The entry-level LE model starts at $24,990 as a front-driver, and $27,255 with AWD; new stuff for 2016 includes rear privacy glass, convex blind-spot side mirrors, and variable intermittent front wipers. An LE upgrade package adds backup camera, six-speaker stereo, and heated front seats.
XLE trim comes in at $29,500 (FWD) or $31,650 (AWD), and for 2016 adds a leather-trimmed steering wheel, power driver’s seat, power tailgate, 4.2-inch trip information display, and blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert systems. As before, this is also where you get standard heated front seats and six-speaker stereo, plus dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded seat fabric, sunroof, back-up camera, and 17-inch alloy wheels in place of steel wheels with plastic covers.
Toyota says the SE trim heralds the return of a “sporty” model to the RAV4 line, something last seen in 2012’s Sport variant. Sporty is a term open to various interpretations, and here it’s more about appearance than added performance. Priced at $36,620 with standard AWD, the RAV4 SE gets a different grille and unique 18-inch wheels, but the rest of what sets it apart is inside, where there are “softex” leather-esque seats, a seven-inch touchscreen stereo with navigation, a heated leather-trimmed steering wheel, and a 4.2-inch trip information display.
New to Limited models ($37,500, also with standard AWD) is the same heated steering wheel alongside an 11-speaker stereo with navigation, front and rear park assist, LED headlights and taillights, intelligent keyless entry with push-button start, and the bird’s-eye view monitor. The RAV4 Limited is also one of the first Toyota models (the other being the Avalon sedan) to get the company’s new “Toyota Safety Sense” (TSS) suite of safety features, including pre-collision alert with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert and lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and radar-based dynamic cruise control.
Hybrid XLE and Limited trims are largely equipped the same as their gas-only counterparts, save for the XLE’s addition of standard intelligent keyless entry. Hybrid XLE pricing starts at $34,465, and rises to $38,265 in Limited guise. Where the RAV4’s latest safety kit is standard in the Limited gasoline model, TSS and the bird’s eye view camera are extra on Hybrid Limited models; call us cynical, but that seems like an obvious money grab considering many hybrid buyers not only want the high-tech drivetrain, but any high-tech toys they can get their hands on.
Toyota has committed to continue building the RAV4 at its Ontario (Woodstock and Cambridge) factories, and has promised to move some hybrid production here as well, from Japan, a decision that helps offset the loss of Corolla construction, set to move to Mexico in 2019. Popularity may be overrated to some, but when it comes to cars built in Canada, we say the more popular, the better.
Pricing: 2016 Toyota RAV4
LE FWD: $24,990
LE AWD: $27,255
Options: Upgrade package – $1,075
XLE FWD: $29,500
XLE AWD: $31,650
Hybrid XLE: $34,465
Limited AWD: $37,500
Hybrid Limited: $38,265
Options: Technology package – $2,675
RAV4 FWD: 10.0 L/100 km city / 7.6 L/100 km hwy / 8.9 L/100 km combined
RAV4 LE/XLE AWD: 10.5 L/100 km city / 8.2 L/100 km hwy / 9.5 L/100 km combined
RAV4 SE/Limited: 10.6 L/100 km city / 8.1 L/100 km hwy / 9.4 L/100 km combined
RAV4 Hybrid: 6.9 L/100 km city / 7.6 L/100 km hwy / 7.2 L/100 km combined