It’s always a good sign when people roll up on me and ask me, ‘what is that?’ That’s exactly what happened within minutes of picking up the 2016 Toyota RAV 4 SE AWD. I’ve always thought that this was the ‘just-my-size’ option in an SUV.
From the onset, the style of the RAV 4 is on par with some of its larger counterparts. The new design is full of personality. Sharp lines and vibrant colors make the RAV 4 pop! The eye can’t help follow these lines up and over the entire body of this SUV. Standard features like Painted accents, LED Headlights, Tail lamps, Daytime Running Lights and Power Everything, including a Moonroof and Heated Outside Mirrors, the RAV 4 checks all the boxes. One of the coolest-of-the-cool features of this 5-seater is the Height Adjustable Power Liftgate. It is no secret that I am vertically challenged (4’11 and proud of it), but this option allows me to customize the range of the Liftgate when deployed and that’s all right with me! Simply by pressing the Liftgate button and listening to the audible alerts you can set to ‘just-the-right-size’.
While the RAV4 SE AWD is demure in stature-friendly, it’s a giant on the road while offering a combined 25-MPG (22-city and 29-hwy). The 2.5, 4-Cylinder Engine that puts out 176 ponies paired with a 6-Speed Automatic Transmission flows down the road. The Eco and Sport Modes allow you to switch between a conservative and a more exhilarating driving experience. I found myself engaging the Sport Mode when merging onto the freeway or needing a lil’ more pep on a straightaway…and I loved that freedom of choice!
With the much-needed torrential rain we recently experienced, I really got a chance to test out the safety features of RAV4 SE AWD. The Stability and Traction Control proved to be right on time when the first wave of El Nino showed up. While rolling through ankle level puddles of water, the drive of the RAV 4 was controlled and precise. The Anti-Lock and Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology worked in concert to provided a wall of safety while maneuvering through those tricky driving conditions.
The inner cabin was just as cool as the exterior and drive of the RAV 4. Comfortable seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with Audio and Bluetooth Controls, chrome accents, Backup Camera and contrasting topstitching around the console and inner cabin, the RAV 4 has a lot of style and dare I say…swag! Toyota’s Entune Audio Plus system (6.1” Touch Screen, Scout GPS Link App, SiriusXM All Access and Bluetooth Connectivity) never disappoints.
The designers obviously took great care to utilize every inch of space. Softex-Trimmed 8-Way Power Adjustable Driver’s Seat and Heated Front Seats offered support and comfort. The Reclining and Fold-Flat 2nd row capitalizes on the storage and varied seating options.
The RAV 4 SE AWD is perfect choice!
MSRP $32,165 and for more info on the RAV 4 and other Toyota vehicles, click here.