Toyota RAV4 versus rivals: More tech and circa RM200K prices

By THOMAS HUONG | 9 July 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The new fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 enters a crowded arena of mid-sized Japanese SUVs (sport utility vehicles) that are fitted with advanced driver's assistance technologies.

These technologies, unheard of just a few years ago, improve road safety with automatic assist for braking and steering.

Carsifu takes a quick look at the new 2.5-litre RAV4, imported from Japan, and made a few comparisons against its Japanese rivals.

The RAV4 is billed as offering best-in-class space and it certainly has a class-leading 580 litres (seats up).

However, with the rear seats down, the Subaru Forester leads the pack with 1,775 litres against the RAV4's roomy 1,690 litres.

While the RAV4's 2.5-litre naturally aspirated powertrain is smooth and refined, it is quite outmuscled by its turbocharged and hybrid rivals, particularly the 2.5-litre turbocharged Mazda CX-5 with 228hp and 420Nm of torque.


Meanwhile, while its Japanese rivals are also packed with a tonne of smart driver's assist features, especially the CR-V and Forester, we think the RAV4 nudges ahead with a more complete package with its Toyota Safety Sense suite of systems.

These include Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) for All Speed as well as Automatic High Beam (AHB).

PCS alerts the driver and automatically applies the brakes when there is a risk of collision.

LDA alerts and assists when you are out of the lane unintentionally, and LTA keeps the vehicle centered either by detecting the lane or the car in front.

DRCC maintains a safe distance with preceding vehicle and brakes automatically when the car ahead stops.

There are also an Electro-Chromic (EC) rearview mirror to cut dazzle from vehicles behind and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), both of which alert the driver when other vehicles are in the blind spot.

The RAV4 also has Dual Digital Video Recorders that can retain visual evidence in the event of an accident.

Still, the RAV4's price tags is quite high and it is the only SUV here that is priced at the RM200,000 level.

Prices are RM196,436 (2.0-litre) and RM215,665 (2.5-litre) and these already factor in the 50% reduction in sales tax from June 15 till December 31, 2020.

Its rivals are considerably cheaper and the 2.0-litre Nissan X-Trail Hybrid in particular offers both good fuel economy and value, priced at a more accessible RM157,451.

In summary, while the new RAV4 has a premium and roomy interior, and an advanced safety package, its buyers will be the sort that have deeper pockets and can appreciate its finer qualities.

First drive of Toyota RAV4
Fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 launched: RM196K (2.0L) and RM215K (2.5L)