The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

A carryover from last year with a few tweaks inside and out, the Toyota RAV4 has stood the test of time since debuting in 1996. Though our test-drive model was not equipped with all-wheel drive, the SUV displayed decent handling and crisp steering.
Under the hood of the compact SUV resides a 2.5-liter DOHC V-6 engine with Variable Valve Timing developing 176 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 172 pounds-feet of torque at 4100 rpm. Power is put to the road through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The bold front fascia sports projector-beam halogen headlights flanking a chrome grille with the Toyota emblem. All new are front and rear silver-skid plate garnishes. Touches of brushed metallic silver finish are evident as you slide behind the three-spoke leather tilt/telescopic steering wheel. The 60/40-split second-row seat slides fore and aft to open up plenty of legroom for passengers. Fold the seat down and you get a mammoth 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space. Storage areas are scattered throughout the cabin, including an open bin atop the glovebox, center console box, eight cup/bottle holders and overhead sunglass holder. Other notable standard amenities include dual-zone auto a/c, 4.2-inch multi-information display screen, six-way adjustable driver and four-way front-passenger seats, height-adjustable power lift gate, and moon roof.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag and driver knee airbag are standard along with side-impact door beams, four-wheel antilock brakes, Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Control, rearview camera and front and rear crumple zones are standard.
If you need to seat five in comfort behind a roomy and safe ride, equipped with a responsive power train, the RAV4 should be at the top of your list. Besides, it comes with a solid reputation for reliability and durability.

Wheelbase: 104.7 inches
Length: 181.1 inches
Suspension: independent MacPherson strut front; double-wishbone rear
Steering: electric power rack and pinion
Tires: P225/65R17
Mileage: city 24, highway 31
Fuel capacity: 15.9 gallons
Weight: 3,485 pounds
Base price: $26,270
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CALLING ALL TOYOTA DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at