The Toyota RAV4 is a Crossover SUV from Toyota. It was the first compact crossover SUV, introduced in Japan and Europe in 1994 and beginning sales in North America in 1996. The vehicle was designed for consumers wanting a vehicle that had most of the benefits of SUVs, such as increased cargo room, higher visibility, and the option of full-time four-wheel drive, along with the maneuverability and better fuel economy of a smaller car. Its name stands for 'Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive', although not all RAV4s have four-wheel drive, which is optional in some countries. The early success of the RAV4 paved the way for other compact SUVs such as the Ford Escape and the Subaru Forester. In most countries, the RAV4 is the only compact SUV from Toyota. In other markets, it is the crossover counterpart of the FJ Cruiser. Since the 2006 third generation model, Toyota has offered both short- and long-wheelbase versions of the RAV4.
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