In the year 1994, the Japanese multinational automaker Toyota Motor Corporation produced the Toyota RAV4, a car model that has come to be known as the first compact crossover sport utility vehicle or SUV. This was sold in the Japanese and European markets both in the year 1994, whereas North American sales began only in 1996.
The RAV4, which stands for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive has a front engine, front wheel drive or front engine, all wheel drive layout. The first generation RAV4, also called the XA10, was manufactured in 1994 and is created as a three door SUV, a five door SUV, and a three door convertible. This has a five speed manual and a four speed automatic transmission, and it is manufactured in Aichi, Japan and in Laguna, Philippines.
The second generation or the XA20 was manufactured in 2000 until 2005 as a three door and five door SUV. This is available in the same transmissions as the first generation. The XA30 or the third generation was released in 2005 until 2012, and this is a five door wagon that is assembled in more places including Japan, Canada, Philippines, and China. The current version is the fourth generation, which was first displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2012 and will be marketed in 2013. A variant of the car, the RAV4 EV, is the electric variant of the Toyota RAV4 and is produced from 1997 until 2003.