Its long-standing popularity can be traced to universal appeal: It’s a reasonable size, affordably priced and handles with the ease of a midsize sedan. The RAV4 works as an everyday commuter, a suburban workhorse or a comfortable long trip traveler.
It gets a major reworking for the 2016 model year.
And in the case of my tester – the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited AWD – you can feel good about gas mileage and doing your part for the host planet.
Full disclosure: I’ve liked the RAV4 for a long time. My wife drives one. She loves it. This is significant because the day before she bought her RAV4 (a comparatively old-school version with the spare tire mounted on the back), she wasn’t a fan of SUVs.
for making the
RAV4 so alluring. Toyota
What I experienced in the tested 2016 model was quiet, smooth, easy-to-handle efficiency. Simple pleasures mean a lot in the crowded crossover SUV niche. This RAV4 has plentiful pleasures.
With the hybrid technology, the price on the tester was a somewhat hefty $34,874, but that included everything, which in this case meant a long list of driving safety/enhancement features (pre-collision warning, blind spot monitor, “smart stop” technology and rear cross traffic alert to name just a few).
It not just all business. Driver and passengers can enjoy the nice-looking, 18-inch alloy wheels, the power moonroof and the height-adjustable power liftgate.
Downright luxurious, I say.
On the roll, the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine combines with a high-torque electric motor to deliver spirited performance.
Toyota notes that the RAV4 hybrid’s zero to 60 miles per hour time of 8.1 seconds is nearly a second quicker than its gas counterparts. I believe it. I was surprised at the oomph the tested RAV4 put forth on steep uphill climbs. And it was an effortless and nimble cruiser in dicey rush hour commutes.
Bottom line bonus: 34 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
Pretty good numbers there, especially given the pop the RAV4 has. If you’ve been pondering a Prius but need more vehicle, this hybrid RAV4 should be on your test drive list.
I was horribly offended by this, because it’s a pretty enjoyable vehicle for relentlessly aging baby boomers like yours truly.