Reviews

2016 Toyota RAV4 Walk Around


While the styling has been refreshed for 2016, RAV4 keeps its basic square crossover shape. The most notable updates for 2016 reached the front end, which has grown more blunt and shares design elements with Toyota sedans. The rear end sees only slight reshaping, with a fresh bumper, distinctive taillights, and upright look.

In profile, the RAV4 now matches the Ford Escape and sportier Mazda CX-5. The optional two-tone treatment for the new SE model harks back to the original RAV4 of two decades ago.

Interior

The interior of the entry-level LE retains dreary, hard plastics, but the quality of the materials in most models is good, with lots of soft-touch surfaces. The instrument panel holds a digital display, and a 7-inch touchscreen is available.

The driver gets a carlike position on a comfortable seat, though base-model seats aren’t as supportive as the firmer-bolstered versions in an XLE. Seating space roughly matches that of the Honda CR-V, and is greater than what’s in the Ford Escape. Upper trim levels turn to SofTex material, and the SE features contrast stitching.

Adults may find the rear bench seat insufficiently supportive, as well as flat and hard. Seatbacks recline and fold forward, though. Large doors make it easy for taller riders to slide in and to exit.

Cargo volume is cavernous: 38.4 cubic feet with all seats up, or 73.4 cubic feet with rear seats folded. The RAV is a practical car.

Four levels of Entune touchscreen audio are available. The top two include a comprehensive app suite, but there’s no provision for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

The doors deliver a tinny thud as they close. Despite substantially more sound-deadening materials for 2016, the RAV4 isn’t always so quiet.

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