We are looking at the 4th-generation of the Toyota RAV4 here. With its new look and diesel engine option, it still holds a bit of a resemblance to the Corolla but with a little more oomph as an SUV.
The RAV4 lowest trim is the GX front-wheel drive, it comes with steering wheel-mounted controls for audio and trip computer, rear parking sensors, cruise control, 17-inch steel wheels, projector style headlights and Bluetooth. Going up to the GXL gets you fog lights, alloy wheels, reversing camera, display audio system, sports seats, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, electric folding mirrors, keyless entry and push-button ignition which is our pick for value for money. The top of the range Cruiser will get you leather and sat nav as well as a number of other flashy perks, but seems a bit of a splurge for us at this point.
The RAV4 would actually fit very well at home as a car for the family. With 7 airbags and seatbelt reminders for all 5seating positions, stability control with steering assist functionality, traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, hill-start assist, downhill assist control (AWD automatic models only), reversing camera (GXL and Cruiser models only), daytime running lamps and an emergency stop signal (phew!) the RAV4 bags 5 stars on the ANCAP rating scale.
We like the all wheel drive option for the RAV4 – the 6-speed automatic also is comparable to the CVT options and it’s really a toss- up depending on how you like to drive your car. The dynamics of the car and the sports mode that comes with actually makes the ride quality quite pleasurable. Even around corners the car provides a good amount of feedback and takes the turns in its stride.
Off road, the all wheel drive is pretty versatile and its hill descent control and brake assist systems will definitely help you to get the most out of the terrain. There is a good system in place to help drivers figure out how to best negotiate the different conditions and the sensors and computer can control power to the front and rear axles to give you the optimum configuration for each siutuation.
Toyota has tried quite hard to give the interior some good updates and a bit of a modern look, but following suit with Toyota’s commitment to reliability, it’s clear to see that the focus is really more on simplicity and functionality.
Fitting in the car to full capacity of 5 won’t be too much of a problem since there’s lots of room for rear passengers thanks to the front seats being redesigned to sit in a more natural driving position. The telescopic steering wheel will definitely see to the driver’s comfort too.
The RAV4 still comes with good cargo space at 577 litres with the space-saver spare in and up to 1,735 litres with the seats folded down.
The RAV4s smooth looks and punchy engine will give you a good drive and with a brand like Toyota, there’s reliability there for you too. There’s not much to complain about here unless you want an infotainment system put in to be honest. Why not have a look at car financing companies so that you can be better equipped to make a decision if this is the car that you’d like to drive home?