Refreshed RAV4 beefs up on safety

A mid-life update for the Toyota RAV4 delivers an extra model and enhanced safety equipment, but prices also rise.


TNZ has delivered three drivetrain options, MORE safety equipment options, a suspension retune and a new high-end grade are expected to add to the allure of a refreshed RAV4 easily identified by styling changes that bring it up to speed with the latest Toyota family appearance.

The mid-life update for a model Toyota New Zealand claims is presently holding station as the country’s top-selling sports utility and the fifth highest selling car of the moment delivers Toyota Safety Sense.

This is a package of a pre-crash system, lane departure alert with steering assist function, dynamic radar cruise control with automatic brake control and automatic high beam. This is standard to the mid-level GLX and high-end Limited models.

The entry GX gains a backing monitor with static guidelines while GXL variants are enhanced with the addition of dynamic guidelines and blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, features previously exclusive to the Limited grades of the outgoing model. GXL and Limited gain front parking sensors.

All in the three specification choices, which means the availability now of a front drive, constantly variable transmission 2.0-litre petrol Limited. At $47,990, it costs $9,500 more than the entry GX while the GLX edition is a $43,990 offer.

Meanwhile, those all-wheel-drive models – all of which divest the seven-step CVT for a six-speed torque converter automatic  - cost $44,990, $49,990 and $58,990 with a 2.5-litre petrol and $46,990, $51,990 and $60,990 with a 2.2-litre turbodiesel.

The enhancements do come with price imposition. The GX 2.0-litre is $1150 more than before and, in the other engine choices, this grade costs $1350 more than previously. The GLX 2.0-litre sustains the biggest hit – it’s $3150 more expensive than previously. The GLX in the other powertrain choices rises $2150. The Limited 2.5 and 2.2 cost $1850 more than previously.

TNZ believes the 2.0-litre Limited believes it will provides urban drivers, or those who do not require four-wheel-drive capability, with the same superior level of specification of an all-wheel-drive Limited in petrol or diesel without incurring the cost of the drivetrain.

The push is important because of the increasing penetration by the front-drive offer. Of the 3058 RAV4s registered at the end of November, 27.2 percent were front-drive variants. Notwithstanding, the most popular derivative overall this year has been the 2.5-litre petrol AWD GXL. This accounts for 45.7 percent, or 1396 sales.

Outputs from the engines are unchanged at 107kW and 187Nm from the 2.0-litre, 132kW and 233Nm out of the 2.5-litre and 110kW and 340Nm delivered by the diesel, however a new particulate filter has cut diesel emissions and all three engines now conform to Euro-5 standards.

TNZ claims improvements to the CVT bring the combined fuel consumption down 7.0L/100km, a reduction of more than five percent and combined CO2 emissions have decreased from 173 grams per kilometre to 162g/km.

The new RAV4 look consists of a redesigned front bumper, which adds 35mm to the overall RAV4 length and is complemented by LED projector headlights for both main and dipped beam.

Rear LED tail-lights also arrive, while new-look wheel arch mouldings and side sills complete the makeover for all variants.

The GX versions runs with 17 inch steel wheels with a wheel cap whereas the GXL, though maintaining the same rim size, is on alloys. The Limited takes an 18-inch alloy.

GXL and Limited interior upgrades are intended to heighten the comfort, convenience and premium feel, TNZ says.

GXL adopts a 4.2 inch TFT Colour Multi Information Display, leather steering wheel, a leather gear lever with silver detail, premium fabric seats, chrome inside door handles, illuminated entry system, dual-zone climate control and privacy tinted rear and back glass.

Limited models feature a moon roof with tilt and slide functions, leather finished door trims, leather accented seats, an 11-speaker JBL audio and satellite navigation with SUNA traffic avoidance system.

Key features on the RAV4 include a rear spoiler, silver roof rails, multi information display, audio, phone and MID controls on the steering wheel, six-way driver and four-way front passenger seat adjustment, variable intermittent windscreen wipers, engine immobiliser and three 12V accessory connectors.

The GXL adds front fog lights, smart key and pushbutton start, rain sensing front wipers and an electro-chromatic auto anti-glare rear view mirror. Limited models are upgraded to an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and heated front seats.