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Reviewed | 2021 Toyota RAV 4 GXLBack

On May 28, 2021
When Toyota launched the first generation RAV 4, there’s a good chance you’d find a copy of Smash Hits 95’ (Volume 1) loaded in the CD player. A funky “and chunky” looking “soft roader” which was destined to hit the boulevards or highways as a fun-loving 3 door, 5 door, or even a soft top in front wheel, or all-wheel drive variants.



For the next two generations, Toyota maintained this funky look, making only subtle design changes and eventually shoehorning a V6 into the RAV which not only gave it a little more poke, but leaving us with quite a memorable campaign to promote it’s “200 killer wasps” (kilowatts) of power. But then, something happened!

The RAV 4 got serious, and I don’t mean in a school principal kind of way, I mean more in a, lost its fun and funky flair kind of way. It didn’t look as beefy and fun-loving and started getting lost amongst all the other SUV’s in the shopping centre carpark (in all honestly, it got a little practical and predictable).

Fast forward to a chilly Autumn morning in Melbourne, when the kind folks from Werribee Toyota entrusted us with the keys to an Atomic Rush (I’d call it dark red), GXL Hybrid, RAV 4. I’d finally gotten behind the wheel of a RAV, which I felt had rediscovered it’s funky, chunky, soft-roading looks.

Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be jumping in this and blazing across the Canning Stock Route or make my way to Inskip Point, but I would happily load the family in it to get away for the weekend or rock around in as a daily driver.

In a market with a thirst for medium sized SUV’s, the RAV 4 GXL Hybrid delivers the practicality, safety, and finish we’d expect from a Toyota product with the benefits and flexibility of Hybrid/Petrol motoring.

You can enjoy not arguing with the front seat passengers over cabin temperature, thanks to dual zone climate control, while wirelessly charging your phone, enjoying either digital radio or your tunes via Bluetooth, pumping out of the six speakers, guided by the Nav on an 8 inch touch screen, as your rear seat passengers hide behind privacy glass… and enjoy air from the second row vents.

The RAV is smooth, zippy and relatively quiet on the road, especially when you are taking advantage of its ability to cruise, coast and idle using the electric motor. A five-star ANCAP rating, when tested in May 2019 gives you confidence that you and your passengers are safe and regardless of which variant you get yourself into. The RAV 4 is loaded with a list of safety features far superior to competitors in this segment, along with easy to access cargo room in the rear (580 litres to be precise), giving the RAV 4 Hybrid the ability to swallow up plenty of gear, without chowing down on heaps of fuel.


How the numbers add up - Toyota RAV 4 GXL 2WD

Transmission: CVT

Powertrain: Hybrid

Claimed Fuel Consumption: 4.8l/100km (combined)

Combustion Engine Output: 131kW/221Nm

Electric Motor Output: 88kW/202Nm

Battery Capacity: 1.6Kwh

Battery type: Nickel-Metal Hydride

Combined Output: 160kW



Nick Kotsonis 

T 03 8768 5777

E nickk@eziway.net.au

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