SUV offers a rare combination of power, driver comfort and fuel efficiency
By Brian Yatich
Toyota Kenya has launched the fourth generation Toyota RAV 4 onto the market.
This marks 20 years since the first generation Toyota RAV 4 was launched in the market and Toyota made its grand plans for its 20th birthday anniversary to introduce this masterpiece.
The launch comes at a time when the Kenyan market is inclining towards purchasing new cars compared to imported pre-used cars.
This follows the introduction by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich of levies of as high as Sh200,000 on some classes of second-hand vehicles.
Setting new benchmarks in exterior and interior styling and features, the fourth-generation RAV 4 is a combination of power, driver comfort, world-class performance, fuel efficiency, superior technology, safety features, with spacious rear seat and a large load space.
“The all-new 2016 RAV4 captures the spirit of freedom that began with the original RAV4, yet breaks new ground in refinement, practicality and technology.
“It is boldly stylish and has a uniquely commanding presence, distinguishing it from any other SUV the world has seen,” says Toyota Kenya managing director Sachio Yotsukura during the launch.
The fourth generation RAV 4 is based on Toyota’s monocoque chassis. The compact 4 x 4 segment is stagnant in the UK and there is very little prospect for any new additions to this range.
The launch shows Toyota’s continued effort towards changing the SUV landscape in Kenya based on increasing customer demand for new SUVs boasting better technology and increased driver comfort.
The RAV 4 is the first vehicle to be sold in Kenya under the crossover SUV category and is set to compete with the likes of the BMW X3.
The RAV4 is an innovative model generation, it rewrites the rules of style, as it embodies strengths and it is spacious, a great vehicle for families, has redefined concept dubbed by the retailer as a “Strong Athlete” a powerful, energetic and reliable vehicle.
This fourth generation model vehicle is dynamic, sports friendly, luxurious and high in space, designed to attract buyers.
It has enhanced safety features, superior integrated technology and spacious rear seat with large cargo space. The RAV 4 unlike most other SUVs like the BMW X3 is more maneuverable and responsive.
It comes with an impressive, dynamic exterior styling and bold, high quality interior design, the RAV versatile features enable users to enjoy driving as well as use less fuel. Everyone admires a vehicle that uses fuel efficiently.
The RAV4 has a striking, bold fashionable design. Its unique impressive presence of Sporty & Luxurious Aerodynamic Styling is a distinguishing feature from previous SUVs.
It has Automatic Headlamp Leveling with LED type Headlamps, Rear Spoiler with integrated LED high mount stop lamp.
The new Rav4 is available in four variants to cater for various customer needs in the Kenyan market. The variants are 2.0L 4×2 CVT High and Standard Grades, 2.0L 4×4 and 2.5L 4×4 CVT High Grade. The retail selling price starts from KSh3,830,200 (US$38,302) exclusive of VAT.
Featuring a bold and powerful new instrument panel design completed with a casual touch, the new RAV4 delivers a level of driving pleasure like never before.
The interior is accurately crafted in every detail. The interior is sporty and has an open appeal with a welcoming tenor one that shouts “an extraordinary motoring experience.”
The RAV’s interior is high quality; from the audio system with 6 Speakers DVD/AM/FM/CD/AUX/USB with Blue Tooth, luggage room equipment, steering wheel switches and an easy to operate air conditioner features.
For your comfort and suitability there is a lavish seating space for all on board; the natural leather seats are wired with heaters that give one comfort when it’s cold on the driver and passenger seats.
The cabin is evidently spacious, large items can be loaded efficiently and more space will be created by folding down the rear seats.
In terms of safety, the new RAV4 has 7 Airbags; airbags for front and driver passenger seats; that help protect the passengers in case of any severe frontal and side impacts.
Seatbelts are equipped with force limiters, a rear view monitor system that helps when reversing and has Front & Back Sonars for your safety
Compared to its predecessors, this new one has 100 mm added to the wheelbase. According to Toyota, its 10.6-metre turning circle is still class-leading although it has somehow lost a bit of its individuality. The new RAV4 measures up as a proper medium-sized SUV on the inside.
The rear-mounted spare tyre is now located under the cargo area compared to previous generation where it is fixed to the side-swinging tailgate. Also the lift gate is top hinged with an interesting feature of a memory function: the owner can set the height that the door opens so as to provide the ability to readily reach up and shut it.
The front end is more raked and pulled back, providing an aggressive look.
The dimension of the new model is lower than its predecessor and has reduced ground clearance. The roofline is narrowed and it is resolved in the back with an integrated spoiler.
Its engine will not disappoint — it is powerful as it comes with 2AR-FE 2.5 –liter DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder engine with Dual VVT-i which produces 176 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm.
It also has six-speed automatic transmission compared to the previous ones which had a four-speed.
It has a “Sport” mode that adjusts the control response, making it more linear and responsive; changes the transmission parameters for faster shifts; and reduces the assist of the electric power steering by 20 per cent.
For purposes of fuel economy the car uses 87 Octane. The front-drive version provides an estimated 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway; the AWD version is EPA estimated at 22/29 mpg.
With expressive styling and a roomy, comfortable interior, RAV4 is decidedly refined, but with agile handling and all-weather capability, this fourth generation model is a worthy successor of the RAV 4.
The 2016 Rav4 is available in nine colors, Super White, White Pearl, Silver Metallic, Gray Metallic, Black Mica, Red Mica Metallic, Bronze mica Metallic, Dark Brown Metallic, and Orange Metallic.