The 2016 Toyota RAV4 benefits this year from a mild freshening inside and out.Most of the attention went toward the interior, evidently in response to customer comments.The current-generation model was introduced for the 2013 model year and it offers two rows of seating (not three) for five people.
Also new is the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid model.EPA-rated at 33 mpg Combined, the RAV4 Hybrid is the only small SUV currently available with a gas-electric powertrain.
Also new is the 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE, the sportiest model, which uses the same engine but adds a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Built on a small front-wheel-drive passenger-car foundation, the RAV4 competes with the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester and other compact crossovers.Roomier than some rivals, the RAV4 provides a touch of driving pleasure.
All-wheel drive is an option, in place of the standard front-wheel drive.
A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 176 horsepower comes standard, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with a sport-shift mode.The RAV4 can reach 60 mph in less than nine seconds.That's sluggish performance (and a V6 is not available).Fuel-economy estimates are below average.Front-wheel-drive models are EPA-rated at 23/30 mpg City/Highway, or 26 mpg Combined.All-wheel drive lowers each estimate by 1 mpg.
The new RAV4 Hybrid is more powerful and delivers an EPA-rated at 34/31 mpg City/Highway.At very low speeds, it can run in electric-only mode.Using a 154-horsepower version of the 2.5-liter engine coupled with the latest generation of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system, the RAV4 Hybrid delivers a total combined output of 194 horsepower.All-wheel drive is standard on the Hybrid, with a separate electric motor driving the rear wheels.
Not only has the RAV4 earned some decent crash-test ratings, it's added new active-safety systems for 2016.The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick +.While earning a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the RAV4 got only four stars in frontal-crash and rollover testing.
New for 2016 is Toyota's Safety System.Standard on the 2016 RAV4 Limited, it includes Forward Collision Warning with automatic braking, Lane Departure Alert, adaptive cruise control, a pedestrian pre-collision system, and automatic high beams.A new four-camera Bird's Eye View Monitor gives a 360-degree view surrounding the car.