Toyota RAV4 2021.

Toyota RAV4 2021.

Toyota RAV4 2021.

Toyota RAV4 can rightfully be considered the founder of the compact crossover class: the first generation of the car appeared back in 1994!

The abbreviation RAV4 stands for Recreational Active Vehicle — essentially a recreational vehicle, and the four indicates four-wheel drive.

With the format, of course, the Japanese hit the mark — for example, in the Russian market in its segment of D + class crossovers, even at the end of last year, RAV4 is leading by almost a twofold margin from its closest competitors.

Today, with the editors of CarsWeek, we are dealing with the mega-popularity of the Toyota RAV4 using the example of a rather simple Comfort version with an atmospheric gasoline engine and front-wheel drive — the most popular in Russia.

What does he look like

The fifth generation RAV4 suddenly featured a rather brutal design. Unlike the rounded and relatively good-natured-looking predecessors, the crossover bristles with sharp corners.

A ruler was attached to the body and decisively drawn in straight lines — trapezoidal headlights, an aggressive radiator grill, even wheel arches decorated with black plastic linings became angular.

Only the black insert on the C-pillar is incomprehensible — probably, it should visually continue the line of the tailgate spoiler.

But on the whole it turned out great and «Rafik», perhaps for the first time, even became similar to the Land Cruiser family. And the dimensions of the RAV4 are five millimeters shorter and ten wider than before.

Toyota RAV4 2021.

What’s inside him

The interior is interesting in details. Today, the absence of black glossy plastic is a great blessing. The front panel and door cards are finished in soft faux leather with real stitching.

The plastic is mostly elastic and pleasant to the touch. The steering wheel is comfortable in size and pretty — it’s a pity that it is traditionally heated only in the grip areas.

Chairs with fabric upholstery are good — there are a minimum of adjustments, but it turns out to get comfortable pretty quickly.

Ergonomics at height — there is a lot of space around, the adjustment ranges are sufficient. At the back, there is generally excellent space for its class — compared to its predecessor, five centimeters have been added in length, and four in width.

Doorways are wide to the envy of competitors. The backrest can be set in two positions, it can generally be folded horizontally almost flush with the boot floor, there are air conditioning vents and a pair of USB-A connectors.

The volume of the luggage compartment, by the way, is impressive — 580 liters. The compartment in the center armrest is voluminous, but the coolest thing is the most convenient horizontal shelf with a side along the front panel.

It seems that she first appeared on Highlander. In the rather simple Comfort version, the dashboard is a pair of classic dials with a 4.2-inch screen in between — thanks for being in color.

Above the center console is an eight-inch display for the multimedia system. The design of the menu, of course, is sad, the graphics of the multimedia are extremely modest and inconspicuous, but everything works smartly, it’s a sin to find fault.

Toyota RAV4 2021.

The image from the rear view camera is also poor. But Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available for the RAV4 starting this model year.

Sitting behind the wheel and adjusting everything, you notice that visibility is extremely good: large mirrors, large glass cleaning zones, a relatively low window sill line and a thoughtful landing geometry.

What is it made of

Toyota RAV4 XA50 series is built on the proprietary modular architecture of TNGA, which is actually a set of platforms for the construction of cars of different classes.

Specifically for the RAV4, a version of the platform called GA-K is used — together with the crossover, Toyota Camry and Lexus ES sedans are built on it.

The suspension architecture has generally remained the same, albeit designed from scratch: MacPherson struts at the front and multi-link at the rear.

The body is mostly steel, while the bonnet, front fenders and tailgate are made of aluminum. Compared to its predecessor, the stiffness has increased by 57 percent due to the increased number of welding points and the area of ​​glued joints.

The naturally aspirated 2.0-liter petrol four-cylinder M20A-FKS engine belongs to the Dynamic Force family.

It has combined fuel injection, a fairly high compression ratio (13: 1) and phase regulators on both camshafts, and it also knows how to work on the Atkinson cycle at light loads.

For the Russian market, it was derated from 175 to 149 horsepower — for obvious reasons.

