SUVs, especially 4×4 cross-overs, don’t always have to be rough, tough, and brutish. They can have that degree of refinement too, that means when you’re cruising the city streets you have all the sophistication of any other vehicle on the road. The difference with a cross-over is when the going gets tough, it can transition effortlessly from tarmac to track, and back again.
This is exactly what the Toyota RAV4 was born to do. Relaunched with a more urban-friendly face, it hasn’t lost its off-road credentials but instead has gained a certain amount of city kudos to go with those low-profile, grippy tyres and bull-nosed front end. The RAV4 is also stuffed with new tech to enhance the driver and passenger experience, while all the time keeping that nimble cross-over personality that makes this big SUV surprisingly spritely around the city streets.
It may not have the beast-like dimensions of its bigger siblings, the Land Cruiser and the Prado, but the RAV4 has more than enough cabin space for four adults (five at a squeeze). The high driving position gives the driver a bird’s-eye view of the road ahead, essential if you’re negotiating heavy traffic.
The driver tech on offer is uncluttered and intuitive. The RAV4 gets rid of anything that’s unnecessary, and instead gives you exactly what you need in terms of parking sensors, rear cameras and so on.
Solid off-road credentials
A lot of people think that the RAV4 is only fit for the city streets. However, they’d be wrong, because this little powerhouse has some solid off-road credentials too. The innovative Dynamic Torque Vectoring function controls the rear torque independently on each wheel so that the car can respond to different conditions. Basically, this little cross-overdoesn’t put a foot wrong, even when things get slippery.
The RAV4 scores well on the ENCAP safety ratings and has SRS dual airbags for the driver and front passenger. The driver’s knees are also protected with an airbag, and SRS curtain-shield airbags provide all-round protection for all the passengers in case of a side-impact.
Toyota has embraced the Hybrid, and in fact are market leaders when it comes to Hybrid development. It may seem odd that an SUV is a Hybrid, but the RAV4’s hefty petrol engine and surprisingly robust electric motor both deliver plenty of power. You’ll get from 0-60mph in around eight seconds, which is pretty respectable for a big car, and around the city streets the use of the electric motor in stop-start traffic will certainly improve your mpg numbers.
The 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid set-up is well balanced and responsive, and the intelligent engine mapping means that the RAV4 can cope with both commuter traffic and long-distance road trips with ease.
The RAV4 has proved to be exceptionally popular with drivers, and at Hertz Car Rental it’s definitely one of our favourite, all-round cross-overs. If you’d like to find out more, simply drop into your nearest Hertz branch and have a chat with one of our friendly team.
Images and description are for illustrative purposes only. Specs may vary on rented vehicle based on selection.