Toyota's giving the 2009 RAV4 crossover more power--at least in its base form.
The new RAV4 arrives in showrooms next month with a base price slightly higher than the 2008 version shown above, Toyota says. And in base four-cylinder form, there's a smidge more power to be had. A new 2.5-liter four-cylinder replaces the existing 2.4-liter engine, and as a result the RAV4 now makes 179 horsepower, up from 166 hp. Torque rises to 172 pound-feet from 165 pound-feet, and a new four-speed automatic comes with the engine. Fuel economy is 22/28 mpg with front-drive four-cylinder versions, 21/27 mpg with all-wheel-drive models. The V-6's power remains unchanged.
For the new year the RAV4 also gets a slight face-lift, mostly around the grille and bumpers, along with new taillamps. A Sport Appearance package and new wheel designs round out the cosmetic changes.
Other new standard equipment includes active front headrests and an engine immobilizer. The Limited version gets a Smart Entry keyfob that allows drivers to open the door without the key; XM satellite radio is now available, and Sport and Limited versions can be ordered with a backup camera.
Three versions of the RAV4 will be offered: Base, Sport, and Limited. The base version's sticker starts at $21,500, and the top Limited with the V-6 will sticker at $27,810 base.