Toyota surprises 50 millionth customer with 2013 RAV4

Article by Anita Panait, on September 3, 2013

After selling its 50 millionth car, Toyota decided to provide a little surprise to their unsuspecting target, a veteran at the New York Police Department. That customer was New York resident Michael Dee, who got the surprise during a family barbecue in Levittown, N.Y. It all started when Dee purchased a Toyota Camry earlier this year at Millennium Toyota in Hempstead, NY, not knowing that he was the carmaker’s 50 millionth customer.

Not wanting to let the sales milestone pass by, the carmaker collaborated with Dee’s family to surprise him during a family barbecue in Levittown. Dee was all too busy at the grill when Bill Fay -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division -- suddenly popped out into his backyard and presented him the title as the carmaker’s milestone customer.

The title was apparently not enough of a prize as Fay also led Dee to his driveway and handed him the keys to a new 2013 RAV4. Dee was initially speechless but soon found the words he wanted to say.

"This is phenomenal. I can't explain how much this means to my family and how grateful we are to Toyota!” He added that it was a day he will never forget. Fay remarked that they are grateful to their customers in the US for helping them achieve “a huge milestone” for the carmaker. He quipped that it was a great way for him to personally thank Toyota’s 50 millionth customer in person, who is “one of New York City's finest, no less.”

New RAV4 from Toyota is slated to offer better balance when it comes to all-around capability and performance. In addition to having a new four-cylinder fuel-efficient engine, it is paired to a new six-speed transmission. The interior reveals two rows which can accommodate five passengers who benefit from a wide range of in-cabin technologies equipped.

Cargo capacity is projected to be the best for its class and its eight airbags are included as standard. There is a variety of standard features with all of them being placed in a package having a striking design. Toyota said that three well-equipped grades will be offered for the RAV4 which are the LE, the XLE, and the Limited. As mentioned, the 2013 TAV4 will come with different powertrain technologies with the goal of being able to deliver a driving experience that is more engaging.

This includes the brand’s four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine capable of producing 176 hp at 6,000 rpm with peak torque of 172 ft.-lbs. available from 4,100 rpm. While a V6 version was offered with the previous model, it will no longer be available for the 2013 version. Meanwhile, the six-speed transmission, which comes with the Sequential Shift, serves to replace the previous version’s automatic four-speed transmission.

With this new transmission, the first and the second gear ratios have been optimized to get that exceptional around-town performance. Both the fifth and the sixth gears will serve as overdrive and will ensure that the engine revs are lower when running at highway speeds. This also helps improve the fuel mileage.

Toyota revealed that its latest crossover SUV will be making its official world debut during the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show. This will be the fourth-generation of the RAV4, which is the original crossover SUV. New units of the RAV4 are expected to arrive during the early 2013.

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