Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The all-new RAV4 arrived locally in Feb 2006 and is a significantly larger vehicle than previous RAV's. The mid-life facelift in 2008 introduced a new headlight design as well as newly styled front and rear bumpers, rear lights and exterior mirrors with built-in indicator signals...
Not so good As with most things, an increase in size brings an increase in body weight (however, against the competition the 4-cylinder RAV4 isn’t overweight).
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The driver’s instrument panel and centre dash design logically laid out with large Heating & Air Conditioning controls. You'll get comfy on long drives with a nice driver’s seat and a steering wheel that thankfully adjusts for both tilt & reach. Plenty of room for both front and second row passengers. The rear bench seat can slide back & forth to further increase legroom or cargo carrying capacity. The boot is also on the large size when compared to the competition.
Not so good The rear bench seat could offer more support for your rear. The back door is a side-opening design, but, with the added weight of the spare tyre be careful as it can easily close when parked on an angle. Rear visibility is also slightly diminished by the door-mounted spare wheel.
Performance

Performance

Good The 2.4L engine generates a satisfactory 125kW and 224Nm ensuring the RAV4 readily keeps up with traffic. For SUV lovers that like to be first off the lights the RAV4 V6 may be the answer to your prayers - the 3.5L V6 is a lovely engine.
Not so good The four-speed automatic in the 4-cylinder RAV4 is lagging behind a number of competitors' five and six-speed transmission's (fortunately, the V6 RAV4 comes with a five-speed automatic).
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The RAV’s ride soaks up most bumps in a comfortable manner, and the handling is above average for a Compact SUV.
Not so good Whilst the RAV4 V6 is quick, it’s no low-riding sports sedan - so it isn’t really at home driving up and down twisty mountain passes.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good All grades feature electronic stability control (VSC in Toyota-talk) as standard; most grades also come standard with a driver’s knee airbag as well as the more commonly placed airbags to 'tick' the safety box. The first ever 2WD RAV4 variants arrived Down Under in April 2010 and make a whole lot of sense to us, as they come standard with the same four cylinder petrol engine and features as the coresponding AWD grades yet are priced thousands of dollars less.
Not so good V6 RAV4’s fuel economy is quite close to the significantly bigger Kluger, that's not great...