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Fancy a Toyota RAV4 but not quite won over by its demure cabin? The company has an answer. 

The company’s 20-year old nameplate is on track to break its all-time sales record in 2014 as more and more buyers flock to a segment it helped populate. 

And, in what is either a celebration or an auspicious piece of timing, Toyota is now offering a new Inferno burnt orange paint scheme on mid-range GXL and flagship Cruiser variants, along with ‘summery terracotta’ highlights in the doors, dash and partial-leather seats. 

Toyota appears to be keen to do what it can to spice up its core models. Camry RZ and Corolla RZ, anyone?

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Sales of the RAV4 are flying this year, with sales up 6.2 per cent. Last year’s record, in which 16,983 units were sold by year’s end, will likely be broken. Over its 20-year history in Australia, local motorists have bought 228,677 of them. No rival matches this. 

That said, the Mazda CX-5 has had the RAV’s measure in recent years. In 2014, the Mazda once again leads the pack with 18,237 sales, ahead of the Hyundai ix35 (15,028) and RAV4 (14,917). 

Still, Toyota is bold enough claim the RAV4 “paved the way for the popularity of Sports Utility Vehicles,” though Suzuki among others might (and in fact do) contest this claim to some degree. The Vitara goes back to 1988, after all. 

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In Australia, sales have grown from just 1350 in 1994 to an average of well over 14,000 a year during the past decade. On debut, RAV4 was Toyota’s first entirely new commercial-vehicle series in more than a decade.

It was notable for its monocoque construction instead of a separate chassis. It also featured four-wheel independent suspension. This differentiated it from many rivals.




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