Toyota Rav4 Deluxe+ 2.4 Review: A touch of adequacy

Toyota Rav4 Deluxe+ 2.4 Review: A touch of adequacy

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
22 Jan 2009
What we like:
pros
Wonderfully refined engine. Can be chucked into corners - body roll is less than expected.
What we dislike:
cons
Bland looks. Not-so-comfy second row seats. 

With a 2,362cc DOHC VVT-i powerplant under the hood, the RAV4 is good for 168bhp and 224Nm or torque. It gets from zero to hundred in 10.5 seconds – nothing to shout about, really, but considering the 1.6 tonne it needs to lug around, that is respectable.

Engine refinement rates highly in the case of the RAV4 too, so much so that it’s entering Lexus’ territory. I have to say this though – to date, this is one of the best engine ever seen and felt in the SUV segment. You can floor the accelerator and push it all the way to its redline, and it will gladly do so without any complains or show signs of running out of puff. The gearbox is equally well-calibrated, working in tune with the engine - despite the missing fifth ratio and manual selection mode, it hold its act together and works accordingly to the driver’s right foot.

Despite the tallish 1,695mm height, it remains well composed out on the road without any wallow feeling. You can also feel the slightly harder ride it has as compared to Honda’s CR-V – but surprisingly at the same time, the RAV4 goes over undulating road surfaces with aplomb, ironing out potholes and whatnots much to the advantage of passenger comfort. You rarely get to do this here, but even off the beaten path, the RAV4 can take to it just like how a duck would do so in water. Activate the “4WD lock” button, and you can have some off-road antics. The high ground clearance helps too.

Although you can’t throw it into corners as how you would in a sedan, the RAV4 is pretty confident at doing so. Body-roll is well under control, and the steering can still maintain its pin-point accuracy. Stopping power is commendable, all thanks to the front and rear disc brakes that come fitted with ABS and EBD.

Should you buy one? Well, maybe you should take advantage of the affordable asking price now. At $76,488 (correct at time of publication) for the base model here, a Japanese-made Toyota SUV has never been this affordable. It might have some little faults with its interior, and may look quite bland when compared to the rest of the Cat B SUV segment, but if value for money, spaciousness and good on-road dynamics are your key concerns when considering an SUV, then it's worth taking a closer look at the Toyota RAV4.

Credits: Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim

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