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Toyota RAV 4: Higher spec, even better value

By Roger St. Pierre

Back in 1994, Toyota created the compact SUV market with its original RAV 4, launched at that year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The vehicle’s unusual name stood for ‘Recreational Active Vehicle Four-Wheel Drive’.

The concept was very different from the conventional 4x4s of the time, being conceived as an urban all-wheel drive vehicle, with a monocoque chassis rather than the body-on-frame construction used for off-roaders.

The recently launched 2013 RAV 4 range offers more versions to choose from, enhanced equipment specifications and lower emissions, plus even better value, with the line-up starting at much lower prices than were asked for the previous range.

The entry-level two-litre D-4D Active two-wheel drive version is available at £22,595 on the road, undercutting the outgoing XTR on price yet at the same time maintaining high equipment specifications. It comes with 17-inch alloys, air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows front and rear, rear privacy glass and front fog lights. The enhanced Icon spec’ includes a powered tailgate, which is now top-hinged for easier loading; a folding function on the powered door mirrors; rain-sensing wipers; an auto-dimming rear-view mirror; part-leather instrument panel trim and dual-zone automatic air conditioning. The Toyota Touch multimedia touch-screen system also features on Icon models, with a DAB digital tuner, rear-view camera and Bluetooth.

Set at the top of the range, the new Invincible line adds more premium kit, featuring such goodies as roof rails, leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear parking sensors and smart entry and start. Further supporting the new RAV4’s wider appeal, the Invincible grade offers the choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The choice of four or two-wheel drive is offered across all versions while safety has received a lot of attention, earning a five-star Euro rating. The most expensive car in the RAV 4 line-up is now the Invincible 4WD, at £29,295 on the road.

A range of individual options and two option packs will be available for new RAV4, giving owners a cost-effective way of adding extra style, comfort and equipment to their vehicle.

The Toyota Touch touch-screen control system on the Icon and Invincible models can be upgraded to Touch & Go, adding satellite navigation and on-board connectivity to Google Local Search (with appropriate mobile phones and service plans) with access to useful applications for more detailed local information and resources. These models can also be equipped with a sunroof.

Leather upholstery can be specified for the Active and Icon models, while Invincible owners can take advantage of Toyota’s advanced safety technology by adding lane departure warning and blind spot monitor systems.

A style pack, comprising a front guard plate, side steps and front and rear scuff plates, is available for the Icon and Invincible, while a protection pack, featuring front and rear parking sensors and a rear bumper protection plate can also be added.

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From Belfast Telegraph