The fifth-generation TOYOTA RAV4 is going where no compact crossover SUV has gone before


Stronger, bolder, angular lines; enough rear room to accommodate a mountain bike with its wheels on; enhanced performance – the fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 is going where no compact crossover SUV has gone before.
In 1994, Toyota launched a game changer. The RAV4 quickly gained a cult following among those who spent as much time planning their work schedules as they did planning their weekends away. Now in its fifth generation, the RAV4 continues to please its long-time fans while winning new minds. If first impressions count then the new RAV4 has reached blast-off. Noticeably more angular and sculpted than its predecessors, the exterior echoes the chiselled dynamism of the CH-R but adds the space and substance of a more purpose-built SUV to the overall look and feel.

Inside, it’s all brushed aluminium and soft-touch surfaces.The slightly increased width of the vehicle has allowed for a widened armrest that will give those longer-distance road trips (as well as the mid-week school run) that much more of a luxurious feel. Sometimes, it really is the small things that make a big difference!



Fully flat, the floor is 60mm longer than its predecessor. With all that space you don’t have to squabble about whether to bring the potjie or the mini-cooler box. (Besides, the two go together so well!) Moreover, the added safety nets in the boot mean that all those goodies you’ll bring along will be safer than ever as you use that 195mm of ground clearance to its full advantage over the odd pesky rock or surprising root, not just with ease but with style to boot.

This is the first SUV to be produced on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) system, a huge leap forward in the company’s manufacturing operations that will see the basic architecture of all its vehicles – the powertrain and the chassis – underpinned by an innovative and integrated system.
The RAV4’s chassis is built on the TNGA-K platform whose progenitor – the K platform – delivered the Camry and Lexus RX.This platform continues to produce the Camry and Lexus ES, but in the RAV4 the TNGA has found a vehicle that uses its lower centre of gravity and high body rigidity to the full. So the vehicle’s performance around corners and on the highway is as good as its capability in the wilderness, where the double-wishbone rear suspension has been left soft enough to absorb those irritating corrugations in gravel.


The fifth-generation RAV4 will come with an option of two naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engines mated with either a six-speed Intelligent Manual (iMT), Continuously Variable Transmission (Shiftmatic CVT) or eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission. The 2.0-litre engine delivers a meaty 127kW of power and 203Nm of torque while the 2.5-litre version puts out 152kW and 243Nm. This is thanks to Toyota’s relatively recent introduction of Dynamic Force technology that allows for faster combustion using better compression and stroke/bore ratios, as well as design tweaks to the valve system. The upshot is a more efficient and responsive engine.

The drivetrain of the GX-R CVT and VX eight-speed automatic models powers Toyota’s all-wheel-drive system, featuring the manufacturer’s first dynamic torque vectoring system with Rear Driveline Disconnect. This system allows for intelligent torque distribution between the left and right rear wheels to enhance performance. And on highways the system uses a ratchet-type dog clutch to improve fuel efficiency. At the same time, the AWD’s Integrated Management system means that the vehicle’s steering, brake, throttle and shift systems are adjusted automatically when the vehicle’s two drive modes – “Mud & Sand” and “Rock & Dirt” – are selected.The eight-speed transmission is exclusive to the 2.5-litre engine and delivers a thrilling trot when Sport Mode is engaged.


Toyota have left nothing to chance in the safety department, with every conceivable airbag tted as well as ABS, EBD, Brake Assist,Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Assist Control and Trailer Sway Control making the RAV4 an intelligently guided vehicle.
In a first for the RAV4, theVX model now comes with Toyota Safety Sense. This takes electronic driver aids to the level of autonomous driving with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Control, Blind-Spot Monitor and Pre-Crash System.


GX 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, LED headlights, push-button start, a seven-inch display audio and multi- information display (MID), Cruise Control, Reverse Camera and rear Park Distance Control (PDC).
GX-R The GX-R has a bigger upper front grille with broad horizontal slats, a larger more prominent skid plate, chunky black over-fenders and 18-inch alloy wheels. In terms of spec, it adds power-adjustable leather seats with lumbar support, seat heaters, leather steering wheel and trim, smart entry, auto-dimming interior mirror, rain-sensing wipers, wireless charging and climate control.
VX Adds 19-inch high-gloss alloy wheels, Auto High Beam (AHB), Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Tra c Alert, memory seats, power-operated tailgate, Panoramic View Monitor plus front PDC. The instrument cluster gets a TFT multi-information display (MID), providing key driver information, including a large LCD speedometer.


Power: 127kW @ 6 600rpm
Torque: 203Nm between 4 400 – 4 800rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, CVT
Fuel economy: 6.5 – 6.8 L/100km /
RAV4 2.0 GX MT 2WD – R 416 400
RAV4 2.0 GX CVT 2WD – R 427 600
RAV4 2.0 GX-R CVT AWD – R508 100
RAV4 2.0 VX CVT 2WD – R505 400
Power: 152kW @ 6 600rpm
Torque: 243Nm between 4 000 – 5 000rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic Fuel economy: 7.3 L/100km
RAV4 2.5 VX 8AT AWD – R577 900
Maintenance plan: Six services/90 000km service plan with 12 month/15 000km intervals. A three-year/100 000km warranty is also included.

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