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The original crossover, the Toyota Rav4, was redesigned for the 2006 model year. It's actually substantially longer than the previous version. The new version loses the plastic cladding on its lower half.
It also offers an optional third row of seating. They're not the most comfortable seats, but they make the Rav4 an option for a broader range of buyers.
"If you need to have a couple extra seats once in a great while you're not stuck buying a minivan or an SUV," said Mark McCready, director of pricing for Carsdirect.com.