The term was not a arrangement of first letters, but stood for the phonetics of the English term for 'rough'. It belie a bit about the inconsistency of this car, the on the one hand wanted to be a permanent all-wheel and on the other hand had a slightly throttled, but yet rather sporty limousine engine.
In fact, the short wheelbase, the ground clearance and the short overhangs seemed to be designed for bad roads. And that its construction was not based on the conventional SUVs such as the big brother Land Cruiser, could even be considered an advantage. After all, the self-supporting body and the lack of ladder-type frame helped to save weight.
We have viewed here the brochure of the second generation, in order to document the pleasing construction of the (permanent) all-wheel drive derived from the transverse engine. But in real driving conditions, the RAV4 proved to be more manageable in normal traffic. Not only the number of revolutions requiring motor, the direct steering and the nearly neutral handling also thanks to independent suspension predestined it for this purpose.
As we know today, this car was a success together with the four-door the appeared a year later. There must still be something added, which is reflected in the colourful seats and paneling. Obviously, the RAV4 had conquered the hearts of a clientele for the 173 liter luggage compartment for 4 persons was enough. The open-air version added later pointed in the direction of lifestyle. 11/14