This newly updated SUV looks more aggressive than before, but it’s actually just as gentle as the previous model.
THERE are only two sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in Toyota Singapore’s model lineup – the tall and rugged Fortuner (reviewed on pg 64) and the angry-looking RAV4 seen here.
“Angry” might sound like a harsh description, but it’s accurate when you consider that this model has a much sharper face than its predecessor.
The front bumper is also wider and more angular than before. Together with those slimmer headlights, the RAV4 looks like it’s squinting at you when you view it head-on.
You’ll feel the same when you look at the car from the rear – those new LED tail-lamps don’t look too friendly either.
Steering wheel now has a handy D-pad for navigating through the instrument panel menus.
But this SUV reveals its true character once you get behind the driver’s seat.
In contrast to its “aloof” exterior, the RAV4’s cabin is a very welcome space. The dashboard has leather trimmings, the seats are plush and the new instrument cluster is prettier than the older one.
But if the interior still leaves you cold, it’s probably due to the frighteningly frigid air-conditioning system, which I really love.
Also agreeable to me is the RAV4’s more pliant ride.
The previous model, which I reviewed in 2013, was a tad firm and always felt like it was “skipping” over bumps instead of soaking them up.
The biggest improvement, however, is under the bonnet. The 2-litre inline-4 engine is cleaner and more efficient than before.
Thanks to the stop-start function, the RAV4 can now manage a combined consumption figure of 15.3km per litre, which is 2km per litre further compared to the pre-facelift model.
The car’s 0-100km/h time of 10.7 seconds, however, is unchanged.
The updated RAV4 has a nicer interior and cushier ride. It’s also kinder to the environment this time around.
It’s still a softie at heart. I don’t understand why Toyota tried to make it look so tough.