First Look- 2016 Toyota Rav4 Steps-up Sport SUV

by Tony West
2016 Toyota Rav4 SE
2016 Toyota Rav4 SE

Toyota unveiled their 2016 Rav4 Hybrid at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, and for what it’s worth, I’m kinda impressed. The 2016 Rav4 is offered in LE, XLE, Limited, SE, and Hybrid models.

Toyota extends the front fascia and creates a sleek contoured hood flowing to the wide-bodied rear.

2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid
2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

The Rav4 looks wider and longer. Sporty design cues like the shark fin antenna blend well with luxury features like LED daytime running lights, headlights, and available LED taillights. The 2016 Rav4 also has some new colors inside and out that make it more stylish.

The Rav4 is a mid SUV with potential to be youthful and fun. Toyota finally gets the design right with all the amenities of a luxury car for a lot less.

2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid
2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

The Rav4 Hybrid XLE and Rav4 Hybrid Limited are said to have more horsepower and better acceleration than the conventional Rav4. It’s Toyota’s 8th Hybrid release to date. Both Rav4 Hybrids have standard 17 inch alloy wheels and Electric On-Demand All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i). And the Hybrid is available with its own cool colors like Blizzard Pearl, and Black Sand Pearl.

I’m anxious to know about the performance on the sportier new Rav4, but right now powertrain specs are limited. I do know that the new mid-size SUV offers sport-tuned suspension that should have continuous damping control. The sporty SE model offers standard 18 inch alloy wheels, paddle shifters, and Softex seats with contrast stitching. The SE also features a new headliner with gunmetal finish and a 4.2 inch TFT display with subtle racing design cues. The SE will also include an S-Code paint design with available colors like Super White, and Electric Storm Blue mated to a Classic Silver Metallic trim.

The 2016 Rav4 ups the ante with its leather trimmed tech-advanced cockpit. New Rav4 features include a 4.2 inch TFT display, 7 inch touchscreen, leather wrapped steering wheel, and some new premium looking wood trim on the doors and dash.

2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid
2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

Additional convenience features include front and rear parking sonar, available smart key, Homelink, and Scout call phone based navigation.

All Rav4 XLE, SE, and Limited models will come standard with Sirius XM Satellite radio. And Toyota stunts on premium sedans with its new 360 degree outside view and Bird’s Eye View Monitor System.

Toyota also introduced its new Toyota Safety Sense system, a new advanced safety package standard on all Limited models that features a Pre Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Forward Collision Warning, and Pedestrian Pre Collision System.

There are some haters that say the new Rav4 looks like a Murano, I disagree. The Rav4 has come a long way, and now, it’s a cutting edge CUV that offers premium versatility and tons of new tech. And with a new Hybrid in its arsenal, the Rav4 will be unstoppable.