Release date 2016 Rav4, 2016 Toyota rav4, Rav4 Toyota 2016

It provides more space inside than some of its rivals, and a dash of driving enjoyment--though it is the balance of area, features, and Toyota dependability that keeps it selling well year after year.

The 2016 RAV4 retains its familiar shape that is small-SUV shared among essentially all compact SUVs. Starting in 2013, it lost the tailgate-mounted spare that provided it faux-truck credentials, and its profile now matches those of the Escape, the Hyundai Santa Fe, even the sportier Mazda CX-5. Its front end shares design notes with Toyota's latest passenger cars, but the rear is chunky, upright, and has unusual taillights that stand pleased with the human body. Inside, the dashboard is busy; to our eyes, the easiest RAV4 LE is more coherent than the countless trims and surfaces associated with RAV4 that is top-of-the-line Limited.

Only two powertrains are offered in the RAV4. The base engine is a 176-horsepower four-cylinder paired with a six-speed automated transmission. The automatic's sport-shift mode makes it more enjoyable for the few families concerned about sporty driving. a 0-to-60-mph time of less than nine seconds is acceptable; although the RAV4 isn't fast, it is quick enough for most family requirements. All-wheel drive is a $1,400 option.

The new 2016 RAV4 SE model doesn't change the conventional powertrain, though it adds paddle shifters behind the steering wheel and a sport-tuned suspension system to your compact crossover. In addition includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a front that is unique and grille design, interior finishes that include a black headliner and contrast stitching on the seats, and red lighting and needles regarding the instruments. It bundles a number of features that are optional on other models. Those consist of LED headlights and taillights, power driver's seat, as well as the option of a black-and-tan interior.

The brand new RAV4 Hybrid uses the exact same powertrain as in the Lexus NX 300h, the hybrid version of the compact crossover launched last year by Toyota's luxury brand. It is actually more powerful than the base RAV4, with a combined peak energy of 194 hp from a 154-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine combined with the latest generation of Toyota's two-motor Hybrid Synergy Drive system. The RAV4 Hybrid's standard AWD isn't mechanical--as in the gasoline model--but instead uses a 50-kW (67-hp) third motor that is electric a corner axle to give the trunk wheels with torque when its control system senses power is required.

The RAV4 is responsive, but far from as sporty as a Mazda CX-5, a Subaru Forester XT, or even the base Ford Escape on the road. It rides reduced than other compact SUVs, and the AWD version improves on-road handling as well as providing better traction in inclement weather. The well-weighted electric power steering provides a great feeling of center. For a slightly better ride, we recommend sticking with the 17-inch tires on LE and versions that are XLE.

Base versions for the RAV4 have seats that we found less supportive compared to firmer bolsters offered within the XLE version. Seating area in the RAV4 is mostly about on par with the similarly large CR-V—and clearly more generous than that of the Escape.