Toyota Rav4 Deluxe+ 2.4 Review
A touch of adequacy

Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim
22 Jan 2009

There’s no slowing down the SUV market – and the updated and lengthened RAV4 is proof…

Minor updates

In a market like Singapore, you can’t help but ponder about this – “why does one need an SUV”. No? Especially at a time like now, when our roads are congested almost everyday without fail and parking cars can be quite a pain in the bum. Why do people still buy those big pieces of metal on wheels? In fact if everyone buys a small car, like the Honda Jazz for example, our roads probably won’t be jam packed as this. I’m pretty sure our roads will be a better one if everyone thinks likewise.

Then again, SUVs are more affordable now, than say, what was seen in the last decade. And most of them have car like drivability and equally good looks. Then there’s also the image that SUV drivers, mostly of my gender, always seem to get when they’re seen driving an SUV – that they’re macho, sporty and love the great outdoors.

But not every man buys an SUV just to get that impression. Some are just like this particular friend of mine – he drives a Korean SUV, spent a fair bit of moolah to give it the full 4 x 4 outlook (ala Camel Trophy), but is actually afraid of the sun, is out of shape and the only jungle he traverses in are the concrete jungles of Raffles Place (so how’s that for redundancy?). In stark contrast, family men just prefer SUVs for their commanding view of the road, its spaciousness, and also because they rather be seen in an SUV…over an MPV.

The SUV market is getting more saturated, no doubt about that. But somehow, there are SUVs that pleases. For example, the Volkswagen Tiguan – in a way, you can call it a Golf GTI on stilts. It drives well, goes fast and offers all the practicality in the world that hatchback owners like myself, can only dream of having. Then there’s also the Koleos - it’s no hidden secret that mechanically, it’s just a Frenched-up Nissan X-Trail. But it offers generous kits and at the same time, is so refined that it gives sedans with the same engine capacity a good run for their money. And how about the Qashqai? It has an outlook that’s pleasing to the eye and is a cinch to manoeuvre.

Not wanting to be forgotten in this competitive SUV market, Toyota decided to give its SUV some minor updates. Besides the usual aesthetic changes, the RAV4 has also been lengthened.

The RAV4 retains the tall and butch profile, but now sports some new updates. Upfront, it gets a new bumper, grill and headlights while the rear also sees a new bumper, and tail lamps. Other items fitted to spruce the look further includes new 17-inch alloys wrapped in 225/65 R-17 Bridgestone rubbers, wing mirrors with integrated repeaters and a roof-mounted spoiler.


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