Toyota RAV4 2021.

On the test crossover, the engine works in tandem with a stepless Direct Shift-CVT of a very remarkable design: it has a mechanical transmission for a more intense start, and at speeds over 20 km / h, the gears open and the pulleys begin to work.

How he drives

Keeping in mind the ingenious design of the variator with a «mechanical» first gear, every time you subconsciously try to feel the nuances of its work during acceleration.

If you forget about 11 «passport» seconds to 100 km / h, the dynamics seems better than it really is.

RAV4 starts to move, roughly speaking, on the gears of the starting gear, which saves the continuously variable transmission from unnecessary loads and generally helps to accelerate faster, and after 20 km / h the pulleys and the variator belt take over.

In general, the transmission is fine-tuned — it imitates seven gears, responds to the gas pedal responsively, which is usually a problem for CVTs.

In the city, the 149-horsepower crossover does not seem like a «vegetable» at all and is quite cheerful in the flow.

Of course, it accelerates without a spark, and the car is not about that at all, but during the week of the test I did not have a single situation when traction would suddenly not be enough.

On suburban highways, Toyota also does a good job — it accelerates well on the move, stably keeps the high-speed line, is not afraid of the longitudinal track.

The RAV4 drives smoothly, emphatically smoothly, radically avoiding any harshness. The steering wheel is light and empty, but the feedback is not sufficient.

With active driving, the engine consumes about 11-12 liters, and in a calm rhythm and a mixed cycle, you can go down to 9-10.

For the RAV4, two types of all-wheel drive are offered — with a conventional clutch on the rear axle or a separate clutch package on each rear axle shaft for more expensive versions.

Our test car is equipped with conventional front-wheel drive and instead of a washer for selecting transmission modes, there is only a large shelf for all the little things.

The ride is definitely good. Toyota obediently softens all irregularities — even the transverse joints of overpasses or pits with sharp edges are more distinguishable by ear than by the fifth point.

And the energy intensity is at a height — outside the asphalt, the crossover keeps the pace well and does not give up even on large bumps. Commendable.

Toyota RAV4 2021.

The steering wheel is also well insulated from shocks and vibrations, it does not break out of the hands. Noise isolation is not bad, you can hear mainly the engine with its monotonous soundtrack — especially at acceleration, and the tire hum.

The whistle of the wind is almost imperceptible. Roll in corners is quite moderate, the suspension does not allow itself to swing.

The brakes are good — tenacious, albeit with a slightly wadded pedal. At night, the light of the diode headlights is not bad — the «Comfort» version has ordinary reflectors, and the lenses are placed only in the most expensive RAV4 configuration. Automatic switching from near to far appears in the same place.

Fog lights — with archaic halogen bulbs.


The Toyota RAV4 crossover of the current fifth generation, like its predecessor, holds the leading position in its class.

Last year, 35,823 Rafiks were sold in Russia, which is almost twice as many as each of its closest competitors — Nissan X-Trail (20,280) and Skoda Kodiaq (20,184). With the change of generation, the car has become much more comfortable, even more spacious, an order of magnitude prettier — and, unfortunately, inevitably more expensive.

Although, it seems, not only Toyota is to blame for this. Our RAV4 traditionally leads in residual value, it is good in passive safety ratings.

The crossover is being assembled in St. Petersburg, as well as the Camry sedan — and on a full cycle.

In the most popular on the Russian market version «Comfort» and with front-wheel drive RAV4 costs 2,162,000 rubles. In general, prices for a crossover start at 1,940,000 for the basic configuration «Standard», four-wheel drive will cost at least 2,279,000 rubles, and a 2.5-liter engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission (and certainly all-wheel drive) costs 2,491 000 rubles.

The top version Prestige Safety will cost 2,625,000 rubles with a 2.0-liter engine and 2,837,000 rubles with a 2.5-liter engine.

The prices are not bad by the standards of competitors, and taking into account the notorious reliability, which we value so much, the choice is more than justified.

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