TOYOTA RAV4 CONVERTIBLE (OVERVIEW, PHOTOS & MORE)

Do you remember the Toyota RAV4 convertible? For a brief, shining moment between 1996 and 2000, Toyota sold a soft-top version of its popular RAV4 small SUV. This rare collector’s item has mostly faded into obscurity, but the RAV4 convertible deserves recognition as a fun and unique chapter in Toyota’s history.

In this blog post, we’ll look back on the strange story of the Toyota RAV4 convertible. We’ll cover the model’s short production run, its stand-out features, and what makes it different from the standard RAV4. We’ll also discuss why Toyota discontinued it and where you can buy one today. Strap in and prepare to soak up the sun while we take a nostalgic cruise down memory lane in the oddball Toyota RAV4 convertible!

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OVERVIEW

TOYOTA RAV4 CONVERTIBLE

The Toyota RAV4 convertible was a unique offering in the late 1990s. Produced between 1998 and 2000, this two-door soft top allowed for open-air driving thanks to a power-retractable rear roof section.

Although not a total convertible, front-seat passenger could also revel in ample daylight from a sizeable removable sunroof. The rear seating space and cargo capacity were relatively modest, with the top-up at just 6.1 cubic feet. Folded down, capacity expanded to 18.4 cubic feet.

This versatile RAV4 configuration attracted those seeking a vehicle at home in the urban jungle or off-road adventures. Its blend of style, utility, and Toyota reliability made it appealing for daily commutes or weekend recreation.

Other contemporary small convertible SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Tracker, and Suzuki Sidekick offered alternatives. But for a brief period, the convertible rav4’s unique formula generated devoted fans. While discontinued in 2000 due to slow sales initially, its quirky character has only grown in cult status.

PHOTOS

TOYOTA RAV4 CONVERTIBLE

TOYOTA RAV4 CONVERTIBLE

TOYOTA RAV4 CONVERTIBLE

SPECIFICATIONS

Engine and Performance

  • Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 127 hp
  • Torque: 132 lb-ft

The RAV4 convertible comes equipped with a 2.0 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine. This provides adequate power with 127 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The torque output allows the vehicle to accelerate and merge comfortably.

Design and Styling

  • Body style: 2-door convertible
  • Convertible design: The rear soft top section folds down
  • Seating capacity: 2-seater

This RAV4 model features a unique convertible design with a soft top that folds down in the back section. This allows the rear passengers to enjoy open-air driving. As a 2-door convertible, it seats 2 passengers comfortably.

Pricing

  • MSRP: $17,100

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Toyota Rav 4 convertible starts at a reasonable $17,100 before any options, taxes, or fees. This positions it as an affordable convertible option in the market.

Fuel Efficiency

  • City MPG: 24
  • Highway MPG: 29

Fuel economy is decent for the segment, with an EPA-rated 24 MPG in city driving and 29 MPG on the highway. This allows drivers to save on fuel costs with the top-up.

Transmission

  • Transmission: 5-speed manual

The only transmission option offered is a smooth-shifting 5-speed manual gearbox. This allows enthusiasts to enjoy sporty driving dynamics with the control of a manual.

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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

The convertible RAV4 is a rare and surprising gem within the range of RAV4 models. Many were unaware of its existence until they stumbled upon photos of it proudly displayed on various online forums. The comments section is filled with admiration and compliments from fellow enthusiasts, reflecting the positive outlook that RAV4 convertible owners and fans have about this unique model.

One user, JulienPier, expressed their admiration for a fellow user’s Toyota Rav 4 convertible on the rav4world forum, wanting to write a poem about its beauty and wishing theirs was also a convertible. Another user, CallMeMattF, referred to it as the Best edition of the Rav4 ever while posting on Reddit.

These interactions highlight the enthusiasm and appreciation surrounding the convertible RAV4 among those who have discovered its existence. Despite being an uncommon SUV variant, it has garnered a devoted following.

WHERE TO BUY

The convertible RAV4, although out of production for over 20 years, can still be found through auctions or private sellers. Kelley Blue Book lists the fair market value between $2,098 and $3,195, with an average price of $3,457 for a used RAV4 convertible with around 150,000 miles. These models are becoming increasingly rare these days. Auction sites like classic.com and platforms like Facebook Marketplace may offer potential options for interested buyers. Some owners have even found their RAV4 convertibles at estate sales, showcasing the diverse ways to acquire this sought-after vehicle.

IS THIS THE BEST RAV4 GENERATION?

The rarity of the convertible RAV4 undoubtedly adds to its appeal, creating a sense of exclusivity that few other vehicles can match. For those lucky enough to own one, it’s not just about driving a car; it’s about owning a piece of automotive history. The fact that production has ceased only adds to this unique model’s mystique, making it even more coveted by enthusiasts and collectors alike.

When you consider the timeless design and functionality of the convertible RAV4, it’s easy to see why it continues to capture the imagination of so many people. Its classic appearance refers to an era when cars were built with character and style in mind. Whether cruising along coastal roads with the top down or embarking on an off-road adventure, this vehicle embodies a spirit of freedom and individuality that is hard to come by in today’s automotive landscape. If you’re fortunate enough to have the opportunity to experience this rare gem firsthand, you’ll quickly understand why it holds such a special place in the hearts of RAV4 aficionados everywhere.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE LEGENDARY CONVERTIBLE RAV4

The RAV4 convertible, produced between 1996 and 2000, stands out as a unique and versatile option in the SUV market. Its two-door soft top design provides an open-air driving experience unmatched by many other models. The ability to put the roof down in the backseat, along with the optional sunroof removal for the driver and front passenger, adds a sense of freedom and adventure to every journey.

This classic model has garnered considerable attention online and continues to be highly sought after by RAV4 enthusiasts. With its rarity making ownership a unique privilege, it’s no wonder that a dedicated community of fans celebrates this convertible RAV4. While some may argue that it’s not Toyota’s best model overall, there’s no denying its unique appeal as a prized gem in the brand’s history.

FAQs

What years did Toyota make the RAV4 convertible?

The Toyota RAV4 convertible was produced from 1996 to 2000. It was a unique and rare version of the popular RAV4 model, featuring a soft-top roof and a distinctive design.

Is the Toyota RAV4 expensive?

The Toyota RAV4 is priced at $28,475, which aligns with its competitors in the compact SUV segment. 
While other options may be available, it offers good value for its features and reliability. 

Is RAV4 noisy?

Yes, the RAV4 can be noisy at higher speeds, with noticeable road and wind noise. Some drivers find it louder than expected than other vehicles in its class.