The true pioneer of the compact SUV, the Toyota RAV4 has been with us since the 1990s.

CRA Motoring News – South Africa

By Brandstories

The true pioneer of the compact SUV, the Toyota RAV4 has been with us since the 1990s.

Although our model on test was recently replaced with a newer version, I believe this older model on test still ensures strong levels of comfort, versatility and value for money.

Background and condition of vehicle:

Our 2018 model on test was in an impressively pristine condition and although its been well maintained it’s immaculate condition just again demonstrates how well these vehicles age due to their high levels of durability and quality materials used through-out.

The leather upholstery seemed like new and even the load area just about seemed unused and that after 58 700km of mileage. Hugely impressive. Certainly one of those vehicles that need to be seen to be fully appreciated. This vehicle also came equipped with four new 235/55R18 rubber boots.

Performance and Economy:

This RAV4 comes powered by a 2.2-litre Turbodiesel engine with the power fed to all four wheels via a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

With a 110kW and 340Nm of torque this RAV4 offers more than enough poke to ensure a relaxed driving experience in and around town, while also being capable of cruising comfortably at speeds even higher than the legal speed limit.

Although the engine and drivetrain are probably not as refined as some newer rivals on the market you do get Toyota reliability. Fuel economy is pretty decent too with a combined average fuel economy figure of around 6.5-litres per 100km.

How does it drive?

The RAV4 certainly has an easy going feeling about it, as it requires little effort to drive in city traffic or park in confined spaces at congested shopping malls.

This RAV4 is a comfortable cruiser too offering a relaxed drive at higher speeds. Overall ride quality certainly proved very comfortable for a vehicle of this nature. With its slightly raised ride height and driven by all four wheels you could also drive the RAV4 in moderate off-road conditions.

A hill decent function and centre diff lock comes standard to aid drivers in off-road conditions.

Inside the vehicle:

Although older in design I still found the interior quite visually appealing and attractive. Lots of leather trim on the steering wheel and even on the dash gives the RAV4 a nice upmarket feel, while the rest of the cabin also boasts good quality materials and trim.

In VX trim you get leather upholstery as well as long list of luxury features that included the following:

– Climate control air-conditioning

– PDC front and rear with rear camera

– Central Locking

– Electric windows

– Multi-function steering wheel

– Rain Sensor

– On-Board trip computer

– Holding net in the boot

– Multi-media infotainment system

– Eco and sport driving modes

– Keyless entry and go

– Seat warmers

– Cruise Control

– Isofix rear seats

– Bluetooth phone connectivity

– Auto headlights on

– USB and Aux ports and 12V connector

– ABS with EBD and brake assist

– Stability Control

– Front and Side Airbags (7)

– Satellite navigation

– Electric adjustable seats

– Leather Upholstery

– Removable tow-bar

Space and Practicality:

The drivers seat offers a lot of adjustment to ensure you can get into a comfortable driving position. The RAV4 has also grown considerably over the years and is now tall enough to offer excellent headroom for front and rear passengers.

We also particularly liked the reclining rear seats, which should allow passengers to relax on long trips, when they will also appreciate the impressive legroom.

Passengers get plenty of storage nooks and crannies too, with cup-holders for rear-seat occupants, a large central storage bin, front door bins and lots of places around the dashboard to store your wallet, keys, and phone.

The boot boasts 547-litres of space which can be increased by folding down the rear seats. Our RAV4 VX model also have a power-operated boot, which is great when you have your hands full, even if it is a little slow to operate.


I was especially impressed on how well the vehicle aged physically as well as in design.

Although not as funky as the latest model it still proved to be attractive and stylish. Packed with luxury features, high levels of comfort and space, as well as the versatility of an all-wheel drive system, I believe this pristine RAV4 does still offer big value at the price.

  • Practical as well as versatile.
  • All-wheel drive.
  • Loaded with luxury features.
  • Ageing exceptionally well.
  • Not as refined as latest mid-size SUV offerings.


Model: 2018 Toyota RAV-4 2.2D VX 4×4 (Auto)

Pre-Owned Price: R 399 890

Mileage: 58 700km

Warranty: Remainder of 5-Year/150 000Km

Fuel Consumption (combined): 6.5-litres/100km

0-100km/h: 10.5 seconds (Estimate)

Article Credit to IOL.