2016 RAV4 SE AWD Review – Toyota Keeping the Changes to a Minimum

Suffice to say, the 2016 RAV4 SE AWD has matured over the years despite sporting aggressive exterior looks, the crossover trades driving performance for practicality; perhaps a TRD variant will fix that? Let’s keep hoping. The Toyota RAV4 back when it was introduced as a two door mini SUV back in the 90’s was a quirky and sporty little runabout that could, as the years passed people demanded more practicality out of their cars and the crossover platform was introduced. Over the years, Toyota ditched the super mini SUV RAV4 for a more practical and typical 4 door crossover.

2016 RAV4 SE AWD Review - Toyota Keeping the Changes to a Minimum

The 2016 RAV4 SE AWD Executes With Top Marks

Daytime running light designs as well as the taillights are definite eye catchers for the 2016 RAV4 SE AWD. Under the hood is a 2.5liter DOHC 4 cylinder mated to a 6-speed auto with manual shift. The RAV4 SE is the model with all-wheel drive for some off road push should you choose to do so.

On the outside, as with other recent cars under Toyota’s new company image, all their vehicles are designed with aggressive and sleek looking exteriors to evoke a sense of sealed power or performance that the vehicle has potential to do. Sad to say most Toyota’s nowadays aside from the 86 are very tame and very safe everyday cars.

On the inside, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE AWD disappoints with hard plastic on some of the touch points. This may be a minor complaint given that the SE isn’t the top of the line trim but the noticeable mould flashing on the plastics signifies a lack of quality control on Toyota’s end which makes the car feel cheap. The SE trim comes equipped with dual zone climate control, a 6.1 inch touch screen, a backup camera, faux leather seats, power lift gate, sunroof, and LED heads, and tails. Where the car excels in though is the space inside for passengers and cargo. The trunk alone can hold 38 cubic feet of cargo and folding the rear seats down adds an additional 35 cubic feet.

Driving the RAV4 SE with the SE being the sportier trim of the bunch with it being equipped with stiffer tuned suspension, the harsh ride is expected but doesn’t quite blend with the numb and lifeless steering making the sporty suspension useless because the steering discourages enthusiastic driving. Off road driving on stock tires is also bad as it lacks grip.

The 2016 RAV4 SE AWD  does have a Roomy interior, awesome exterior looks, great economy. Interior quality is a mishmash of materials and poor quality management on the plastics. Boring handling. While the Toyota RAV4 SE may fail on the driving performance end, the RAV4 is still a compact crossover and in this respect the RAV4 performs well in this area providing great practicality as an everyday car.


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