By Khulekani Dumisa
When someone mentions the Toyota RAV4, you won’t be blamed if a picture of a family with teenagers comes to mind. Toyota knows this and have slotted into their newly launched RAV4 a model that will appeal to the more youthful, and adventurous families. They have dubbed it the GX-R. It also comes in AWD meaning that you won’t only get youthful looks but will be able to satisfy your adventure craving even off-the beaten track.
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Today we welcome the all new @toyota_sa RAV4. We enjoyed driving the RAV4 at launch particularly this mid-spec and youthful GX-R. GX-R grade is aimed at customers looking for a more rugged exterior appearance and increased off-road usage. The GX-R receives an enlarged upper front grille with broad horizontal slats, a larger more prominent skidplate and chunky black over-fenders. The GX-R also adds to features of the entry level GX and features power-adjustable leather seats with lumbar support, leather steering wheel and trim, smart entry, auto-dimming interior mirror, rain-sensing wipers, wireless charging and climate control. The exterior inherits 18-inch alloy wheels. Seat heating and ventilation are provided for front passengers. The GX-R is powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine which delivers a maximum power output of 127 kW and 203 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with Toyota’s latest shiftmatic CTV transmission which is one of the refined CVTs we’ve come across. It’s smooth, precise and mitigates the drone sound associated with CVT engines by quite a bit. #toyota #toyotarav4 #rav4 #leadtheway #leader #quality #refined #car #suv #family #reliable #value #valueformoney #city #town #durban #capetown #johannesburg #polokwane #nelspruit 📸 @salaontop
In my view, the new RAV4 looks much more youthful than the outgoing model just based on the squarer and more angular shape alone. The GX-R additions drive this message home I suppose. The GX-R is noticeable by its enlarged upper front grille with broad horizontal slats, a larger more prominent skid plate and chunky black over-fenders. The exterior inherits 18-inch alloy wheels to match the visual differentiation. LED daytime running lights keep the GX-R noticeable from afar and also assist with safety. Our test GX-R came in black. We’d probably go for a more outgoing colour that won’t show scratches easily like Caribbean Blue that’s available in the range.
Sesifikile ekhaya. Isiphathe kahle i-@ToyotaSA RAV4 entsha. Imigwaqo ebibuye ibe mibi ayiyixakanga. Injini inamandla ihambisana negiya leCVT elizishintsha kawu10 ngendlela encomekayo. Nokho ubuye uwuzwe umsindo weCVT. Angeke ukuxake kakhulu kodwa. Kuphethiloli sibe ku-8.5l/100km. pic.twitter.com/v8dVfJ7oFQ
— Citizen_Khulekani (@khulekaniOW) May 31, 2019
The GX-R is offered with a two tone interior. Our test one had an orange and beige interior. It’s not what we’d go for. Whilst we thought the orange was cool, the beige was already appearing a bit dirty. This is something a family that likes adventure will not afford – spending every second month at the valet instead of maximizing adventure offering of the GX-R. Other than the colour options, the interior is roomy and offers a lot of storage spaces.
Front and back passengers have decent head, shoulder and legroom thanks a fully flat floor and a length extended by 60mm to secure best-in-class capacity of 580 litres (79 litres more than in the current RAV4).
Umthwalo usobhokweni silibangise ogwini laKwaZulu-Natal. Sithe akesidle kancane ubhuqu kwazise le-@ToyotaSA RAV GX-R idonsa ngowo omane futhi inenkinobho eyenza ikwazi ukushayeleka obhuqwini nase matsheni. pic.twitter.com/9GGVZ1PmrY
— Citizen_Khulekani (@khulekaniOW) May 31, 2019
Noticeable creature comforts in the GX-R include power-adjustable leather seats with lumbar support, leather steering wheel and trim, smart entry, auto-dimming interior mirror, rain-sensing wipers, wireless charging and climate control. Seat heating and ventilation are provided for front passengers.
Engine and drive
The RAV4 GX-R is powered by a natural aspirated 2.0litre engine that kicks out 127 kW of power and 203 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a refined 10-Speed CVT transmission gearbox. Yes, you do get the drone sound on acceleration, especially when you try to put foot on metal at high speeds but the transmission is one of the finest CVT transmissions we’ve encountered in a while. We took the car for a long drive to KwaZulu-Natal and we managed to average a combined fuel consumption of 7.7l/100 km (against a claimed 6.5 – 6.8 l/100km which is not bad). This is very decent in our view. The ride quality is also good and the car remained composed in all sorts of terrain that we threw at it. We even took advantage of the sand and rock drive mode that’s available thanks to the AWD set up, and set the car flying on gravel. The car ate it all up like a champ and never once seemed like it was out of its comfort zone.
The Toyoya RAV4 2.0 GX-R CVT AWD is priced from R508,100. Prices include a 6-services/90,000 km service plan and a 3-year/100,000 km warranty.
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