Toyota Motor Corporation, a Japanese auto manufacturer that is part of one of the largest companies in the world, has an extensive portfolio of automobile models. And a with a fine-tuned lineup of passenger vehicles, at least some of which are suitable for the automotive needs of nearly every country in the world, there is also an extensive and historical list of Toyota sport utility vehicle models. Toyota Motor Company was founded in 1937, even though it produced its first automobile a year earlier, in 1936. Toyota Motor Company is the parent company of several other vehicle brands, including the sporty Scion brand and the premium Lexus brand, and Toyota has stakes in several other automotive manufacturers, as well. Toyota’s extensive experience in the automotive industry has led to the development of many models of Toyota sport utility vehicles, some of which have been sold continuously for decades.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the most popular Toyota sport utility vehicles, and it is the longest running model in the history of the Toyota Motor Company. The Land Cruiser, a full size, four-wheel-drive sport utility vehicle inspired by military trucks, entered production in 1951. Primarily known as an SUV, the Land Cruiser has also been available in various forms such as utility trucks, convertibles, and station wagons. The strength and longevity of the Toyota Land Cruiser has made it a target of competing sport utility vehicle manufacturers. Another long-running vehicle in the Toyota SUV range is the 4Runner, a mid size sport utility vehicle that Toyota introduced in 1984. The first generation of the 4Runner was basically a Toyota pickup truck with a fiberglass body, but the 4Runner has come a long way. The Toyota 4Runner is still built at Toyota assembly facilities in Japan and Brazil. There are other full size and mid size Toyota sport utility vehicles that have rounded out the lineup over the years, including the Venza, Highlander, FJ Cruiser, and Sequoia.
The Toyota sport utility vehicle range is also supplemented by a few crossover SUV models. The Toyota RAV4 is one such option, and it is recognized as the first compact crossover. Toyota introduced the RAV4 in its domestic market of Japan, as well as in Europe, in 1994. Export to North America followed in 1995. Not all examples of the RAV4 are equipped with four-wheel drive, which was actually one of the model’s early selling points, because the RAV4 offered potential customers the choice. The Toyota RAV4 is often considered a catalyst for the crossover SUV category, paving the way for healthy competition.