Toyota’s RAV4 has capped off a third successive year of record sales by becoming the first vehicle in its class to post 250,000 sales in Australia.
The quarter-of-a-million milestone confirms RAV4 as the best-selling SUV in this country since it debuted on the local market in 1994.
Australian motorists have bought 250,354 examples of the popular Toyota – a total that is almost 40,000 higher than the nearest rival in its segment.
The RAV4 tally includes all-time high sales for the Toyota of 18,435 vehicles in 2015, making it Toyota’s best-selling SUV in Australia for the year.
Last year’s total was 1.5 per cent higher than the previous best result of 18,160 deliveries set in 2014. This, in turn, was 6.9 per cent ahead of the 2013 record-setting total of 16,983 vehicles.
Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the original RAV4 was at the forefront of an industry-wide boom in sales of vehicles with off-road capability and car-like ride and handling.
“RAV4’s arrival heralded a new era in the automotive world by paving the way for the popularity of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) – a segment that continues to grow at a phenomenal rate,” Mr Cramb said.
“Today, SUVs account for more than one-third of the total Australian market, surging to an incredible total of more than 400,000 sales last year – more than double the number sold just six years earlier,” he said.
Mr Cramb said a substantially upgraded RAV4 range launched in December would add to the momentum of RAV4 sales in 2016.
“RAV4 buyers will appreciate its bolder exterior styling, quieter interior and the addition of new features, including an available package of integrated active safety and driver assistance technologies.”
The newly developed features, standard on Cruiser and included in an optional advanced safety pack for GXL with CVT or automatic transmissions, also includes Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and front parking sensors.
RAV4 has grown in popularity during its time in Australia. Just 1,350 were sold in its first year. It passed the 10,000-mark for the first time in 2001. Sales during the past decade have averaged 15,200 a year.
Cumulative RAV4 sales in Australia reached 100,000 vehicles in 2006 and passed the 200,000 mark in 2013.
The name RAV-FOUR (for Recreational Active Vehicle Four-wheel drive) first appeared on a small 4WD concept shown at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show. The production version – named RAV4 – made its debut at the Tokyo show in 1993 and was released in Australia the following year.
Today’s RAV4 is offered with three four-cylinder engines, starting with a 107kW 2.0-litre petrol for the two-wheel drive (2WD) variants.
All-wheel drive (AWD) versions can be specified with a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine that develops 340Nm of torque, or a 2.5-litre petrol engine that develops 132kW.
The 2WD RAV4 is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox or Toyota’s Multidrive S continuously variable automatic transmission that also provides a sporty, sequential seven-speed mode.
Petrol AWD variants are fitted with a six-speed multi-mode sequential-shift automatic while diesel AWD RAV4 offers the choice of the six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.
RAV4 features Toyota’s advanced AWD technology, Dynamic Torque Control AWD. It uses information from speed, steering-angle and yaw-rate sensors to control torque transfer between the front and rear wheels.
RAV4 is priced from $27,990* for the petrol 2WD (GX manual), from $32,990 for petrol AWD (GX auto) and from $35, 990 for turbo-diesel AWD (GX manual). Higher-specified GXL and Cruiser grades are also available.
The optional GXL advanced safety pack is $2,500.
Every new RAV4 is covered by Toyota Service Advantage capped-price servicing at a maximum of $180 per service*.
*Maximum payable for standard scheduled logbook servicing (normal operating conditions) until first of 3 years or 60,000km (whichever occurs first) (up to the first 6 services). Excludes government & rental vehicles. Contact your Toyota Dealer or go to toyota.com.au/advantage for other exclusions, eligibility and full details.