1 Oct 2003
By CHRIS HARRIS
The second-generation RAV4’s main weak point was comprehensively addressed with the introduction of the facelifted MY04 model.
Out went the eager (but stretched, especially in auto guise) 110kW 2.0 for a new 120kW/224Nm 2.4-litre DOHC 16V VVT-i 2AZ-FE four-cylinder engine, bringing the nimble Toyota in line with the torquier Nissan X-Trail, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester rivals.
Improved safety, steering, handling, refinement and equipment levels were also implemented across the range that now read two and four-door wagon base CV (replacing Edge) and luxury Cruiser models.
The latter also includes anti-lock brakes and the option of stability and traction control. A new grille, headlights, front bumper and tail-lights are the tell-tale signs outside, while better seats and a revised centre console, steering wheel and seat trim make up the quieter and more refined interior.
Full-time 4WD with a viscous-coupled centre differential continued.