the 'Cruiser' - an association with Toyota's market leading full-size SUV the LandCruiser.
RAV's five-door model first appeared in 1995 and as well as providing comfortable seating for five, luggage space was 40 per cent more than the three-door.
There was a facelift in 2002 and the larger 2.4-litre engine debuted in 2004.
RAV's current larger body arrived in 2007 with more interior space for passengers and luggage plus the 3.5-litre V6 engine.
As a used vehicle, RAVs make for good buying. Most have been used as suburban family vehicles, rarely venturing off-road.
RAVs make an ideal vehicle as second family cars or for those considering their first SUV.
Toyota Rav4 What to look for
Do check-out the underneath for signs of off-road damage and check the condition of the interior for wear and tear caused by families - installation of child seats etc.
In your road test, check the vehicle is tracking straight, especially under braking and listen for any crunches or groans as you turn slow corners or over speed bumps. If there are unusual noises, this could indicate problems with the differential or driveshafts.
Make sure the RAV starts easily and quickly settles to a smooth idle. Check for signs of exhaust smoke on start-up and under hard acceleration.
Some RAVs have been sold as rental vehicles, so ask to see the service records to ascertain the history of any model you may be considering.
Toyota Rav4 Indicative Prices
|Model/Year||Poor Condition||Good Condition|
|2003 5D Auto||$14,500||$21,300|
|2005 5D Auto||$18,900||$26,900|