Toyota Rav 4 Review

toyota RAV4 reviewThe Toyota RAV4 has been one of the most popular compact SUVs in this country since it was released in 1998. The first generation was created in 1994 in 4×4 and front wheel drive and in some ways it was the catalyst for the popularity of the SUV.

The current model is the fourth generation and was released in early 2013. It comes in a 5 door wagon, with a number of models and with many options for transmission and engine. The new model remains popular because of the popularity of Toyota in Australia and because it offers 5 star safety.

We are going to review the new RAV4 and see if it lives up to the solid reputation that the previous 3 generations have offered.

Comfort and Interior
The interior of the Toyota RAV4 is certainly adequate, but it is quite conservative and that will fail to impress many new SUV buyers. The layout is good, as you would expect from Toyota, and has been well thought out.

The new design has made some ergonomic changes, such as a lowered seating position and more upright angle of the steering wheel. These are generally good changes and anyone upgrading to the new model will notice them immediately.

The seating is comfortable without being spectacular. The legroom in the rear has been improved and there is plenty of room for two large adults in the back. There is also more cargo space, due to a space saver spare tyre. There is no doubt that the RAV4 is a compact SUV, but it certainly doesn’t feel like one.

Ride and Handling
The RAV4 handles really well for a vehicle of its shape and size. It has been really well tuned because the ride is surprisingly soft. The corners beautifully and you can tell that a lot of thought has gone into making this vehicle a pleasure to drive. The steering is electronically assisted and this was a nice surprise for a car in this class.

Performance
The vehicle has very decent performance, but it is certainly not the best in its class. It will handle the hills with ease, even with the whole family in tow. The automatic transmission is adequate and it is a very smooth revving engine, but it does have a reluctance on the downshift as a method of improving fuel efficiency.

The stated fuel economy is 10.2 L per hundred kilometres. Off road performance was adequate for this class, although you will be restricted to light off road duties.

Pros

  • Great performance and smooth engine.
  • Heaps of interior space and cargo around for a car of this size.

Cons

  • Slightly dated styling which lacks the wow factor.

This vehicle remains one of the top SUVs in the market, but Toyota will be aware that this market is becoming more competitive each year. To this effect, the model is priced competitively and will remain one of the best selling SUVs in the market.

The sheer amount of options and customisations available will thrill most buyers. If you are looking for a new SUV then the Toyota RAV4 simply must be on your short list!

Image source: http://www.toyota.com.au