Toyota has revised its compact RAV4 SUV for 2016, with the highlights being a new, sportier SE version as well as a hybrid version. All models get sleeker, more angular styling and beefed-up sound insulation.
(engine starting) Toyota has revised its compact RAV4 SUV for 2016. With the highlights being a new sportier SE version and this hybrid version that we have here.
Now, one change that carries over for all RAV4's, no matter what model it is, is it a sleeker, more angular styling. It's most noticeable upfront in the grill. The changes onto the side in the rear are much more subtle. Another change for 2016 is all RAV4's get more sound insulation. Now it is better than it was before, but I always found the RAV4 to be among the louder compact SUV's on the market. And that's still the case now. Also new for 2016 and all but the base model is a power rear hatch. What's nice is it's height adjustable, and Toyota took it a step farther by making it adjustable from the front seat. So you can set it at a predetermined height it will always open at that, and you, if you then pull into a garage, that's got a lower roof, you can adjust without having to get out back and hit the button and stand there. So that's nice. Now about the SE versions. All SE versions get sport tuned shock absorbers and coils, as well as 18 inch wheels. But the thing is all RAV4's are powered by the same 2.5 liter four cylinder engine that makes 176 horsepower and it's made it to a six speed automatic transmission. But I'm not sold on the SE version. I think if Toyota wanted to make a sporty version of the RAV4, some work on the engine would be worth the time, because it's worth noting that the SE is the most expensive conventional RAV4 and the ride in the SE is noticeably more firm than in the other versions. Then there's the hybrid. What's interesting is this version actually makes the most power and has the most torque of any RAV4 version. Unfortunately it also weighs about 320 pounds more than any other version. So you don't really notice that extra power as much as you otherwise might. You're still going to need to anticipate your passes on the highway for instance. So the RAV4 has been redesigned for 2016, but those revisions are most noted on the most expensive version. The hybrid and the SE, and okay, if getting the absolute most mileage is the most important thing to you, then there is the hybrid. However, the SE just disappoints with its high price tag and it's limited sportiness.