The year was 2006 and Toyota introduced a redesigned compact crossover that promised to fit up to seven passengers through its optional third row seat. The launch was very successful. Since then consumers have been im0ressed by its front wheel drive that can be transformed into an all-wheel drive, with the optional upgrades. In its solid base, the RAV4 comes with Sport and Limited trim levels that manage to outsell, at some point, some of its biggest SUV counterparts and competitors.
From the already amiable feedback from consumers, Toyota left a lot of expecting spectators on the lookout with its plan to introduce a newer design of the RAV4 for the 2013 model year. The newer models would then be available as electric vehicles as a result of Toyota’s partnership with Tesla Motors.
The engine would of course be still as powerful, but the several add-ons have left a lot of enthusiasts and hobbyists drooling for more. And who wouldn’t? The new RAV4 boasts a six speaker-stereo with a single CD player, USB port, and iPod/Bluetooth connectivity. The Entune multimedia system would also be built with the Sports and Limited models. This would allow the owners to have a whopping three-year unlimited subscription to smartphone apps and services that can be used to have more fun roadtrips with the 2012 RAV 4. The Entune, for instance, gives a better access to Pandora Internet radio, etc.
The impressive points for the car extend below the hood. RAV4’s newer model is equipped with a powerful engine with optional all-wheel-drive upgrade. The engine is capable of towing 3,500 pounds when equipped properly, as opposed to the 1,500 pound trailer rating. The 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine of the car produces 179 horsepower and 172 lb-ft torque.
With a more flexible budget, the engine can be upgraded to have 3.5 liter V6 that is capable of producing 269 horsepower and 246 pounds-feet torque. The V6 engine is built to have five speed automatic controls, which is more powerful compared to the base four-speed automatic transmission of the four cylinder engine.
Several upgrades may also be installed to enhance the performance of the car – the Downhill Assist Control and the Hill-Start Assist control. The first option has been proven efficient in riding on off-road trails, while the second upgrade is effective in holding the car firmly for two to three seconds. Both of these was highly regarded as the best features of the new RAV4, as they can provide accidents and potential harm from sudden stop, jerking, etc.
In this vein, Toyota also takes pride with the star safety system embedded in the 2012 RAV4. Passengers can well be transported safely from one destination to another with the enhanced vehicle stability control, anti-lock brake system, traction control, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution features.
RAV4’s interior has been the object of gripes from some reviewers, but this detail is too small as compared to what the new RAV4 can offer. Overall, the 2012 RAV4 can be said to be perfect for those who are looking for a family-oriented ride without exhausting too much of their savings.