By Khulekani Dumisa
The Toyota RAV4 has been refreshed with improvements to the interior and exterior, and more hybrid options added to the line-up. With the introduction of the locally built Corolla Cross, Toyota has employed a two-grade strategy comprising the GX-R and VX, thus offering consumers vehicles with plenty standard features in the line-up.
In terms of exterior looks, the GX-R features a large trapezoidal grille with two parallel cross-bars. A blue-hued Toyota insignia appears on the hybrid models. Additionally, there is prominent black cladding over the wheel archers fenders and a silver bumper protector. The GX-R also features LED headlamps and daytime running lights, fog lamps, roof rails, rear spoiler and new smoked 18″ alloy wheels.
Meanwhile, the VX variant adopts a deeper apron and vertically-mounted fog lamp bezels.
All RAV4 models (petrol models included) now come with LED interior lightingn, an upgrade from three to five USB ports (with dedicated charging outlets) and two 12-volt accessory connectors.
GX-R models are offered in five exterior colours: Graphite Grey, Cinnabar Red, Urban Khaki, Tidal Blue (new) and Attitude Black. VX models in turn can be ordered in a total of nine hues, including Pearl White, Chromium Silver and Moonlight Ocean metallic.
The interior on the GX-R features leather trim (which extends to the steering wheel and shift lever), as well as orange detailing on the stitching, seatback and console surround areas. Both grades are equipped with leather-trimmed interiors, with a choice between Black and Orchid Brown on the GX-R and an option of Black or Beige in VX guise. The leather interior is accompanied by blue interior illumination.
Inside the GX-R offers conveniences such as auto air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, smart entry, a touchscreen infotainment system (with CarPlay and Android Auto functionality), five USB ports, a wireless charger, reverse camera, rear park distance control (PDC) and cruise control. Both seat heating and ventilation are on offer, as well as power seat adjustment for the driver.
VX variants add to the above with power-seat adjustment for the front passenger with driver memory function, front and rear park distance control, auto high-beam functionality and auto-fold operation for the exterior mirrors.
Tech and safety
The VX model comes with a panoramic view monitor which is newly joined by a digital rear-view mirror. The digital rear-view mirror uses rear-facing cameras to project a wide angle image onto the mirror surface. This function is user selectable, allowing the driver to toggle between traditional and camera views, at the touch of a button. Both models feature a semi-digital instrument cluster.
The GX-R models come equipped with a full suite of driver aids; ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). The VX grade adds Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), which encompasses Pre-Crash, radar cruise control, lane trace assist, blind-spot monitoring (BSM) and rear cross traffic alert (RCTA).
A full complement of airbags is present, including side and curtain variants, as well as an anti-theft system.
In terms of performance figures, the A25A-FXS engine delivers 131 kW and 221 Nm of Torque in pure ICE trim. The electric motors pitch in 88 and 40 kW respectively (front/rear) with the complimentary torque numbers registering at 202 and 121 Nm. The total system is rated at 163 kW, while top speed is specified as 180 km/h. The combined fuel consumption cycle figure is a claimed 4.8 l/100 kilometres certainly validates this statement.
Hybrid models can tow up to 1,000kg braked and 750kg un-braked.
The refreshed RAV4 gives off the impression of a car that Toyota has had time to perfect. There are a lot of highlights – decent exterior looks, good interior quality (with lots of soft materials employed) and space. On the road, the RAV is quiet and comfortable, thus providing a serene environment for you and your family, a great trait if you will do long distances in the car. This is also true for gravel roads. The RAV4 manages to stay composed there and irons out uneven surfaces when required to.
The addition of hybrid models means fuel consumption is also not a concern. We averaged 6.1l/100km effortlessly in our test route which had a mixture of city, dirt, and open highway roads. Whilst decent, the consumption could be better with more time on one’s hands. The CVT transmission works well but as expected drones when one hurries the car. We suspect RAV4 owners will not be bothered by this much as in most cases, the CVT transmission works accurately without drawing any unwanted attention to itself.
Pricing of the refreshed RAV range is as follows:
- RAV4 2.0 GX-R CVT AWD – R 606,600
- RAV4 2.5 GX-R CVT Hybrid E-Four – R 644,100
- RAV4 2.0 VX CVT 2WD – R 617,000
- RAV4 2.5 VX AT AWD – R 702,300
- RAV4 2.5 VX CVT Hybrid E-Four – R 723,200
Prices include asix-services or 90,000 km service plan, Toyota’s standard 3-year/100,000 km warranty is included and an 8-year / 195,000 km Hybrid battery warranty (where applicable).
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