The first two generations of RAV4 crossovers were smaller, four-cylinder-only affairs. That changed with the introduction of the third-generation vehicle: the larger, third-generation RAV4, which offers up V-6 power like its prime competitors, the Ford Escape and Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 3.5-liter V-6 engine available in the RAV4 offers an impressive 269 horsepower, making RAV4s the most powerful vehicles in their class. The standard engine is a more fuel-conscious 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 166 horsepower. All RAV4s are automatic-only, with V-6 models getting a five-speed automatic while four-cylinder versions use a four-speed automatic.
The RAV4 rides on a wheelbase that's three inches longer than the previous version, so it has substantially more interior/cargo space, including an available third-row seat and seven-passenger seating capability.
All V-6 RAV4 models, and all four-cylinder models equipped with a third-row seat, come standard with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). All-wheel drive is an option, and the version in the RAV4 integrates all-wheel drive, stability, and traction control, and electric power steering systems into a single system.
Driver and front passenger front-seat-mounted side airbags, along with first and second row roll-sensing side curtain airbags, are standard on all versions.
For 2008, the RAV4 is priced from $21,100 for the base model 2WD four-cylinder to $26,670 for the 4WD Limited V-6.
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