Page 52 - Henley and Marlow Lifestyle Nov:Dec 2019
P. 52

                  "DRIVE ON ANY ROAD"
Motoring journalist Sue Cooke tests out the road-friendly RAV4...
From when you set out in your car this morning to the end of your journey how many times did you have to swerve to avoid a pothole and how many times did you, with hands clenched on the steering wheel, fall into one? The effect of pothole damage to British motorists is huge. It costs them a fortune, stops them getting to work and has a detrimental effect on the economy says IAM RoadSmart which is campaigning to ring-fence funds for tackling the pothole epidemic.
So the car you need to drive to accommodate those pesky potholes is one which Toyota says has “drive on any road” capability. With all wheel drive (AWD) and raised ground clearance, the all-new fifth generation RAV4 Hybrid,
is a rugged SUV with new technology called Trail Mode. Activate a button on the centre console and a free floating rotating wheel can be braked and drive torque is directed to the grounded wheel for the maximum traction to get it out of any hole!
This new fifth generation model which is Toyota’s best-selling SUV, opens a new era of improved performance, capability and safety for the company.
My review of the third generation RAV4 in 2006 said I was disappointed in the exterior design. But for 2019 the RAV4 Hybrid is gorgeous, perhaps taking design hints from its smaller sibling, the CH-R.
Step inside the interior and the cabin space is impressive. I always like the commanding view of the road with any SUV. The bonnet sits slightly lower and external mirrors have been moved to a lower position on the front doors. With slimmer front pillars and larger rear side windows, all round visibility is good. The feeling of spaciousness is enhanced with a power operated panoramic roof, which is standard or optional according to model grade.
There are four equipment grades, Icon, Design, Dynamic and Excel. Outstanding features include a long list of active safety systems which provide effective means of avoiding collisions or mitigating the effects of an accident by warning
the driver, preparing safety systems for optimum operation and, if necessary, triggering automatic braking or steering assistance. The new RAV4 adds a single lens camera and millimetre wave radar which expands the scope of hazard detection and functionality.
The piece of equipment which I think should be standard on all cars is what Toyota calls the Panoramic View Monitor. Off road it helps to negotiate tricky terrain and on road when manoeuvring in
confined spaces where hazards can lurk outside the driver’s line of sight, there is a 360-degree view of the area immediately around the vehicle, including a bird’s eye aspect from above. Brilliant.
The RAV4 has best-in-class load
space, 79 litres more than the previous generation giving a capacity of 580 litres and there is a fully flat floor.
The new 2.5-litre Hybrid Dynamic Force engine combines fuel and emissions efficiency and quiet operation with more power and greater responsiveness. Take off is impressive, reaching 62mph in
just 8.1 seconds in the front wheel drive model.
An Asphalt Industry Alliance investigation found that councils in England and Wales would need to spend a total of £9.8 billion over 10 years to bring all their roads up to standard. So looks like the Toyota RAV4 is going to be a huge help to motorists for many years to come.
 52 |
 Facts at a Glance
Model: Toyota RAV4 hybrid Excel AWD-i
Price: £26,585
Engines: 2.5 Hybrid AWD Performance: 0-62mph in 8.1seconds and on to a top speed of 112mph
Combined fuel consumption:
47.8-48.7 mpg (WLTP) CO2 emissions: 103g/km

   50   51   52   53   54