2016 Toyota Rav4 Premium 4×4

ENGINE

2.5L Dual VVTi, 4 Cylinder, In-line, 16 Valve DOHC

 

 

POWER

176hp & 233Nm of Torque

FEATURES

6.5” Touchscreen w/ Navigation

Push-to-Start

Keyless Entry

Rear Camera

Cruise Control

17” alloy wheels

4WD

PRICE

PHP 2,174,000 (as of date tested)

Genesis. The first book in the bible, or a title bestowed to those first, and to car guys a Korean sports car. The Toyota Rav4 has been around since the mid 90s, 1995 to be exact, and is literally the genesis of the compact crossover SUV segment. The 2016 Toyota Rav4 Premium 4×4 is the face lifted 4th generation, and has been making waves in the automotive industry here, and in other shores.

90s Throwback

The birth of the Rav4 created a revolution for consumers and manufactures. Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive, in expanded form, the Rav4 was set to maneuver, and give gas mileage that of a compact car, but in a higher sitting position, increased cargo, and 4-wheel drive. In the United States, where full and mid-sized SUVs ruled the roads, the Rav4 became a hit, and to this day, in America the Rav4 rules the market. In 2017 the Toyota Rav4 became America’s best selling non-pickup truck vehicle, and is consistently a best selling SUV in the market.

Styling Cues

One of, if not the main reason why the Rav4 is well loved across the world is the “cool” factor. It just blends well into its surroundings, may it be a fancy hotel lobby, a school campus, or even a beach. This 2016 Rav4 Premium 4×4 receives a face-lift, from the previous year’s, which doesn’t disappoint. The front fascia has aggressive lines, and sharp edges that look like they can cut through butter. This face-lift also gives the Rav4 “chunky-er” looks up front, but still pulls off a classy, more matured look. Sharp lines, and folds don’t just stop there, but are evident across the vehicle’s profile.

Towards the rear the taillight incorporates itself into the body, making the design flowing from end to end. In the rear you’ll love the red LED strip for your brake lamps. Even though the Rav4 has had considerable growth through generations it maintains its status as a compact crossover SUV. Side by side with its larger sibling, the Fotruner, the Rav4 isn’t dwarfed, but is surprisingly just hairs smaller.

The inside of the Rav4 surprised me. A light years leap with every generation, this 2016 Toyota Rav4 Premium 4×4 has a plush leather interior. The seats are in a beautiful leather material, along with the supple leather wrapping around the steering wheel, making a great place to place your hands. The dashboard’s center is also wrapped with soft hand stitched leather, but mixed with a silver hard plastic accent. Even the doors have this soft faux leather like material where you can rest your elbows. A well thought of cabin, and you can see they did take time to pack this Rav4 with a pleasant interior experience.

Though, the 6.5-inch touchscreen infotament system is quite dated. Hiding the USB and AUX jacks underneath what looks like buttons is an interesting touch, keeping the styling clean, but depending on someone’s personal opinion, it could be quite a hassle trying to pry open the cover. Keeping you comfortable up front are dual zone climate controls, toggled with a tactile rotary knob, which makes this iPhone like “Tick!” sound effect when turned.

Performance to Match

The 2016 Toyota Rav4 Premium 4×4 is no sloth, yes it may have increased in size, but it also has increased in performance. Powering the Rav4 is a 2.5L Dual VVTi Toyota engine, producing 176Horsepower with 233Nm of torque. This is all mated to a 6-speed Automatic Sequential gearbox, which can be manipulated via a manual shift gate. In EcoMode the Rav4 is well behaved, with smooth power delivery, trying to keep the engine from revving above 2,000RPM, unless necessary. Press Sport, and the instrument cluster turns red, throttle response becomes more aggressive, and give it some gas to feel all 233Nm of torque pull you from cruise to passing. It is a thrill for the senses, especially through twists and turns. The somewhat stiff suspension keeps the Rav4 collected through fast sweeping turns. This platform was so impressive, Ryan Millen, son to Toyota racing legend Rod Millen, took a stock Rav4, placed a roll cage in it, and replaced the standard tires with special off road tires, and competed in numerous Rally America events.

 

Gas mileage will return a modest 13-14km/L average with spirited highway driving, and 5-6km/L average through the Metro traffic. When this 2016 Toyota Rav4 Premium 4×4 first debuted, it would’ve made stellar gas mileage figures, but with the closest rival being an economical diesel, it’ll give you something to think about.

All in All

Don’t be fooled by the 2016 year model of the vehicle, it is currently October 2018, and yet we’re still raving about a vehicle that was released 4 years ago. Yes, the Rav4 in the current market at its 4th generation is quite dated, but that isn’t keeping buyers from driving them off lots. The Rav4 nameplate is like a sibling we all grew up with through the 90s. At one point in time we all wanted to own one, because it was just such a cool car, and for no apparent reason. Every 4th generation face-lift Rav4 I see on the road makes me wonder how they got it to look so handsome across all the paint options. Now, at 23 years since its birth, Toyota did a smart thing, and grew the car along with the users. It is now more mature, plush, and classier, and keeps improving in those areas as time goes by. With a price of PHP 2,174,000 (as of date tested), closely priced to its fellow Japanese rival, I can see the Rav4 will have a loyal customer base buying up the newer generations replacing the older Rav4s. On top of that the Rav4 has a cult following, and is as reliable as peanut butter, you’ll never go wrong. With appeal reaching across the whole globe, and a proven nameplate from a brand, which still has cars running on the road from decades ago, the 2016 Toyota Rav4 Premium 4×4 is a great buy for those nostalgic ones.