The Car Connection got a crack at the new RAV4 and came upon some interesting things to chat about before the vehicle hits dealerships, namely the seating configuration. A third row of seats? For the RAV4? Are they serious!? The little people mover that revitalized the compact SUV as we know it is moving out of compact territory. It's been stretched a mere 14 inches to make room for the sixth and seventh rider, but that puts it into Highlander territory — there's a mere 2 inch difference in wheel base and a negligible weight difference. Toyota says the increases result in a interior space that's 20 percent better than its predecessor. Also of note for the 2006 model is an optional V6 engine pulled from the Avalon, which pushes output up to 269 horses. We suppose this means we'll eventually see another small SUV from Toyota, perhaps branded by Scion, to replace the once small RAV4.

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