Toyota Vanguard Review

The Toyota Vanguard is a special version of the Toyota RAV4, which had a longer wheelbase. It was only sold in Japan by that unique name. In other words, whereas the world got a longer wheelbase 3rd generation by the name of RAV4, Japan got it by a different name. When the fourth generation came by, the Vanguard was discontinued and the future models became known as the RAV4 there too.

Exterior Looks

The Toyota Vanguard looked a bit different than its n=international sibling. The front fascia was a bit different with a bigger grille. A lot of chrome was used in the front grille as compared to the RAV4. The headlights were also changed to be sportier. The Japanese version looked better overall thanks to its futuristic design elements. At first glance, the Vanguard does not look like the RAV4 at all. It is very different from the front, a bit less so from the back. It was also given a facelift in 2010 that further enhanced its looks.

Engine Dynamics

The Toyota Vanguard came with a flurry of engine choices. Various engines were on offer including some very powerful ones. The Vanguard could be bought with 2.0 L, 2.4 L, 2.5 L, 3.5 L petrol engines. Two 2.2 L diesel engines were also offered.

The top of the line Sport trim got the 3.5 L V6 3GR-FE that was paired with a 6-speed automatic CVT gearbox. The other powertrains were mated to either a 4-speed automatic, a 5-speed automatic, a 6-speed manual, or a 5-speed manual.

Since the Vanguard is a big vehicle, a lot of power is required to move it along the road. Toyota paid extra attention to that by offering big engines that produce torque and do not gobble a lot of fuel in the process.

Interior Dynamics 

The Toyota Vanguard was only offered in Japan, which means that it got some latest gadgets and features that most other vehicles don’t usually get. You get steering-assisted stability control, keyless entry, satellite navigation, and a better infotainment system. Other than that, you can count on the vehicle’s cabin space. The Vanguard can seat five people inside, and even after that, there is space for cargo. A third-row was offered in some models in the later generations, but not in the Vanguard.


The Toyota Vanguard is a go-getter – a vehicle that is built for the kill. If you have one, you can use it for your daily commute or go on an adventure trip with your friends. A bit of off-roading is also not an issue with the Vanguard as this vehicle is entirely capable of conquering any type of terrain. If you have the range-topping variant, things get even easier.

Since the Vanguard is essentially the RAV4, you can rest assured that the practicality and quality of the RAV4 follow in the footsteps of the Vanguard. The RAV4 has earned fame for several things, so it should be no surprise if we associate them with the Toyota Vanguard as well.

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If you want to import a Used Toyota Vanguard, please check the recommended Japanese used car export companies for Toyota Vanguard.

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If you want to know more details about specifications and models, please refer to Wikipedia or other catalogs.