It’s hard for me to believe the Toyota RAV4 is already 17 years old. It was such a smash hit when it was introduced and continues to be very popular. My neighbors own a mid 2000’s model and love it. So theirs is a Generation 2 model which was made from 2000 to 2005 with the 1AZ-FE engine and a 5 speed.
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Anyway, the vehicle was designed for folks wanting a vehicle that had the main benefits of SUVs, such as increased cargo room, higher visibility, and the option of four-wheel drive, along with the good drive-ability 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.
The first generation RAV4 was termed XA10 by the factory and only had 1 motor offered in the USA at the time. A 4 cylinder 2 liter gasoline engine. Toyota kept it simple and I like that. It’s a benefit for the owner as well.
Generation 2 models used the engine mentioned in the first paragraph, 1AZ-FE and a 2.4 liter gas motor called the 2AZ-FE. Also offered a 2 liter diesel engine, 1CD-FTV, an inline 4 cylinder engine.
The AZ engine family are all inline all aluminum block and DOHC head to save weight. Saving weight is one of the secrets auto makers use to increase fuel economy and reduce wear. I’m a believer in saving weight as an effective way to add life to the entire car.
In 2006 the third generation Toyota RAV4 came out with a new and larger engine lineup. The body was redesigned a bit for a more modern look. Toyota decided to add more engines to the lineup. Let me list them here:
1. 2.0 L 1AZ-FE Inline 4
2. 2.2 L 2AD-FTV turbodiesel I4
3. 2.2 L 2AD-FHV D-CAT turbodiesel I4
4. 2.4 L 2AZ-FE I4
5. 2.5 L 2AR-FE I4
6. 3.5 L 2GR-FE V-6
The 2AR-FE is of the AR engine family. The 2.5 liter engine was first introduced in 2008 for the RAV4. The 2GR-FE is a V6 engine, as is all of the GR engines. This engine is only for front wheel drive vehicles. We call this type of FWD setup a “transverse ” mounting system.
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