[Test Drive Review]- The 4th Generation [4G] Toyota RAV4

The fourth generation of the Toyota RAV4 is the result of a revolutionary new design concept. In a major evolution of its pioneering crossover performance, the new Toyota RAV4 takes on a stylish new personality that is radiant with urban beauty and confident power.

With a new 2-litre petrol engine, a class-leading cargo capacity, and a compelling array of user friendly features, there is everything to like about the luxurious sports utility vehicle [SUV]. To be honest, I have always wondered how Toyota arrive at the quirky name, “RAV 4” and I found out that it is based on the first letters of the words, Recreational, Active, Vehicle, and 4-wheel drive.

Available in 2 variants; Elegance and Premium, the fourth-generation Toyota RAV4 is the result of a revolutionary new design concept and is a SUV that attains a level of refinement never seen before.

1st Generation Toyota RAV4

2nd Generation Toyota RAV4

3rd Generation Toyota RAV4

Exterior Appearance

The exterior design concept of the all new Toyota RAV4 is “Sophisticated, Dynamic and Strong”. It aims to capture the essence of a SUV’s “agile and sporty character” by refining a bold, dynamic silhouette founded on SUV functionality and aerodynamics, evoking a “feeling of excitement that suits the next generation of SUVs.”

In a significant break from its heritage, the all-new RAV4 will switch from its side-hinged back door to a convenient roof-hinged tail gate with a spare tire stored under the cargo floor.

As on other recently introduced Toyota models, the “Air Management” design approach allows for the incorporation of aerodynamic improvement measures throughout the vehicle, contributing to excellent handling stability and enhanced fuel efficiency. Aero Stabilising Fins are also adopted on the outer mirrors and the rear combination lamps to contribute to improved handling stability.

Projector headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lamps have been adopted to enhance the visual appeal of the all-new RAV4 and provide outstanding illumination in an energy-efficient package.

Interior Appearance

The interior design aims to offer a new SUV driving pleasure by combining a “sporty cockpit-like driver’s area” with a “spacious and open atmosphere” which expresses a bold body structure and yet a refined feel of the interior space. The driver’s zone is clearly framed with a bold metallic accent, and a horizontal bar adds the strong, stable foundation.

The all-new RAV4 has a large and versatile cargo space that can easily accommodate long or bulky items. The discontinuation of the door-mounted spare tire to a rear-facing arc back door has enabled the back door to be thinner and more compact. This has resulted in a greater cargo capacity.

The all-new RAV4 is also equipped with a tonneau cover and a multi-purpose net. The tonneau cover can conceal cargo onboard for better privacy while the multi-purpose net is great for a variety of storage configurations and versatility.

Our Driving Experience With The 4th Generation Toyota RAV4

When I first arrived at the Toyota Car Showroom to pick up the vehicle, I was really taken aback because I never expected the new Toyota RAV4 to undergo such a major facelift! Compared to the third generation Toyota RAV4, the all new Toyota RAV4 boasts such a stylish and visually powerful exterior design that it truly distinguishes itself from other conventional SUVs.

When I was behind the wheel in the driver’s seat, I felt quite on top of the world. I had a good vision of the front and was able to manoeuvre the car with much ease. Although the Toyota RAV4 is a big vehicle, parking was a breeze for me.

During acceleration, the engine was surprisingly on the quiet side and the transmission was seamlessly smooth and intuitive. When required to go offroad, the all new Toyota RAV4 doesn’t disappoint in terms of performance. The rugged but comfortable ride will surprise many and it was a real pleasure to drive the all new Toyota RAV4. The controls were all within my reach and I had no issues fiddling with the switches while driving.

A drive mode switch is available, which allows the driver to select SPORT mode, NORMAL mode or ECO drive mode in accordance to their preferences and driving conditions. Equipped with the Dynamic Torque Control AWD system which utilises the current RAV4's mechanical hardware combined with new control logic in SPORT mode, the all new Toyota RAV4 proactively distributes torque to the rear wheels for increased grip and sportier handling. Fuel efficiency is also increased by distributing torque to the rear wheels only when necessary and in the required amount.

The all-new RAV4 is equipped with a class-top level of active safety features which includes vehicle stability control [VSC], traction control, hill-start assist control, down-hill assist control, and 7 SRS airbags.

Soft padding is dynamically positioned in areas near passengers for a refined and luxurious impression. There was sufficient leg room and head room for the passengers and the new seat design supports a more comfortable seating posture that minimises fatigue on long-distance trips.

On paper, the fuel consumption of the all new Toyota RAV4 is 13.3 KM per Litre and that’s considerably good for a SUV. When I was driving the all new Toyota RAV4, I only managed about 10 KM per Litre.

The all new Toyota RAV4 is truly a SUV to consider if you are looking for a reliable and spacious offroad vehicle that is luxuriously comfortable! For more information about the all new Toyota RAV4, do check out Toyota Singapore Official Website or arrange for a test drive at the Toyota Car Showroom!