Danielle Assenheimer

Status Quo: 2016 Toyota RAV4

Some CUVs are too utilitarian, others come off too futuristic; the 2016 Toyota Rav4 offers a balanced approach with a Rav4 that will meet everyone’s needs. Toyota is keeping up with the times by giving the Rav4 updated styling and a new trim level to entice those looking for a sportier CUV.

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I can picture just about anyone in this vehicle. With a maximum of 73.4 cubic feet of storage space, it has plenty of room for a move across town or new parents wanting extra space for the cumbersome stroller. Toyota has also taken customer comments to heart and made various improvements to the interior. They replaced some of the hard plastics with soft-touch materials and created extra storage areas. Although there have been other upgrades, the interior still feels a little lacking. Surprisingly, Toyota has not added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the infotainment system. However, it is equipped with the App Suite which provides access to Pandora, Bing, OpenTable and more. The rear seats could benefit from additional support and length for adults.

The 2016 Rav4 has clean and angular exterior styling and unique wheel designs that go with each trim level. New rocker panels tie in the restyled front and rear bumpers. You can also opt for LED taillights to complete the look. Toyota also introduced three new exterior colors: Silver Sky Metallic, Black Currant Metallic and Electric Storm Blue. If you’re looking for a Rav4 with more flair, the SE may be a viable option. It comes with sport-tuned suspension, exclusive bumper and lower grill, a special exterior paint design and paddle shifters.

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The standard engine in the Rav4 isn’t overly exciting but checks the boxes for sufficient and efficient. The 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine delivers 176 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. 60 mph arrives after 8.3 seconds. It manages city driving with ease given its size with just enough power. Fuel economy is a key factor for some and the Rav4 did not disappoint. Even with Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive, I averaged 26 mpg throughout the week. I’d classify overall ride quality above average. It handles uneven road relatively well, offers a soft ride, but there tended to be quite a bit of road noise. Competition is fierce in this segment; we’ve driven many competitors and find the Mazda CX-5 to excel in ride quality.

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Versatile. Comfortable. Dependable. It’s hard to argue with Toyota’s ability to develop vehicles that meets needs without upsetting the status quo. The 2016 Rav4’s cargo space is large with a low load floor, making it perfect for moving just about anything. The interior has been updated and modernized. Toyota is well known for its dependability but also value. For under $30,000, the Rav4 is well equipped with everything from all wheel drive and an efficient four cylinder to heated seats and plenty of cargo space. The 2016 Rav4 maintains its well known reputation and will continue by listening to its loyal consumer base.

-Danielle Assenheimer

2016 Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD
$27,670
Black Currant Metallic  $
Nutmeg Fabric  $0
Entune Premium Audio w/ Integrated Navigation  $615
Destination Charges  $940
As Tested MSRP $29,225

Photos Courtesy Toyota

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