Toyota Rav4 2.0 GX.
Toyota Rav4 2.0 GX.
Toyota Rav4 2.0 GX-R.
Toyota Rav4 2.0 GX-R.
Toyota Rav4 2.5 VX.
Toyota Rav4 2.5 VX.

Johannesburg - There’s an all-new Toyota Rav4 in town and it’s hoping to steal back some sales thunder from popular rivals like the Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan.

But how does it compare to its rivals in pricing terms?

As the illustration below shows, the new SUV is priced towards the upper end of the spectrum but in most cases, particularly at the top of the range, it is rather well appointed.

At the lower end it’s Ford’s Kuga that wins the affordability contest, with the cheapest auto model coming in below the R400 000 mark, while most rivals including the Rav4 hover around the R430 000 mark. The Mazda, at R410 500, appears to offer the best balance between price and features.

Raise your budget to the R500 000 mark and you get mid-to-high spec models, but in Subaru’s case you can acquire the flagship Forester at this price point and it is lavishly equipped, featuring the full entourage of Subaru EyeSight driver assistance gadgets. Yet while the Subaru is the best appointed for the money, it is let down by an underpowered drivetrain and less than amicable CVT gearbox.

At the top of the range, Toyota’s Rav4 VX models provide the full suite of driver assistance systems and cabin gadgets, and the flagship fares rather well against its rivals in spec terms, but if outright performance is at the top of your wishlist you might want to sacrifice a few gizmos and opt for the Ford Kuga or Volkswagen Tiguan - both packing more power and turbocharging, which is a bonus at altitude.

Here’s how the rivals fare in price and spec terms:

* Partial leather

As a recap, the new Rav4 is built on Toyota’s contemporary TNGA platform, and offers two normally aspirated engine options.

The 2-litre engine produces 127kW and 203Nm, and it can be mated to either a six-speed manual or CVT continuously variable gearbox. Most models are front-driven, but there is a 2.0 GX-R derivative that gets all-wheel-drive as well as beefier styling.

The 2.5-litre petrol engine, good for 152kW and 243Nm, is mated exclusively to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and upgraded all-wheel drive system that features dynamic torque vectoring that can distribute torque individually between the left and right wheels.

IOL Motoring