Since then SUVs have begun to dominate the market in Australia and now outsell passenger cars. Mind you – most so-called SUVs are really only tall hatchbacks, with car-type ground clearance, and may not be driven by all four wheels. But buyers love the convenience of easy entry and exit and cargo carrying capacity.
Toyota RAV4 continues to be a major player in its segment and the gen-five is a more than competent vehicle from a company that builds AWD vehicles ranging from the cute-as CH-R to the off-road choice of just about ever Aussie living in the bush, the seemingly ’unbreakable’ 70 Series.
Prices for the RAV4 range from $30,640 for a 2WD (the front wheels) petrol manual, to $47,140 for the topline RAV4 Edge AWD automatic, with nine other models between them.
New RAV4 is slightly shorter and lower than the model it supersedes, but has a wider body. It’s shape is very much squared off both inside and out. As a result it looks significantly larger than it really is.
There’s nothing else in the Toyota lineup that follows the same styling theme as the RAV4. So it will be interesting to see if this SUV is the forerunner of the next generation of vehicles from the Japanese giant.
On the whole, most who saw it liked the shape, though a few thought it’s too “industrial” in its shape.
Compared to the model it supersedes the new RAV4’s rear load space has been extended by 65mm and now offers an impressive 580 litres. It features a two-level reversible floor for added functionality. However this is not available if you choose the full-size spare wheel option.
New RAV4 has a multimedia system with steering wheel controls incorporates. It has full Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM/DAB+ radio, satellite navigation and voice recognition with all information displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The RAV4 comes with just about something for just about everyone in its drivetrains – 2WD, or mechanical or electric 4WD systems, as well as a choice of two new petrol engines, and some hybrid models.
However there is no turbo-diesel option as buyers are moving away from diesels, especially as the hybrids are virtual as economical, and certainly cleaner, than oil burners. Also a plug-in hybrid may be coming here, though that’s still be to advised.
Most non-hybrid RAV4s are all powered by a new design 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 127kW and 203Nm, driving through a CVT automatic with a launch gear mechanism.
Toyota’s hybrid system combines a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor- generator. They have combined maximum outputs of 160kW for 2WD variants and 163kW for AWD versions.
New RAV4 has the Toyota Safety Sense suite of features, including active cruise control, pre-collision safety system with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure alert, road-sign assist (speed sign only).
It has seven airbags, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitor, rear-cross traffic alert, reversing camera, and ABS with vehicle stability control and active cornering assist.
New RAV4 sits on a longer wheelbase and has wider front and rear tracks than the model it replaces and has improved interior space as a result.
Four adults can be carried with ease and only the tallest of occupants may need to confer with one another about legroom. Five is a little squeezy across the rear seats if all are full-sized makes. As is usually the way in this class, two adults and one junior traveller works well.
Our test vehicle was the range topping the RAV4 Edge AWD variant. It has a new design 152 kW / 243 Nm 2.5-litre petrol engine that drives through a conventional eight-speed automatic.
The AWD system in the Edge features a multi-terrain select system that offers different modes for mud & sand, rock & dirt and snow environments.
We only carried out relatively mild 4WD testing during our week with the RAV4 and found it not only making driving simple, but also solid in its construction with no discernible body movement.
Toyota’s fifth generation RAV4 further advances the company’s hold on the ever increasing SUV market. Sold in a large number of models it has something for just about everything. Prices are up slightly on the model it replaces but the extra features actually make it cheaper model to model.
AT A GLANCE
GX 2WD: $30,640
GXL 2WD: $35,640
Cruiser 2WD: $39,140
GX 2WD: $35,140
GXL 2WD: $38,140
Cruiser 2WD: $41,640
GX AWD: $38,140
GXL AWD: $41,140
Cruiser AWD: $44,640
Edge AWD: $47,140
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Toyota RAV4 Edge 2.5-litre petrol AWD five-door wagon)
Capacity: 2.487 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 152 kW @ 6600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 243 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 166 g/km
DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4615 mm
Wheelbase: 2690 mm
Width: 1855 mm
Height: 1690 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 1705 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: litres
Front: Ventilate disc
Rear: Solid disc
Five years / unlimited kilometres