The King is back: Toyota’s new RAV4

The long awaited Toyota RAV4 update is being launched to the South African market this week in the Western Cape, and the new off-roader re-enters the market after a long hiatus of updates at a time of fierce competition.

With the increasing popularities of all-wheel drive SUVs, the RAV4 is entering a very different market to that to which it was launched first time around. And, with larger SUVs becoming more and more popular, the smaller competitors will feel the sales crunch the hardest.

But, it’s entirely new and bears a Toyota badge, and the test drives this week will undoubtedly further cement the vehicle in buyers’ minds as a serious competitor for the likes of the Honda CRV, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Subaru Forester and more.

Buyers have four choices in the RAV4 range. At the bottom end of the scale is a 2,0 litre petrol GX with either a CVT or manual transmission. Power output is 107kW, with a low 187Nm of torque produced. Toyota claims fuel economy at 7,4 and 7,7 l/100km for the CVT and manual ‘boxes respectively, and a 1 to 100km/h time of only 11 seconds. The GX has alloy wheels, a Bluetooth/USB/MP3 capable entertainment system, multi-function steering controls, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, stability control and park sensors. The entry level GX is to be sold at R279 900 for the manual and R289 900 and for the auto.

Then, a 2,2 litre D GX is available with a slightly higher 110kW power output and a more off-road appropriate 340Nm of torque. Here, a six-speed manual ‘box is available with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5,6 litres per 100km – which Leisure Wheels is keen to put to the test. The diesel model is to be sold at R359 900.

Then, at the top of the range is Toyota’s flagship RAV4, the 2,5 VX. The latter is available in automatic only, produces 132kW of power and 233Nm of torque and is likely to be their big seller. Fuel consumption is much higher than the rest of the line-up, however, at just over 11 l/100km. In addition to the specifications of the GX, the VX has cruise control, leather finishes, a sunroof, heated seats and dual aircon. The flagship RAV is said to come in at a smidge under 400k at R399 900.


Watch out for our first impression this week from Road Test Editor, GG van Rooyen.