Toyota RAV4 Review

List of Pros

  • Bright design and comfortable interior.
  • Big luggage compartment.
  • Good steerability.

List of Cons

  • The variator is prone to freezing at tops.
  • No button illumination on the door armrests.
  • Quite pricey

Toyota RAV4 Overview

The importance of the Toyota RAV4 is difficult to overestimate: its name is a synonym for the word “success” in the market. RAV4 became one of the founders of the mass SUV segment. Drivers appreciate its reliability, comfort, and universality. The fifth generation of RAV4 is in the center of attention today, and it emphasizes the key values established by this model.

Exterior

For the first time, the car is available in a two-tone version with a black roof. RAV4 has sharp lines, highlighted wheel arches, narrow headlights, and dashing tilt of the rear pillar. The new RAV4 has slightly changed proportions. Now, the car looks more similar to a classic SUV than to crossovers. It is especially pleasant that many design aspects changed not just for the sake of fantasy but greater comfort and safety. For example, the front struts improved visibility, and the rear side windows have become larger so a driver sees impending danger. 

Interior

The interior has changed a lot. A front panel now really seems lower: there is a plateau made of soft plastic in front of you with towers of the central display and dashboard rising above it. Sometimes the trim and shapes seem coarse – a simple central part of the steering wheel (although the rim is covered with genuine leather), massive door handles, and by silver trim looking like the beginning of the 2000s.

Technology & performance

The fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 is built on the TNGA platform, which is aimed at overall comprehensive improvement of the car – a low center of gravity, lightweight construction, a stiffer body, and the optimal use of every millimeter of space.

The new engine reduces fuel consumption while offering increased power and dynamics, as well as the ability to drive through a traffic jam only on electric traction (the EV Mode button).

Traditionally for hybrids, the engine runs on the Atkinson (Miller) cycle.  The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder A25A-FXS gasoline engine of the Dynamic Force family is now completely new: combined D-4S fuel injection, compression ratio 14:1, variable valve timing at the intake and exhaust. The total return of the hybrid engine reaches 218 hp or 160 kW.

Seats

The driver’s seat is now set lower by 15 mm, and the window line is also lower. Together with a modified hood angle, it has a positive effect on visibility. The steering wheel adjustment range has doubled, so getting comfortable for a driver is not a problem. A lot of attention is paid to the comfort of rear passengers – in the end, it is a family car. So, the back area has become more spacious, there are ventilation deflectors, backrest angle adjustment, and heating.

Climate Control System

Some reviewers admit that climate control regulators with rubber trim are rather ambiguous. Supposedly, they seem alien and cheap, but actually, they look normal. Volume control and radio search follow the same style. What is more important, they are very convenient to use. You don’t get distracted from the road at all when you need to change the temperature in the cabin.

Infotainment System

The basic configuration comes with a 4.2-inch dashboard display. More expensive versions have got a 7-inch screen with absolutely all the information that may be useful to the driver. The display of the infotainment system is 7-inch by default and 8-inch in more advanced versions. The car has received a JBL audio system with 9 speakers. A smart rear-view mirror is probably the most interesting gadget. With just one click of a button, it turns into an LCD display and shows an image from the rearview camera.

Storage and Space

A trunk has become bigger and significantly changed in terms of utility. With the rear seats installed, you can still pack a lot of things into a 580-liter storage compartment. The raised floor is made bilateral – for clean and dirty luggage.

Speaking about the passenger compartment, the niche under climate control is wider by 35 mm now. And this is not just a shelf, but also a wireless charger for smartphones.

Comfort

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is one of the most versatile cars you can find. The hybrid transients are barely noticeable: press an accelerator, and the car will go smoothly, without noises in the passenger compartment. The crossover manages to go smoothly on rough roads and light off-road conditions thanks to the suspension and thick tires.

Seat comfort

The car has become shorter, but only by 5 mm, so this change goes unnoticed, just like the extra 10 mm of width. Wheelbase, however, grew by 30 mm, increasing the cabin space. Some are skeptical about the rear sofa, which is set low and seems uncomfortable on a long journey. Nevertheless, passengers on the back have enough leg space and feel comfortable. 

Ride comfort

The RAV4 offers a surprisingly informative steering wheel, decent sound insulation, and a reliable assistant on slippery terrain – the Trail Mode system. This is a simulator of differential blocking that happens due to the braking of the wheels, adjusting transmission and fuel supply. You will need to adapt to a variator so that it doesn’t annoy with freezing up at high speeds. Well, we don’t speak about perfect dynamics from the RAV4 but be sure about smooth and comfortable drives that will please you.

Quality

The plastic is mostly soft, the leather is of good quality, and all materials are tactile. The interior ergonomics may seem a bit controversial. Although we were surprised only by the main display that appears in the form of a tablet on the center console.

Safety & Reliability

The new generation of Toyota RAV4 has received a new generation of Toyota Safety Sense technology with row control, adaptive cruise, emergency braking, etc. The TTS complex has been redesigned and expanded with several functions. For example, an emergency braking system is now enabled with cyclists and pedestrian recognition at night, active row control can adjust the position of a vehicle within its lane, etc. Smart adaptive cruise control works in pair with the road sign recognition function and shares hints and speed recommendations.

Should I Buy the Toyota RAV4?

RAV4 is one of Toyota’s bestsellers. It is comfortable, spacious, with a new style and bright design. The car has got advanced equipment that works without major failures. If you need a crossover that won’t disappoint, then the answer is yes, you should buy this car. 

How Much Does the Toyota RAV4 Cost?

The average price of Toyota RAV4 ranges between N11,000,000 and N12,000,000. The newest cars can cost as much as N27,000,000. Meanwhile, you can find some old-fashioned (let’s say 1999 retro) models for only N480,000.