The 2016 Toyota RAV4

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When we talk about well-made crossovers, the 2016 RAV4 comes in mind as one of the most reliable bets on the market. This model represents the 4th generation of the trademark. With plenty of new features, this Japanese CUV shines due to its true hybrid layout.

Changes go from cutting-edge specs to huge design modifications. Expected from Toyota, the revamped 2016 RAV4 is exclusively built with top-notch materials. It sells itself as a safe, highly technological crossover.

Let’s see some of the main highlights of the new 2016 RAV4.

Engine and Specs

Onboard of the redesigned 2016 RAV4, we found a DOHC 16-valve VVT-i 2.5 L inline-4 engine that is capable of generating 176 hp at 6000 RPM and a maximum torque of 172 lb-ft at 4100 RPM. For the transmission, Toyota put on place a 6-speed automatic gearbox with electronic control. The front-wheel-drive layout comes as standard while the all-wheel-drive is completely optional.

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In numbers, this setup allows the 2016 RAV4 to go from standstill to 60 mph (100 km/h) in 9 seconds, a little bit slower than expected. The fuel efficiency is great. The same system used by the Highlander will activate only one axle of the RAV4 when it’s needed, notably increasing the fuel mileage.

The 2016 RAV4 equipped with the AWD traction takes advantage of the highly efficient Toyota Highlander’s system. The torque generated is distributed to the wheels, according to the situation.

The Pre-Torque Control enhance the handling experience, also assigning torque in a smart way. There are two driving modes available: Eco and Sport. These dynamic modes control torque distribution in AWD versions, shift timing, throttle behavior and another mechanism with deep impact on the driving experience.

The hybrid drivetrain is the most interesting feature among all the offered by this model. This setup is composed by the 2.5 L inline-4, two electric engines, and a Ni-MH (nickel-metal hydride) battery.

The Lexus NX shares a comparable hybrid setup, were electric engines boost performance on each axle. The hybrid 2016 RAV4 generates more power, with numbers around the 194 hp and 206 lb-ft. The same for the acceleration, improve by 0.9 seconds in 0-60 mph terms.

Most of the tech onboard is looking for fuel consumption improvement, just like the CVT gearbox and the EV mode. With the innovative layout, the 2016 RAV is even stronger in terms of towing in comparison with the standard crossover. The capacity goes up 1750 lb (794 kg).

Each variant of the 2016 RAV4 comes with a specially tuned suspension. We found a MacPherson strut suspension in the front and double-wishbone in the rear, the same setup from past years.

Upgraded Looks

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A modernized, curvier design, full of sudden cuts in now featured by the 2016 RAV4. Slimmer elements were added to the exterior form, as the stylish headlights.

Each variant of the RAV4 has a wheel style. Among these are included 17-inch steel wheels and 18-inch alloy ones. The SE model, which is the one with the most athletic features, comes with several, exclusive changes on the exterior, like a honeycomb grille.

Inside the cockpit, high-quality materials are used, really improved in comparison with past models. The infotainment system was greatly improved in many ways. In this matter, the 6.1-inch touchscreen comes standard, with more advanced presentations available. Also, the nav systems synchronize great with smartphones for enhanced functions.

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The Bottom Line

The variants available for the 2016 RAV4, without counting the abundant optional packages, are LE, XLE, SE, LIMITED, HYBRID XLE and HYBRID LIMITED. Plenty of extra packages offers upgrades in terms of comfort and technology inside the cabin. Also, there are visual improvements.

The most basic variant, the LED FWD, start at US$24.350, while the most expensive one, the HYBRID LIMITED, start at US$33.610.

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