{He said, She Said} Toyota RAV4

Raphael and Karen had the opportunity to take the Toyota RAV4 out for a weekend and here’s what each of them thought about it.

{He Said} Raphael: 

Being a typical guy full of raging hormones and having the need for speed and performance (as you already know I had the MX-5 which is well known for its handling capabilities), I had a go on the new Toyota RAV4 with minimal expectations. I’ve always thought of it as a normal, typical and to some extent, a “boring” SUV. However, I knew this was exactly the type of car that Karen would love.

With the introduction of the new RAV4, Toyota has removed the higher performing engine option that was available in the previous model. Compared to its equivalent predecessor, the 1 AZ-FE 2.0 litre VVT-i engine produces 150bhp and 190Nm of torque while the newer model with the 3ZR-FAE engine packs a slight touch of 1 more bhp (151bhp) and 5 more Nm (195Nm) of torque. Despite all the numbers I’ve stated, there isn’t much of  a startling difference in performance, thus I’m not intending put my focus on this.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the new RAV 4’s combined (city and highway driving) fuel consumption is stated as 13.3 km/litre. Compared to its predecessor, a search online for the 2010 RAV4 reveals that it travels 11.5km/litre. Thumbs up for the new RAV 4 and its dual VVT-i technology increasing both power and fuel efficiency! This is most likely a major consideration factor for many when deciding to purchase the Toyota RAV4.

Driving the new RAV4 around, it does feel a little underpowered when you first depress the accelerator pedal and you would have to be significantly more aggressive to start off faster. However, to rectify the lack of responsiveness, Toyota has their version of “Sports mode”.

When “Sports Mode” is on, the car feels a whole lot more responsive right from the get-go. In case you’ve mistaken this as a magic power button, let me clarify that the amount of power the car has not increased. Instead, the “Sports mode” simply increased the availability of the power from a stationary position, and allowed each gear to drag to higher RPMs at higher speeds. Of course, having fun comes at a cost, dragging the gears would mean that fuel efficiency decreases, and more stress is placed on the engine and gearbox. It’s still an interesting function to allow the driver to select their preferred mode of driving to suit their personalities and can come especially useful when this car is shared between a couple.

The new RAV4 is by far the most sporty looking version of RAV4 that I have ever seen.

Cabin space has not been compromised and the interior feels spacious and modern. The boot space is generous with 38.4 cubic feet and more than 70 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down.

If you are looking for something powerful, leave the RAV 4 alone and look for other cars along the same category such as the Honda CRV or the Volkswagen Tiguan. However, if you want an all rounder that is easy to drive, comfortable, fuel efficient with spatial practicality, I will definitely cast my vote for the new Toyota RAV4.

{She Said} Karen:

Raphael and I have completely different preferences when it comes to cars. He likes his fun, sporty, exuberant, responsive and powerful while I love tall practical cars with huge spaces that feels safe and comfortable. If it’s fuel efficient, all the better! The Toyota RAV4 is a car right up my alley and I was eager to give it a spin.

The RAV4 is one of the more popular city SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) around and it’s not hard to see why. It’s easy to drive, has good fuel economy and is more than capable of going off road should the need ever arises.

The interior of the RAV4 is well constructed to ensure it’s agreeable for the widest spectrum of drivers.

You might think a petite girl like myself would feel more comfortable in a smaller car but I’ve always love driving larger car models and have long learnt that it isn’t the car size that matters when it comes to comfort but how well designed a car is. In fact, the Toyota RAV4 has a variety of adjustments that make it perfect for me to sit tall and have a clear view over the dash while having my feet relaxed over the pedals.  If your seat doesn’t feel right or even if the cup holder seems out of place, it can make your bad day just feel worse but when you feel snug and controlled in your seat, it helps you to drive better (especially if you do any long distance driving). Kudos to the RAV4 interior designers for making this car one that I’ll love to spend more time in.

The major plus point for this car is the huge amount of space. You could fit huge wrestlers with engorged muscles and still not feel claustrophobic. Having two dogs (real ones and not my little toy ‘Donut’ that you see pictured) that get regular car rides to the beach, I simply appreciate space.

As you can see, I fit perfectly (with more than enough excess space) in the boot and this just means it’s easier to go shopping, pick up supplies and go on road trips. I travel frequently and having a car that fits my luggages is just a necessary requirement.

With such a huge car, one might be worried about having to look far behind when parking. However, other than the usual parking sensors, the RAV4 comes with a backup rear camera (which turns on automatically when you are in reverse gear) that helps covers all the possible blind spots that makes parking in tight spaces a breeze. This is a wide angle camera which helps show clear, real time images of what’s behind you on the 6.1″ audio touch-screen display.

The display panel of the RAV4 is large, making viewing easier when driving. It comes with a bluetooth function that auto-detects my iPhone and plays my personal music lists seamlessly. The Bluetooth connectivity is integrated into the audio system so you’ll hear whoever’s calling (and whoever you call) through the wrap around 6-speaker sound system in RAV4, so (signal permitting) the sound quality of calls is excellent.

Little details that delighted me were the easy to reach music controls on the steering wheel and the voice activated command system that comes with the control panel. The steering wheel controls allow you to select a radio station or audio device, change tracks, pump the volume up or down, make a hands free mobile call, cycle through the useful information on the Multi Information Display or set Cruise Control, all without ever taking your hands off the wheel.

It is also easy and fun to program voice commands so you no longer need to get distracted while driving.

Built-in navigation systems makes driving to new unfamiliar destinations child’s play.

For the comfort of passengers, you can even choose if you would like to Sync your air-con temperatures. It isn’t unusual to have the driver and passenger wanting different air-con temperatures and now with Dual Zone Air-conditioning, the driver and front passenger get to adjust their preferred temperature independently.

Another refreshing feature of the RAV4 is their Smart (keyless) Entry and Smart Start, which means that as long as you have the key fob somewhere with you, you can lock and unlock the car and start the engine without ever taking the key out of your pocket or bag. This is incredibly useful for people like myself who is always having my hands full after grocery shopping or simply can’t seem to ever find my keys which are #foreverlost in my messy handbag.

The smart, keyless entry system picks up radio transmissions from your key fob when it’s close to the car and prepares to unlock. All you then have to do is grip the door handle or the tailgate latch and the car will automatically unlock itself. There’s no need to worry about fumbling for keys when it starts to rain! Of course, you still do have a manual key in case of any emergencies.

As long as you have the key fob with you in the car, all you need to do to start the engine is a touch on the brakes then a push on the start button and you’re up and running.

The system is also smart enough to know if you’ve left the key in the car. You won’t be able to lock the door unless the key is outside the car with you.

The Toyota RAV4 may not be the most powerful badass SUV out there but it is solidly constructed, dependable and reliable. All the makings of a good car that will do more than make my daily life a little easier.

If you’ll like to learn more about the Toyota RAV4, simply click on this link to schedule a test drive today.

PS – Car was kindly on loan from Toyota to Renzze.com but all photos and opinons are our own.


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