No longer, in either regard. With the 2006 RAV4, Toyota has caught up. There's a new, 269-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine coupled to a new, five-speed automatic. And there's an optional third row of seats that, by the way, folds into the floor, leaving a flat cargo space that holds almost five more cubic feet of stuff than the '05 model. The Toyota RAV4 is also available with the tried and true four cylinder that powered the '05, but with an added five horses under the hood. Buyers also have the choice of front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, just as before.
The RAV has been completely restyled for 2006, inside and out, although functionality has been maintained. The Toyota RAV4 has been a standard-setter virtually from its inception. And the exterior is fresh, less flashy, with fewer styling gimmicks. But the same can't be said for the interior, where some of the updating appears not to have been so much an improvement as a change to something different, while still just as good as before.
The 2006 Toyota RAV4 is a mix, then, of best, better and good, but with one reservation: the V6 seems almost too much for the package, as if in catching up, Toyota leapt too far ahead. It's a good, solid engine, and it adds substantially to the RAV4's capabilities. It has to haul as many as seven people, for instance, and it raises the tow rating to as high as 3,500 pounds. But as it's engineered for the 2006 RAV4, it just might be more than was needed. In other words, the new Toyota RAV4 really scoots with the V6.
The JB car pages provide engine and transmission specs, as well as gas mileage and dimensions for all 2006 Toyota RAV4 versions. In addition, please find information on the various trims of the 2006 Toyota RAV4 and their standard equipment and their prices below.