UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd just launched the 5th generation RAV4 SUV today, and actually gave us an opportunity to give it a go giving us a first-hand experience on its features.
While many of us were impressed with what we saw in pictures and the specifications sheet, we can’t deny the fact that the asking price of the all-new RAV4 is a tad too steep for our liking, especially if we are to compare it with its rivals like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 that are priced about RM15,000 to RM20,000 cheaper.
So, below are a few interesting features of the Toyota RAV4 that somewhat sets it apart from the competition; but do they justify the price tag? You let us know!
Underpinned by the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform as the new Camry, the new RAV4 is arguably the best handling model in its class. The chassis and suspension are set up so well that bumps and lumps are tolerated in an impressive manner without compromising the handling and road-holding even a little bit. How often do you come across the words “comfortable” and “good handling” in the same sentence?
Like Robin is to Batman, the RAV4’s Trailing Wishbone Rear Suspension, which is another first for Toyota in Malaysia, perfectly complements the TNGA platform. The suspension is designed in a way that it provides top class shock reduction over uneven surfaces. This was evident when we drove towards Pulau Carey in the RAV4 on roads that are full of trailers, where the bumps didn’t really bother us at all. We only went “Oh wow, that wasn’t too bad was it?”
For the longest time, the biggest complain people had about Toyota is that they kept using the same engine for almost a decade, even though these engines and gearboxes were super reliable and durable. So, this time, Toyota decided to bring in its latest Dynamic Force 2.0L and 2.5L engines into the picture.
Paired with the proven CVT gearbox for the 2.0-litre and an 8-speed automatic gearbox that is available in a Toyota for the first time in Malaysia, we have a relatively fresh powertrain package for owners to experience. Besides the fact that the engine actually makes some noise when we floored the accelerator, power delivery was smooth, and the SUV went past the speed limit so quickly that the fact that it has no Turbocharger like its rivals, didn’t bother us at all.
With 580 litres of boot space at your service, the new RAV4 has the biggest boot in its class. The closest one after is the Honda CR-V with 522-litres. On top of that, you can even fold the rear seats down and fit a mountain bike without removing the front wheel straight into the rear of the RAV4.
One of the main highlights of the new Toyota RAV4 is that the only difference between the 2.0L variant and the 2.5L model is the powertrain package, comprising the engine and the gearbox. While the former gets a CVT transmission, the higher spec variant gets an 8-speed automatic transmission. That’s it. Besides that, everything – from the exterior, interior, as well as safety – is identical, and the list is quite comprehensive. So, if you don’t mind having a little less power, the 2.0 variant is actually a very good deal. Let’s see the list of standard equipment offered:
How is that for a list of standard features? So, does the list worth what the RAV4 is asking for? Or are you better off with a more affordable model? Let us know in the comments section below!