Family buyers love SUVs for their practicality, versatility, durability and load-carrying…it’s just that sometimes they’re just too big.
Some 13 years ago, the launch of Toyota’s first compact RAV4 brought a whole bunch of new buyers to the segment – buyers who would have been intimidated by full-size SUVs.
The latest RAV has grown in proportions and now boasts a 3.5-litre V6 engine but its popularity with family buyers and first-time SUV-ers remains remarkably strong. The extra towing capacity of the V6 models (now 1900 kgs) is also a consideration for many families.
Sure there has been a rapid rise in the number of excellent opposition vehicles in the now-crowded compact SUV segment, but the RAV V6 remains the benchmark.
Car Showroom is very keen on the RAV V6 – the silky-smooth engine delivers effortless power in an unobtrusive and refined manner, the bigger overall dimensions make the RAV much better for families, the interior is very comfortable and practical and it’s a Toyota so that virtually guarantees a few things – value-for-money, reliability and good resale value.
Three models comprise the RAV V6 lineup CV6 (rrp $39,990), SX6 (rrp $43,990 and ZR6 (rrp $49,990).
All come with a hefty list of standard features such as factory air conditioning, telescopic steering adjustment, power windows, 17-inch alloy wheels, auto-off headlights and a 6-speaker MP3 audio system.
SX6 gains a few extras like push-button air-con, 6-stacker CD, leather steering wheel and gear level, high grade interior trim, privacy glass, five-spoke alloy wheels, overfender flares and roof rails.
Range-topping ZR6 gets leather seat inserts, electric drivers seat adjustment, satellite navigation to name just a few.
RAV V6 shares the 3.5-litre powerplant with Toyota’s Aurion, Tarago and Hilux models. The 60-degree layout of the engine was chosen for space efficiency under the bonnet and for its low levels of vibration Maximum power is 201 kW of at 6200 rpm while peak torqueis 333Nm at 4700 rpm. Drive is through an excellent 5-speed electronic automatic transmission.
Suspension is independent MacPherson strut with coil springs and trailing-type double wishbone rear end. With a substantial front cross-member and body braces on the rear, the RAV V6 drives very well on-road and is tough enough to suprise even hardcore 4WD enthusiasts off-road.
Active safety features abound including VSC (vehicle Stability Control), TRC (Traction Control), ABS anti-lock brakes and Active All-Wheel-Drive. All models have six airbags – driver and front passenger, side and side curtain-shield.