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2019 Toyota RAV4 Review | carsales

2019 Toyota RAV4 Review | carsales

Toyota RAV 4 is widely regarded as the original
sports utility vehicle and over the years it has become a mainstay in Australian driveways. The fifth generation model has now landed
in Australia and it promises the biggest update to the RAV 4 that we’ve seen so far. While the RAV 4 has sold on badge appeal alone
in the past, this fifth generation model promises to shake up the midsize SUV segment with new
safety and technology, more space and added driving appeal. There are three new powertrain options including
a hybrid model which starts at $35,000. Diesel is off the menu but the RAV 4 promises
to be more family-friendly with extended interior proportions and safety aids including autonomous
emergency braking. The RAV 4 sits on Toyota’s new global architecture
and as such it has a longer wheel base, it has a wider front and rear track, and inside
you’re getting more room across the first and second rows and the boot. The interior has had quite a big overhaul
inside. It presents a lot more cleanly and thankfully
we’re getting the rollout of Apple CarPlay with the RAV 4. On the road the new platform and drivetrain
have really lifted the RAV 4’s dynamic skill set It feels refined, it’s quiet and it’s well-controlled
over the bumps, even on 18 inch wheels. In fact my only complaint would probably be
that it’s a little bit too firm and that’s not something I thought I’d say about a RAV
4. Overall it’s still not likely to challenge
a Mazda CX5, through the bends, and it doesn’t quite have that little nth degree
with the feeling of the controls. But this is a huge step forward for the RAV
4. It’s bigger, it’s more comfortable but it’s
actually enjoyable to drive as well. We spent most time in the all-wheel drive
hybrid variant which pairs a 2.5 litre naturally aspirated four cylinder petrol with three
electric motors, two on the front axle and one on the rear. The drivetrain is tied to a CVT automatic
transmission. The hybrid system has probably impressed me
more than anything with this car. It’s a development of the one that you’ll
find in the Camry but it just seems to work really well in the RAV. It’s quiet, it’s seamless; the way that the
electric motors and petrol engine work together is really good as well. But the biggest thing is the actual fuel consumption. I’ve averaged 5.5 litres per 100kms in a mix
of conditions. Now, it’s not much more than the claim and
I think it really does ram home the fact that hybrids are a really good bridging technology
at the moment as we move into that direction of the electric car. In all-wheel drive form the hybrid boasts
a 1,500 kilogram braked towing capacity while the trail mode sends up to 80% of available
torque to the rear axle, which means the RAV 4 has moderate off-roading ability. All in all the new drivetrain, added room,
new safety and technology make this the most accomplished RAV 4 yet. For the first time in a long time this RAV
4 appeals on merit alone and not simply on its badge. As much as anything else, it sends a strong
message to the rest of the midsize cohort.

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