The Toyota RAV4 Has More Than Doubled Its Sales Over the Past Decade

The Toyota RAV4 was the very first compact SUV ever sold from the automaker and has been a staple in the Toyota lineup since 1994.  Combining 4-wheel-drive practicality and fun-to-drive performance, it helped make the compact SUV one of the U.S.’s most popular car segments. In fact, the RAV4 has been so successful for Toyota that it’s sales have more than doubled over the past decade.

Rapid sales growth of the RAV4

According to, sales of the Toyota RAV4 have grown steadily over the years. In the United States alone, Toyota sold 448,068 RAV4s in 2019. Compare this to 149,088 units sold in 2009. That is a tremendous leap in just 10 years.

During that time, the RAV4 has been redesigned five times to become the sleek, capable vehicle it is today. Car and Driver reported that the RAV4 became the best-selling non-truck in the U.S. in 2018, and the all-new fifth-generation version did it again in 2019. The RAV4 has beat out the second-best Honda CR-V year after year, a testament to Toyota’s reputation for quality. 

The rise of the compact SUV

The sales growth of the Toyota RAV4 has been on par with the overall sales growth of the compact SUV market. It has become the largest segment in the United States based on sales, hanging on to over 24.4 percent of the United State’s overall vehicle sales. That says a lot about how the first RAV4 catered to a previously unknown market, those looking for the capability of an SUV without the gas-guzzling size and power.

Drivers love compact SUVs for their expandable cargo space, car-like handling, better fuel economy, elevated view of the road, safety features, passenger space, and sporty design. 

The 2020 Toyota RAV4

Toyota’s legendary quality shines through in the 2020 Toyota RAV4. It’s a capable vehicle that has a wider stance and expanded wheelbase. Its redesigned exterior has a rugged look with sharp creases and flared fenders. The new RAV4 is feature-packed, with a 4-cylinder engine kicking out 203 hp, giving drivers plenty of acceleration when they need it. The engine is mated to an eight-speed electronically controlled transmission, and it features three distinct drive modes to suit your mood and the driving conditions.

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 has all the multi-media and connectivity features you expect in a modern vehicle, including an 8-inch touchscreen that connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth. The RAV4 is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which put all the aspects of your day from text messages to your calendar right at your fingertips while driving. The 2020 Toyota RAV4 is also linked with Amazon’s Alexa, so you can have your digital assistant along for the ride to take care of everything you need via voice commands.

RAV4 safety

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime on display during the AutoMobility LA event
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 | MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

Another thing buyers love about this popular compact SUV is its long list of safety features. The RAV4 boasts Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 and includes a vast array of passive and active safety technology that keeps the driver and occupants protected. These include a full pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, and even road sign assist that reads signs for you. The Toyota RAV4 has eight airbags and the star safety system which is a suite of six different performance safety features like traction control.

Overall, the Toyota RAV4 is one of the Japanese car maker’s best-selling vehicles for a combination of reasons. Toyota’s reputation for quality, the popularity of the compact SUV segment that the RAV4 created, and the long list of standard features in the fifth-generation version are all reasons it will continue to be one of the best-selling vehicles on the road.