toyota tav4

 

Specs:

  • JDM Engine Option 1: 2.0L 3ZR- FAE (Petrol)
  • JDM Engine Option 2: 2.2L 2AD-FTV I4 (Diesel)
  • JDM Engine Option 3: 2.2L 2AD-FHV I4 (Diesel)
  • JDM Engine Option 4: 2.5L 2AR-FE I4 (Petrol)
  • JDM Engine Option 4: 2.5L 2AR-FxE I4 (Petrol/Electric)
  • Fuel Consumption: 7 – 8 l / 100 km
  • Curb Weight: 1680 kg
  • Size: L 4,570 mm x W 1,845 mm x H 1,705 mm

 The Good

Saying that we were expecting something amazing from the new RAV4 would be a lie. But however, this being the fourth generation, it means that Toyota is doing something right with it. However, the truth is simpler than you can imagine.

Like the Avensis and the Auris, the RAV4 is for people that don’t care too much about the cars they buy. They are reliable, well built, come with very good warranty, great fuel consumption and a good ride quality.

The RAV4 actually looks pretty good in our opinion. It looks a lot better, compared with the older generations and really has a modern exterior design. The interior is just like any other consumer Toyota car: very well built with good quality materials, everything being exactly where you expect it to be.

Surprisingly, on this generation you can opt for two-wheel drive. It’s actually a nice touch from Toyota, because more than 70% of RAV4s will never see true off-roading in their lives. If you decide to go for the all-wheel drive system though, you will be quite surprised when you will notice that you have access to an  electronic wizardry that can help you overcome slightly challenging terrain situations.

The engine options are few, but the RAV4 is one of the first Toyotas in which it doesn’t really matter what engine you choose, as they are all very good. Hint: if you really want the all-wheel drive system, choose the 2.5 diesel or petrol. You will thank us later.

The ride quality is good, but the steering lacks feel. It’s not bad, but the road input is not what we were expecting.

The transmission is very good and the manual gearbox feels pretty good. Just stay away from the automatic CVT version.

The starting price for a RAV4 can be around $26.000, which, in our opinion, is decent.

The Bad

The automatic gearbox is just horrible and everyone should stay away from it. It’s clunky, unpredictable on how it will downshift or upshift and if you plan to go on a bit off-roading…just forget it.

Regarding the overall driving experience, we think that it scores the lowest in its class. It gives horrible road input through the steering wheel.

There is also a hybrid version, which really didn’t impress us all that much. The power delivery feels very strange and very clunky. The system is something similar like on the last generation Prius, but it doesn’t work as good. Also the fuel consumption on the hybrid system isn’t all that impressive.

This 4th gen Toyota TAV4 was exactly what we were expecting. It’s a decent SUV with good quality, decent options, and a 5-year warranty. Like a taller Auris.

Conclusion

The RAV4 is a good car, don’t get us wrong, as we are sure that it has a very large fan base that can sustain this info. However, for us, because driving pleasure is always a good thing, it was easily beaten by the Ford Kuga. That’s an SUV that we would love to take home.

What others say

http://www.topgear.com/ – The new Toyota RAV4 is not exciting or stylish but it is sensible and reliable. For some, that’ll do”

http://www.whatcar.com/ – “A decent SUV, but there are other rivals that are better to drive and offer more for your money.”