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Automobile Magazine's 1997 Automobile of the Year is the Toyota RAV4

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling it a revolutionary product which has already changed the driving-public's perceptions, Automobile Magazine has named the Toyota RAV4 as its 1997 Automobile of the Year.

According to Editorial Director David E. Davis, Jr., the choice was a vehicle which rings "a bell with everyone who sees it."

"Because it is fun to drive, fun to ride in, and fun to contemplate, and because it is already, in less than a full year in the American marketplace, bringing about a sea change in the way the automobile industry and its customers perceive sport-utility vehicles (SUV)," the choice was made, he wrote in the January 1997 issue.

The Toyota RAV4, based on a previous generation Toyota Celica/Camry floorpan and offered optionally with all-wheel drive, is one of the first of the new, smaller version of SUVs bridging the gap between traditional passenger cars and truck-like SUVs (like the Subaru Legacy/Impreza Outback and the soon-to-be-introduced Honda CRV).

Sport-utility buyers will most likely never take their vehicles off road, but they love knowing that they could, said Davis. "The RAV4 refines that 'I can do anything!' theme and makes it still more accessible and attractive to young buyers. It is a sports car for the millennium."

Davis presented the award today to J. Davis Illingworth, group vice president, Toyota Division, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., at a ceremony here.

Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the Year is the cover story of the January issue available on newsstands next week. Automobile Magazine's January issue also includes a complete road test of the Toyota RAV4 as well as the announcement of Automobile Magazine's Man of the Year, Technology of the Year and Design of the Year Awards. (The annual Automobile Magazine All Stars will be announced in the February issue.)

Founded in 1986, Automobile Magazine has grown faster than any other automotive-enthusiast magazine in the category's history, having achieved circulation in excess of 600,000 to date. Automobile Magazine is published by K-III Magazines, publisher of New York, Chicago, Seventeen and New Woman.

SOURCE Automobile Magazine
 -0- 11/26/96

/CONTACT: Michael Geylin or Chris Dirato of Kermish-Geylin Public Relations, 212-315-4900/

CO: Automobile Magazine ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

AM -- DETU013 -- 4373 11/26/96 12:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 26, 1996
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