– Article/Photos by Rod Fuller –
As I’ve said before, we here at Fleet Auto News have a bit of a soft spot for the RAV4. And why not? RAV4’s comfortable, practical/versatile and now with a more powerful hybrid engine, is much more enjoyable to drive. It’s a vehicle that’s just so easy to live with everyday.
Looking at RAV4 it’s easy to see why it’s popular. Attractive, eye catching styling that’s slightly aggressive, giving it a purposeful stance and strong road presence; but also capturing the car’s dynamic capabilities. Simply, it’s a darn good looking SUV.
Personally, I like the front quarter windows that combine with a new mounting point for the outside mirrors to brighten up the feel of the interior and allow greater forward visibility, removing the dark corner/blind spot either side of the dashboard.
I drove the 2.5lt four cylinder GXL 2WD Hybrid (160kW combined petrol/electric engine output /221Nm torque from the petrol engine only) with six speed CVT transmission, complete with sequential manual gear changes and three auto modes (Sport, Normal, Eco). Engine responsiveness is good, but in Sport mode, the engine really fires up, providing exceptional performance for a SUV. When you experience this 2.5lt hybrid engine, you will never be satisfied with the 2.0lt petrol ever again.
Fuel economy as expected in a Hybrid is very good, listing at 2.7lt/100km combined so with the fuel tank capacity of 55lt, plus the right driving conditions, you could see a fuel range in excess of 1,000km.
On the road the RAV4 as expected; a very good ride and effortless to drive. Cruising comfortably on 18”alloys with 225/60R18 tyres, it is equally suited to all driving tasks asked of it, whether around and about the city, or clocking back the km’s on a country trip.
Inside RAV4 (which has become cavernous over the years) there’s plenty of head and leg room for everyone, with space for five people and their stuff. Luggage capacity is up to 580lt with the rear seats up, but this is because only a temporary spare is provided. On GX variants, a full size spare is an option, but it reduces luggage capacity to 542lt.
Other niceties inside the RAV4 GXL cabin include keyless entry/start and dual zone climate control operated by very nice tactile control knobs, meaning you can adjust temperature on the move with only a slight glance at the display; rather than furiously tapping away and looking at a touchscreen, taking your eyes off the road. Speaking of touchscreens, RAV4 now has an eight inch touchscreen, controlling the infotainment functions. DAB radio, Sat Nav, and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as voice control via Toyota kink and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
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Wireless Phone charging is provided along with multiple USB ports (3 in front and 2 in the rear). 12V outlets included are one in the front and my favourite, one in the boot – keeping my car fridge going on those longer trips.
Toyota’s Safety Sense system is standard on all RAV4 models, featuring,
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Lane Departure Alert with steering assist
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Pre-collision Safety System with Pedestrian and cyclist detection
All RAV4’s are backed by Toyota’s five year unlimited kilometre warranty and capped price servicing program. RAV4, is so easy to live with every-day, it does everything a fleet driver or family would want and does it comfortably, conveniently and in style. Put simply, it’s just RAVTACULAR.
What does it look like as a Novated Lease?
|RRP (including GST)||$44,640|
|Annual Savings with a Novated Lease||$2,595|
This data is from the 2020 Novated Leasing Guide produced by Fleet Auto News.