When I was in my early 30s, I drove a Toyota Rav4. Ravvie was her name, and I loved her so. She was just the right size – not too big, not too small – for our little family of three at the time.
Fast forward to two bigger kids, one big dog, and a mountain of backpacks, sports equipment, travel gear, and who knows what else finds its home in my car, and we now have the GMC Acadia Denali (which I fell in love with during a test drive in 2014… if that isn’t a testimonial for you, I don’t know what is!).
But, I’ve always had a soft spot for my ol’ Ravvie. She was a fantastic car. So I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to test drive the new 2016 Toyota Rav4!
2016 Toyota Rav4
The 2016 Toyota Rav4 is a mid-size SUV designed for life on the go. It’s gorgeous exterior is matched by high safety ratings, a comfortable interior, and is available in six distinct model options. Starting at $24,350 for the base model, the 2016 Toyota Rav4 gets an estimated 23 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on the highway.
I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and was fortunate enough to take this beauty up on a road trip up to Seattle for the Seattle Wine and Food Experience Pop! Bubbles & Seafood Event and the SWFE Grand Tasting. So in addition to getting to know the vehicle during a long stint on the highway (it took me five hours to get up to Seattle because of traffic!), I was also able to test drive it on those steep Seattle city hills with sudden stops.
The 2016 Rav4 is a headturner compared to exterior designs in the past. It’s available in 14 different color combinations, including a sexy Barcelona Red Metallic and modern Hot Lava orange. I drove the bright and fun Electric Storm Blue. Silver-painted accents are added on the front and rear bumpers, side lower trim, and fenders, giving it even more visual interest. It’s a pretty, sporty SUV that doesn’t really look as bulky as most SUVs today; the exterior design includes a more chiseled front end and new side lower exterior panels.
The vehicle I test drove was the standard SE All-Wheel Drive SUV. However, continuing with its commitment to increase its eco-friendly offerings, Toyota has released two hybrid options: the Limited Hybrid and the XLE Hybrid.
Both hybrid options have a 2.5L 4-cylinder hybrid engine. The XLE Hybrid starts at $28,370 and 17-inch alloy wheels. Meanwhile, the Limited Hybrid starts at $33,610 and comes with flashy 18-inch 5-spoke SuperChrome alloy wheels. I kind of like that each Toyota Rav4 model comes with its own unique wheel design to match its personality and function. Since I didn’t test drive a hybrid model, I won’t go into it too much, but if you’re in the market for a hybrid SUV, I would definitely check out Toyota’s Rav4 hybrid options!
The only thing I didn’t love about the particular 2016 Toyota Rav4 I test drove was the two-tone interior. It looked too old school 1980s for me, but depending on the model, you can choose from solid black or nutmeg (a soft beige) interior fabric.
It’s a roomy vehicle in which my whole family felt comfortable driving around town. The cabin is fairly quiet, making for a smooth family ride. I love the little details like improved cup holder design, the power moonroof, and the 8-way adjustable power driver seat, which is perfect for shorties like me!
The 2016 Toyota Rav4 has a surprising amount of cargo space for being a seemingly smaller SUV than others on the market today. It has a flexible cargo net system and second-row seats with a reclining, folding 60/40 split which helps you easily reconfigure the cargo area to meet your needs. As you can see, Bliss Dog enjoyed checking out the cargo space ;)
The 2016 Toyota Rav4 offers all of today’s most popular safety features, including a large rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, eight airbags, anti-lock brake system, and vehicle stability control.
Toyota also offers their own brand new Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which is an available active safety package that combines the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Auto High Beams, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Overall, I really enjoyed driving the 2016 Toyota Rav4. It handles so nicely zipping through small city streets during traffic and also coasting on the highway for longer drives. I love the look of it: sporty, fun, modern, with clean lines. The interior, while not too spacious, is spacious enough to be comfortable for drives in town and for day trips within an hour or two’s distance. Most of all, I was truly impressed by the cargo space in this year’s vehicle. If you have kids with lots of sporting gear, or if you head out to the beach to surf or up to the mountains to ski or snowboard, this would be a great vehicle for you!
Have you ever driven a Toyota? If so, which is your favorite model? Would the 2016 Toyota Rav4 fit in with your lifestyle?
I test drove this vehicle for one week compliments of Toyota/Lexus USA. All opinions and photos are, as always, my own!