The new Toyota RAV4 crossover aims to up the ante in the fun and sportiness departments, to help compliment the more practical aspects of Toyota’s popular crossover. In that light, they’ve released a sportier trim, as well as a powerful fuel efficient Hybrid model to the line-up.
It starts from the outside, where the 2016 RAV4 get a host of exterior touches to help show what it’s all about. In keeping with many other new Toyota models, the RAV4 gets a new, low-profile headlight and grille treatment that manages to still provide a slightly menacing stare. From the rear, meanwhile, clear available LED tail lamps and an aluminum-style skid plate design do well to look rugged and sporty all at once. From the side, revised rocker panels and wheel wells, as well as new wheels complete the look. It all comes as part of an all-new SE trim ($34,870), whose goal it is to provide a unique and sporty offering within the range. It joins the LE FWD ($25,240), LE AWD ($27,505), XLE FWD ($29,750), XLE AWD ($31,900) and Limited AWD ($37,750) in the line-up.
Inside, the SE gets a blacked-out headliner and door trim, further adding to the sporty look.
Inside, features like an optional heated steering wheel, optional 7-inch infotainment display screen (4.2 and 6-inch displays are also offered), rear cross traffic alert and blind-spot warning systems (both standard on XLE models) mean the 2016 RAV4 is the most feature-rich model yet.
While the powertrain offerings on the standard RAV4’s haven’t changed (you’ll find the same 2.5L inline-4, good for 176 horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque), the addition of a Hybrid model more than makes up for it.
Starting with a familiar version of Hybrid Synergy Drive system seen elsewhere in the Toyota line-up, the RAV4 Hybrid comes in two trims—XLE ($34,715) and Limited ($38,515)—both of which Toyota claims are good for 6.9L/100 km of fuel usage in the city.
Both models come equipped with an Atkinson-cycle 2.5L engine, complimented by two electric motors (one on the front axle, one on the rear), with power being fed through a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT). The transmission, plus four selectable drive modes (Normal, Sport, ECO, EV) all combine to return best-in-class fuel economy figures.
XLE Hybrid models come equipped with heated front seats, leather steering wheel, eight-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, and power liftgate. They also get unique 17” alloy hybrid-specific wheels.
Limited models, meanwhile, get leather SofTex seating surfaces, memory driver’s seat, navigation, 7-inch infotainment screen (up from 6.1 in. for the XLE), XM satellite radio capability, back-up camera and heated steering wheel. Outside, LED head- and taillights help differentiate the Limited from the XLE.
If you want more from the Limited, meanwhile, an optional Technology Package upgrades to an 11-speaker JBL Audio system. It also includes Toyota Safety Sense which comes with a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure warning with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control as well as a Bird’s Eye View Monitor, and front and rear sonar park assist.
Both the 2016 RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid will be available in dealers by the time you read this.