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2005 Toyota RAV4

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2005 Toyota RAV4 Review

Looks like an SUV, drives like a car.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2005 Toyota RAV4 or Recreational Active Vehicle serves as Toyota’s entry into the smaller SUV market. Despite its name, the RAV4 is a nimble, sporty vehicle that feels more at home on a city street than in the back woods.

The RAV4 lacks the raw power and offroad capability of many of the SUVs on the road. The 2005 version marks one of the few SUVs of its year that does not offer an optional V-6 or V-8 engine. Instead, Toyota emphasizes factors such as driving ease and decent fuel economy in this vehicle.

Instead of being an offroad vehicle, the RAV4 actually delivers an easy and fun drive for a commuter car. It offers all-wheel drive or two-wheel drive. This car comes with a 2.4-liter engine that allows fewer fill-ups on longer trips. People looking for an SUV for commuting would be well served by the RAV4. It lacks power but more than makes up for that with superior handling, reasonable gas mileage, and easy driving.

The Range

Body Styles: four-door SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota RAV4

What's New

This vehicle features a new audio system for 2005. Toyota also introduces a new sport package that offers a slightly more luxurious trim. The sport package features improvements such as silver pedals and a mesh grille.

Exterior

RAV4 drivers get a basic exterior similar to the current generation of Land Cruisers, only smaller and a little sleeker. Features such as upswept headlights provide a classier style that looks more similar to contemporary German SUVs. Many drivers prefer the convenient size which suits city and suburban driving.

Interior

This vehicle lacks the interior space offered by larger SUVs; it only comfortably seats four adults. The 2005 RAV4 provides plenty of cargo space; with all of the seats installed, it offers 29.2 cubic feet of storage. With the back seat folded down, it offers an impressive 68.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The sport package offers a slightly more luxurious interior with silver trim.

Unlike some past models, the 2005 version comes with air-conditioning and power windows as standard features. The sound system remains pretty basic, though, and Toyota offers few electronic options on this model. There is no rear DVD system or Bluetooth available.

Overall, the RAV4 lacks luxury options. Leather seats, a rear-seat video system, and Bluetooth connectivity remain unavailable on this vehicle. Some drivers, including families with children, feel disappointed by this lack of creature comforts.

Performance & Handling

This car definitely feels underpowered for an SUV, though the 2.4-liter engine keeps up with traffic on city streets. Unfortunately, it does not generate enough torque to pull a boat or climb a steep hillside.

A tight suspension, Toyota’s VSC stability system, responsive steering, and a tight-turning radius make the RAV4 one of the best-handling SUVs in urban environments. Unlike some of the SUVs on the market, it seems easy to handle and park, even on congested city streets. Unfortunately, the features that make the RAV4 perfect for city driving make it unsuitable for offroad use. One of its best features concerns its ability to turn it in the same space as an ordinary car.

People seeking a powerful SUV to drive offroad or pull their boats to the lake should look at the Land Cruiser.

Safety

This vehicle has mixed ratings when it comes to safety. Tests find that it has a ?good? rating for protection in front-end and side collisions but a ?poor? rating in rear-end crashes. It sustains a lot of damage even in low-speed, rear-end collisions. Like most Toyotas, this vehicle offers a lot of safety features, including a VSC stability control system, four-wheel ABS, emergency braking assist, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, and tire pressure monitors. Side curtain airbags remain optional.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota RAV4: 21/27 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Better than average gas mileage
  • Stability control
  • Traction control
  • Easy steering and parking
  • Cruise control
  • Rear side mount door
  • Lots of cargo space
  • All-wheel drive

You Won't Like

  • Lacks power
  • Lacks towing capability
  • No real offroad ability
  • Lackluster sound system
  • Limited number of options available
  • High repair bills after rear-end collisions

Sum Up

Looks like an SUV, drives like a car.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Land Rover Range Rover
  • Honda CR-V
  • Suzuki Grand Vitara
  • Ford Escape
  • BMW X-5
  • Jeep Liberty
  • Toyota Land Cruiser

See the New 2015 RAV4.

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