The SUV segment has been around for some time, and the #Toyota RAV4 remains one of the originals; the latest version of which is expected to attract a lot of customers looking for this type of vehicle. The RAV4 enjoys a popularity that continues to grow, and Toyota expects a surge in sales with the new 2014 model, sales volume that is expected to exceed 200,000 units.
The Toyota RAV4 has some competitors, mainly the Ford Escape, Honda CRV, Kia Sportage and the Nissan Rogue. To make the 2014 vintage even more attractive, Toyota is offering free regular maintenance on the SUV for a period of 2 years or 40,000 km, whichever comes first. This offer applies to the LE, XLE and Limited versions, of which prices range from $23,000 to $27,010.
The fourth generation of the Toyota RAV4 offers many new changes, both inside and out of the small SUV. The first thing that you notice is the disappearance of the spare wheel attached to the rear of the vehicle, which has now been replaced by an integrated spoiler. Another noticeable change, this time under the hood of the 2014 RAV4 is the disappearance of the previous generation's V6 engine, which has been replaced by a more fuel efficient but less powerful 2.5 litre four-cylinder, offering 176 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. For a vehicle weighing more than 2,000 kg (4,500 lbs) it's a bit of a lightweight- the 2014 RAV4 cannot tow more than 680 kg (1,500 pounds). It's competition does much better in this area, especially the new Ford Escape and it's 2-litre, 240 horsepower EcoBoost engine that has comparable fuel consumption numbers but offers more in terms of power and flexibility.
Also note that the RAV4 has both a Sport mode and an Eco mode. One offers a more dynamic driving experience, while the other helps to improve fuel economy. Another new 2014 version comes equipped with an acoustic windscreen to reduce road noise heard in the cabin through the use of special materials consisting of two high tech glass plates.
From the standpoint of equipment found inside the 2014 RAV4, there is plenty. You'll find a 6.1 inch (measured diagonally) touch screen that allows the simplified management of the vehicle's audio, as well as air conditioning and navigation system, as well as backup camera.
The interior offers five real seats, which is relatively rare for this type of vehicle, which remains one of the most comfortable in it's class. The roof height is generous and legroom is ample, making the RAV4 4 seem larger than it really is. Just like in previous generations, there is no third row of seating, but the rear seat does fold down, providing 73 cubic feet of cargo space.
The last notable point about the new generation 2014 RAV4 is the disappearance of the side-opening rear door, the single most unpopular feature of the small SUV. Toyota has swapped it out for a more traditional liftback, much to the relief of RAV4 fans.
With so many new features, once can clearly state that the newly redesigned RAV4 should appeal to a wide audience in search of a reliable and well-equipped compact SUV.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca