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One of the most reliable vehicles in the Toyota stable, the RAV4 has been produced since 1994, and was most recently updated in 2006; the 2013 versions offer even more durability, as well as a sleeker design, and some efficient engine modes that use Toyota’s Integrated Dynamic Drive system.
As a sports utility vehicle, the RAV4 is one of the leading competitors to the Mazda CX-5 for value, and is set to be spun off into an all electric model later this year. At present, the RAV4 is one of the most comprehensively packaged sports utilities on the market, and should be considered by families and drivers that want long term durability.
Drivers have a choice of several trims for the RAV4 – these include the entry level Active, the mid range Icon, and the premium Invincible. All these trims have a variation on the RAV4’s standard and all wheel driving system, as well as an automatic petrol option alongside diesel engines.
The 2.0 litre petrol engine is the most powerful in terms of speed, while the 2.0 and 2.2 litre diesel engines deliver better economy at 57.6 mpg for the 2.0 diesel, and 176 g/km of CO2 emissions for the 2.2 diesel. The diesel engines are best if you want to get a low mileage, and if you’re not particularly invested in having a sports utility vehicle that can rapidly accelerate.
Exterior upgrades to the 2013 RAV4 from the earlier model include swept back lights, less of a scallop line, and a curvier, sleeker appeal. The driving position in the RAV4 has also been adjusted for a higher vantage point, while you get plenty of space within the rear. Handling for the RAV4 is flexible, if not going to deliver significant speed on the road – the larger diesel engines are slightly noisier, but still capable of cruising on the motorway.
The 1600kg weight RAV4 is stabilised against rolling, although you probably won’t want to push the RAV4 too fast on tight corners.
For interiors, the RAV4 comes with Bluetooth, air conditioning, a CD Player, and a home lighting system as standard, and extras for higher trims that include Dual Zone Air Conditioning, rear view cameras, leather steering wheels, roof rails, and leather seats. The Invincible trim version of the RAV4 also has a keyless push button start installed.
The five seater RAV4 also gives you plenty of space. When combined with optional extras for roof racks, the RAV4 is ideal for large families, and is tough enough to stand up to extended periods of driving overseas.
So, what do get out of the RAV4? Primarily, you get a competitive economy and Toyota’s reputation for durability; the RAV4 is in a low tax band, and has a five year warranty, putting it ahead of the three year warranties usually given with sports utility vehicles.
Safety features also include a hill start assist, ISOFIX child seat fixings, and aftercare maintenance that pushes the RAV4 in front of its rivals for durability. Toyota are also set to release an all electric version of the RAV4 by the end of 2013, which will further increase its economy.
Guest posts offered by Lisa Jane