Like or lump the advent of the SUV, one has to pay applause to the vehicle that kicked off the trend. And that's the humble Toyota RAV4.
While sales of the RAV4 have never necessarily dipped since it hit the market in 1994, they reached new heights last year with the worldwide launch of its fifth generation.
Lauded worldwide for its affordable hybrid option, space, and vast improvement over the fourth generation, the RAV4 scooped up a bunch of awards (including our AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year People's Choice and SUV of the year awards).
It also sold in high numbers, with Australian and New Zealand hybrid buyers in particular forced onto a lengthy waiting list as global demand surged. And, that surge in demand has resulted in the RAV4's global sales ticking over 10 million units; 10,080,834 sales recorded at the end of February 2020.
That number naturally pales in comparison to the over 44 million Toyota Corollas that have been sold worldwide (the compact is still the best selling car ever made). But, the number only really tells some of the story.
The way that the RAV4's numbers have evolved echoes the growth of the SUV sector. It took five years for Toyota to sell the first million, and another 12 years to get to five million sales in 2013.
With demand for SUVs well and truly picking up since then, it's no surprise that the second five million sales globally has only taken seven years to accomplish. Almost one million RAV4s were reportedly sold last year alone.
Article originally published on Driven.co.nz.
Images from Toyota NZ.