When we drove the current-generation Toyota RAV4 at its South African launch in April 2013 we said it had grown up, especially compared to the original Tonka Toy version of 1994.
Now, a year later, Toyota has upgraded the RAV4 line-up with a new diesel derivative and some detail refinements that seem aimed specifically at adult entertainment.
To date the 2.2-litre D-4D RAV4 has only been available with a manual gearbox, in the more basic GX trim level. Now there's a new six-speed self-shifter version, decked out in the upper-level VX trim - which now includes new 18” multi-spoke alloy rims, only available on VX models.
POTS MORE PIXELS
There's also a new multimedia system comes with ergonomically-enhanced controls and a high-resolution screen with four times as many pixels as the original system, for brighter, sharper images.
The package includes Bluetooth for hands-free phone calls, a rear-view camera (on VX models), vehicle information - including trip data, climate control profile, and settings for door locking and lighting.
It has a USB port for connecting iPods and MP3 players, as well as touchscreen control for onboard audio sources such as the radio and CD player.
The RAV4 is available with three four-cylinder engines, starting with a 107kW two-litre petrol for the two-wheel drive variants - which have either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed Multidrive S auto transmission.
All-wheel drive versions come with either the 110kW / 340Nm, 2.2-litre D4-D turbodiesel - and, from now on, a choice of either the six-speed manual or multimode automatic transmission - or a 132kW 2.5-litre petrol, in six-speed auto format only.
The all-wheel drive system uses input from speed, steering angle and yaw rate sensors to modulate torque transfer between the front and rear axles through an electromagnetically controlled coupling in front of the rear differential, varying from 50:50 to 100:0, with front-wheel drive the default setting for tar-road driving to reduce fuel consumption.
GX models come with roof rails, 17” alloy rims, and daytime running lights, with front foglights on the diesel only. The cabin boasts power windows, remote central locking, aircon , the new touchscreen multi-iInformation display, a retractable tonneau cover with net barrier and rear parking sensors.
VX trim adds a chromed insert in the front bumper, front and rear mud flaps, power-retractable side mirrors, a moon roof with tilt and slide function, and high-intensity discharge, self-cleaning headlights, and, of course, those 18” alloys.
Occupants are cosseted by full leather upholstery, an electrically adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, front-seat heaters, automatic dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera display, a power-operated tailgate with memory, cruise control and keyless entry.
2.0 GX - R290 300
2.0 GX Multidrive S - R300 300
2.2 D4-D AWD GX - R365 300
2.2 D4-D AWD VX a/t - R438 900
2.5 AWD VX a/t - R412 400
These include a three-year or 100 000km warranty and five-year or 90 000km service plan.