By Malusi Msomi
One of Toyota’s popular nameplates is the RAV4. The current generation RAV4 was revealed to the world back in 2018. Since then the SUV segment has seen numerous new contenders from China offering more bang-for-buck. In a bid to remain competitive, Toyota updated the RAV4 with some interior and exterior upgrades, as well as two hybrid options for buyers to choose from.
Updated exterior design
On the outside, the updated RAV4 gets LED headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, roof rails, a rear spoiler and black cladding over the wheel arches. Buyers also get to choose from 5 colours including a new Tidal Blue paint finish. When it comes to overall aesthetics, the RAV4 looks stunning. We do however think that the cladding on the wheel arches are a bit overkill. Overall it has very appealing and bold styling cues.
Inside, you get leather trim, five USB ports, wireless charging, a reverse camera, rear park distance control (PDC) and cruise control. Front passengers benefit from seat heating and ventilation. Further more you get smart entry, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The RAV4 is quite spacious allowing 5 adults to be seated comfortably. A nice touch from Toyota are the leather seats with some interesting patterns and orange/stitching.
Powering the Toyota RAV4 2.5 GX-R CVT Hybrid E-Four is a 2.5-litre engine that produces 131 kW/221 Nm. 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 rated at 180 km/h.
Toyota claims 4.8 l/100km, but we managed a healthy 5.8 l/100 km on a 400km trip to KZN and an overall 6.2l/100 km during our time with it. It’s extremely comfortable and irons out imperfections on the road quite well. With that said, the CVT transmission does get whiney at times, but that’s only when you decide to drive it like Lewis Hamilton. The CVT whine shouldn’t be an issue when you drive the RAV4 decently as that is when you get good fuel economy, so the trick to that is to drive nice and easy.
When it comes to safety, the GX-R comes with smart entry, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist and Downhill Assist Control (DAC).
Toyota has taken a solid product and made it even better. It offers a comfortable ride, it’s spacious and quiet rewarding in terms of fuel economy when driven sensibly (which all of us should be doing anyway). Pricing for the RAV4 2.5 GX-R CVT Hybrid E-Four starts from R663,400.
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