The Japanese SUV has passed a new milestone but its popularity has lengthened the queue for hybrid variants.
- shares

One of the world's most popular compact SUVs, the Toyota RAV4, has passed a major milestone, clocking up more than 10 million sales globally – including more than 336,000 in Australia – over five generations in the 26 years since 1994.

The Toyota RAV4 clocked up its first 1 million sales globally in 2001, just seven years after going on sale, passed the five million mark in 2013, when the cumulative tally eclipsed 5.2 million, and has accelerated ever since. While it took Toyota 19 years to sell the first five million RAV4s, it only took seven years to sell the next five million.

Last year alone, more than 965,000 Toyota RAV4s were sold – nearly 10 per cent of its entire cumulative sales. This figure brought the tally of Toyota RAV4s sold globally to 10,080,834 by the end of February 2020.

In Australia, the Toyota RAV4 has enjoyed eight years in a row of continuous sales increases, and so far this year demand is up by 78 per cent.

Unfortunately, the success of the Toyota RAV4 has turned out to be a double-edged sword, with many customers becoming frustrated with delays of up to 10 months for certain hybrid variants.

Last week, Toyota Australia pledged to review its ordering system after an investigation by CarAdvice – with the help of a Facebook page dedicated to delays in RAV4 Hybrid cars – showed that some customers were receiving their vehicles in four weeks while others were waiting almost a year, and that it is next to impossible for potential buyers to know which dealers were receiving the biggest allocations.

Toyota was one of the few automotive brands in Australia to increase sales in March despite a market slowdown caused by coronavirus lockdowns.

As a sign of our changing taste in cars, the Toyota RAV4 SUV has outsold the Toyota Corolla hatch and sedan for the past two months in a row, and leads its sibling in the year-to-date tally.