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[Review] 2016 Toyota RAV4 Limited SUV

2016 Toyota Rav4 Limited 1

The Toyota RAV4 has come a long way since its humble beginning back in 1994. Although not all RAV4s are 4WD, did you know that RAV4 stands for ‘Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive”? However, this is not the case anymore because in most countries, 4WD and 2WD are now an option. 

The new 2016 Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV, and is actually a great vehicle for transporting your family wherever you may need to go on a daily basis, and also for the odd road trip around New Zealand. We stacked some pretty big guys from West Auckland in it and they all seemed pretty happy and comfortable when riding along on a short trip!

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My model of the RAV4 was a FWD 2.0L, and packed in 107KW of power and 187Nm of torque. While not particularly high on the power numbers, it certainly gets the job done without it feeling sluggish. It will give you power when you need power. It also helps with the fuel economy, with me getting an average of 9.2L/100KM with a near-empty tank at the end of the week-long test!

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From the outside, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 doesn’t look small, but neither does it look overweight. It’s compact size makes it very easy to manoeuvre and park in tight spaces, and you also sit slightly higher than most people on the road, which may be comforting for most.

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577 litres of boot space!

My Limited model of the RAV4 means I had 18″ standard alloy wheels as opposed to 17″, a sunroof, genuine leather seats with heating, a powered tailgate and satellite navigation with SUNA traffic avoidance. All these extras would theoretically cost an extra $10k more than the base FWD model.

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Driving the Toyota RAV4 on a daily basis for a week revealed that steering was smooth, cornering was great and the suspension was okay. I suspect that if I had the AWD model, the suspension would’ve been even better.

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My drive daily consists of an almost-hour long drive in the morning and a 45 minute drive back home in the afternoon. Yes, you could’ve guessed that most of the time spent on my morning drive is in traffic. While stop-move-stop for a good 15 minutes on the Constellation on-ramp to SH1 revealed that the range dropped about 3KM with the AC and seat warmers on, fuel economy is pretty near the theoretical average of 7.0L/100KM (I got 9.2L/100KM as per above).

Unfortunately we didn’t get the car long enough to be able to go for a longer test drive as I would’ve liked to do. This would’ve been able to test out driving and comfort, on a longer trip.

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The back seats of the RAV4 were almost too smooth and had virtually no contours in them at all. It is very easy to slide around them especially if you are a relatively lean person. Leg and head room in the back are pretty generous though!

The GXL and Limited models of the 2.0L RAV4 have front/rear parking sensors (as opposed to rear only on the GX model), blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. They also come with Toyota’s Safety Sense package which includes: Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with steering control function, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with automatic brake control and Automatic High Beam (AHB).

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The entertainment system is powered by a 6.1″ touchscreen display, with the usual bells and whistles (Bluetooth, AUX, Radio). Limited RAV4 models feature an additional JBL Audio System and Satellite Navigation with SUNA traffic avoidance system. During my use with the JBL Audio System, I found that the music played weren’t too bass-optimised, and had more of the upper treble sounds which I didn’t mind.  Audio systems in cars vary greatly between each car and really have to be tested by the potential owner of the vehicle to come up with the conclusion if it’s good or not.

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I have found that Toyota’s entertainment system is generally pretty easy to use, with self-explained buttons and processes including how to connect your phone to the system.

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In conclusion the 2016 Toyota RAV4 is a good all rounder compact SUV. Its SUV quality traits (the AWD model) can take you off-roading, while also being spacious enough to take the family on a road trip or around town for a shopping spree (think 577-liters of boot space). The fuel economy is acceptable at 9.3L/100KM average, remembering this is only a FWD 2L model.

AWD Petrol and Diesel models are also available, and can be viewed here: http://www.toyota.co.nz/our-range/rav4/

The Toyota RAV4 model I have here has a value of $47,990.