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Toyota Rav 4: Step to Excellence

The first RAV4 in 1994 created a real revolution, opening to the world a new class of “SUVs”. The machines of the two subsequent generations developed in an evolutionary way — methodically eliminating the shortcomings of the progenitor and preserving its best qualities. The current Toyota has made another step towards perfection.

Evolutionary steps

In fact, the first RAV4 soon exhausted (at least in Russia). The car turned out to be extremely unbalanced in its consumer qualities.

Its handling and all-wheel drive only caused delight. However, too playful appearance and a very cramped interior were fundamental flaws. Therefore, when the “Forester” and CR-V appeared more equal in all respects, the “Rafik” began to rapidly lose customers.

The second RAV4 retained the continuity of style, excellent ride quality and progressive drive scheme. But at the same time it became more solid in appearance and spacious inside. At this time, the car turned out so successful that even the younger X-Trail, Outlander and CR-V of the second generation did not manage to outdo Toyota.

The current RAV4, judging by its appearance, again went through an evolutionary way. The car has changed just enough so that the new model is not confused with the old one. It would seem, how much can you? However, the third RAV today is literally swept from car dealerships. What is this – a temporary success in the wake of the novelty of Toyota and the decline of the career of its main competitors? Or did the Japanese maestro once again manage to make a hit from a remix?

Since the rivals with fresh models have not yet arrived, and the “Rafik” itself is so similar to its predecessor, we will try to find out how much the child turned out to be better than the parent. Moreover, many owners of the previous model will be transferred to the new RAV4.

At first glance, Toyota is significantly more expensive than its competitors – from $ 34,250 with a manual box and $ 35,700 with an automatic one. But see how richly equipped the versions are R1 and R2. Have you ever met a separate climate control, ESP and seven airbags in the basic configuration of the compact “SUV”? If other Japanese models are equipped in the same way, they will certainly not be cheaper. So in versions R1 and R2, the price of “rafic” must be admitted quite reasonable.

Too expensive – $ 39,250 – are asked only for the top version of the R3 with leather interior and “automatic”. Even if you find everything that makes it different from R2 useful, the package of these options should cost a maximum of $ 2,500, but not $ 3,550. However, as test dealers usually hold the top version. Therefore, today we will go to the R3.

Outside and inside

Of course, it can be noted that the new “Rafik” has grown up, matured, slightly changed its posture and got some original solutions like rear pillars with a reverse tilt. But even if you saw for the first time a novelty without a single emblem, you would have recognized the Toyota-RAV4 in it without error. Is it good or bad?

With its successive design, Rafik made itself dependent on competitors that will appear this year. If their appearance is more avant-garde (and at the same time successful), Toyota will certainly lose the feeling of freshness. And yet, the Japanese managed to find a fine line between recognition, which allows them to profitably use the reputation of the previous model, and conservatism, which affected Golf V and the second-generation CR-V.

But the interior has changed beyond recognition. Styled triangles for massive door handrails and a two-story front panel for a long time will attract the attention of its originality. In addition, there is a very well chosen texture of finishing materials. It would seem that nothing unusual: soft-looking plastic is actually “wooden”, and decorative inserts “like metal” are, naturally, fake. However, the interior looks stylish and expensive.

But most importantly, the new RAV4 has once again become more spacious and comfortable. Back sofa, like its predecessor, is adjustable in length and angle of the backs. But if earlier the longitudinal adjustment was meaningless – even in the extreme rear position there was barely enough legroom, now you can really find a compromise between the comfort of passengers and the amount of luggage. The width of the salon also added markedly.

The sofa cushion, as before, is a bit low. But his back is not divided equally, but in the proportion of 40:20:40. The folding middle part serves as an armrest and allows you to transport long-length, retaining four seats in the cabin.

Behind the wheel

High, as in the present jeep, landing of driver RAV4 reminds the predecessor. But his ergonomics are clearly better. Comfortable, agile steering wheel received adjustment in length, the range of longitudinal movement of the chair increased. But the most important thing is that the seat of the new car has become more inconvenient, having gained the lateral support that was missing before. In addition, in the version of R3 added adjustment of the angle of the pillow, very relevant in the presence of slippery leather upholstery.

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