As one of the first compact crossovers on the market, the Toyota RAV4 has earned the trust of tens of thousands of Canadians in the time it’s been on sale. 2016 sees the RAV4 get a mid-cycle refresh that includes new exterior and interior styling, plus tweaks to the steering and suspension. A heated steering wheel, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, and radar cruise control join the available features list.
In addition to the LE, XLE, and Limited trims, there’s a new sporty “SE” trim that adds 18-inch wheels, skid-plate accents, LED headlamps, unique paint configurations, and paddles for manual mode shifting. Also new for 2016 is a hybrid powertrain -- something that the industry had been expecting for years. The RAV4 Hybrid can be had in XLE and Limited trims.
A thoroughly pragmatic choice, the RAV4 ticks the boxes for most buyers’ needs for a small sport utility vehicle. The upright roofline offers plenty of cargo space, with a low liftover height, and interior space is generous. Equipment levels are strong: all models come standard with cruise control, Bluetooth, air conditioning, reclining and split-folding rear seats, power windows, and keyless entry. A reverse camera is standard on all but the base LE where it is an option.
The standard powertrain on the RAV4 is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that develops a competitive 175 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque; it drives either the front wheels (LE, XLE) or all four wheels (standard Limited, optional all others) via a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is rated at 10.0 L/100 km city, 7.6 L/100 km highway. It’s tow-rated at 1,000 lbs.
The RAV4 Hybrid uses the same running gear as the luxe NX 300h Hybrid, and uses an Atkinson cycle 2.5-litre four-cylinder with a CVT and two electric motors. As you’d expect, its fuel economy is excellent at 6.9 L/100 km city, and 7.2 L/100 km highway. The RAV4 Hybrid is also the most powerful RAV4 currently on sale with 194 net hp.
Pricing for the 2016 Toyota RAV4 starts at $25,240 for the LE FWD, and tops out at $37,750 for the Limited AWD. The RAV4 Hybrid XLE starts at $34,715 with the Limited selling for $38,515 – a modest premium over the gas-powered Limited.