Review: Toyota RAV4 Adventure Edition

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Our review of Toyota RAV4 Adventure Edition: solid driving experience, good handling, loaded with safety features, spacious interiors, all of which makes it perfect for those small road trips – but not for intense off-roading adventures

1994. A revolutionary year for the automotive industry. Why you may ask? Well, This was the year Toyota launched the first compact crossover SUV, the iconic ‘RAV4’. The crossover was meant for those customers who wanted to take advantage of some of the basic functions of a full sized SUV with the flexibility of a normal sedan. This resulted in increased trunk space for storage, more ground clearance for that quick road-trip but wouldn’t dig too deep of a hole in your pocket because of its stellar fuel economy.

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Fast forward today, we are now 25 years in since the first RAV4 model came out and Toyota had a few surprises in store for us for the 5th generation ‘Adventure Edition’ of this beast. With various enhanced technologies, we knew this was going to be a completely different experience for us.

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RAV4 Specifications  

  • 2.5L, 4 Cylinder Engine
  • 203 HP/ 6600 RPM
  • 330 Nm Torque
  • 8 Speed Automatic Transmission
  • 4 x 4 Full Time Terrain
  • 55 Liters Fuel Tank Capacity
  • 5 Passenger Seating Capacity
  • Average Fuel Economy of 12KM/ Liter based on our testing in the city and 14KM/ Liter on highways
  • Synthetic Leather Seats

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Features

  • Keyless Entry/ Keyless Start (Push Button Ignition)
  • Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror 
  • Dual Zone Air Conditioning
  • Electronic Parking Brake with Brake Hold
  • Eco, Normal and Sport Driving Modes
  • 7 inch Multi-Information Display
  • Power Driver Seat
  • Wireless Charger for Phones
  • 6 Speaker Audio System
  • LED Headlights with DRLs and Fog Lamps
  • Auto Headlight Leveling
  • Auto-Retractable Door Mirrors
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • ABS, EBD, VSC and Down Hill Assist Control (DAC) safety systems
  • Rear View Camera with Front & Rear Parking Sensors

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What we liked

  • Solid driving experience
  • Spacious Interiors
  • Phenomenal Handling
  • Abundance of safety features
  • Perfect for those small road trips and non-so-intense off-roading adventures

What we didn’t like

  • The adventure variant is slightly on the pricier side
  • Hard plastic interiors
  • Not very impressed with the acceleration

Design

There’s no doubt that Toyota has nailed the design for the 5th Generation RAV4 Adventure Edition by taking cues from the FT-AC concept that we saw during the LA Auto Show in 2017. Most crossovers today have a very curvy design making it very hard to distinguish them from the competition. You’ve got the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson also sporting very similar design. Not Toyota though. They want to do something different. They wanted their latest iteration to seem more muscular and beastly. The new RAV4 looks sleek and classy but evidently roars crossover superiority from the competition.

Exterior

Toyota seems to have made a bold statement with that aggressive grill. Lot of attention to detail has been put in designing this vehicle to the ground. At a glance it might even seem like this vehicle was designed for millennials but the RAV4 has always been attractive to both female and male drivers. The LED Headlights with DRLs make the vehicle look quite futuristic.

The new RAV4 is based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture Platform making it slightly lower, but longer and wider than the previous generations. This results in significantly spacious interiors. The high ground clearance really comes in handy for those little off-roading road trips whether the rock terrains of Ras Al Khaimah or the small sand dunes in Khawaneej, but they also come in handy for speed breakers that are unusually elevated than usual. No worries of anything hitting the bottom.

Interiors

Remember this word. Space. It’s all over the place in the brand new Toyota RAV4 Edition. Comfortably seating 5 passengers, makes this vehicle ideal for long drives. Comfortable synthetic leather seating arrangements and dual zone climate control is exactly what you would need to survive the scorching heat of the UAE.

The vehicle is packed with all kinds of gizmos. You’ve got wireless charging for your phone in the front. Just a simple place on the mat and you’re juicing up your favorite sidekick. The panoramic sunroof is perfect for those starry nights in Hatta giving you a full view of the sky above.

The dashboard is made up of your conventional hard plastics. Not a big fan but Toyota seems to have gotten the color composition right. So the insides do seem quite vibrant instead of looking dull. You’ve got a 7 inch screen right in the middle allowing you to control some of the functions of the vehicle and of course the entertainment system.

Driving Experience

Handling this vehicle is as smooth as butter. I mean, I genuinely tried pushing the vehicle to its limits and not once did it fail me. Sharp turns. Check. High speed driving with strong wind crossover. Maafi Mushkila. The only thing that did disappoint me a little bit was the acceleration. It wasn’t top notch. I mean not like you could compare this to a Ferrari or anything but, you’d still want that initial kick upon slamming the accelerator but that wasn’t the case with the Adventure Edition RAV4.

Fuel economy is great. You get about 12 kms/litre in the city which is pretty great for vehicle of this size. I personally drive a ‘Honda City’ and I still manage to get only 14 kms/litre which isn’t much of a big difference. Highways are great. Since you’re maintaining a constant speed we were able to get 14 kms/litre most of the time.

Given all the safety features that come as standard, you also have complete peace of mind on that aspect. The vehicle seems well built. Since this is a Crossover and not a full sized SUV, it allows you to do some basic off-roading but it would be criminal to go all out.

Verdict

After our intensive testing, we can confirm the RAV4 a major leap ahead from its previous generation. There are few compromises made here and there to keep the price down but definitely not a deal breaker. It’s smooth, safe and incredibly reliable for long term usage.

Plenty of space in the inside makes it ideal for families with a lot of kids. Even if you aren’t much of an outdoor person, the RAV4 adventure variant will actually get you to go outdoors more often.

Compared to the rest of the guys from the same league, the RAV4 Adventure Edition doesn’t look like any vehicle out there. It’s got its own unique design that makes it stand out from the mediocre clan.

At the time of writing, the RAV4 Adventure retailed for AED 129,900 and is available at all Al Futtaim Toyota Showrooms.

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