NEW FOR 2015:

– New 50th Anniversary Special Edition.

Following a handful of minor equipment tweaks last year, Toyota has carried over its smallest SUV into 2015 without any changes. That said, there is a new special-edition model to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary of selling cars in the Great White North.

Aptly named the 50th Anniversary Special Edition, it’s a mildly upgraded version of the mid-grade XLE trim. Visual flash comes in the form of 18-inch alloy wheels with black-painted pockets, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and red accent stitching throughout the cabin. There are four colours available, including Absolutely Red, which as an exclusive to the limited run model.

Easy to drive and maneuver in the city, while being big enough to serve up for family duty, the RAV4 ticks most boxes for compact crossover shoppers. Its boxy body offers up plenty of interior and cargo space too – nearly 1,100L – made all the more accessible by its low bumper lift-over height. Toyota’s work on dynamics has resulted in a more sure-footed feel on the road; “optimized” springs and dampers work with light and quick steering for increased composure.

The RAV4 comes with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder and six-speed automatic in front- or four-wheel drive. All models feature three selectable drive modes: Sport, Eco, and Normal. Trim lines are FWD LE, FWD XLE, AWD LE, AWD XLE, 50th Anniversary Edition, and AWD Limited.

Features on LE trim include 17-inch steel wheels, four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio with auxiliary and USB input, body colour exterior door handles, Bluetooth, air conditioning, 60/40 split/fold rear seat, power locks, power windows, outside temperature gauge, fuel economy meter, tilt/telescopic steering with audio controls, carpeted and all-season floor mats, cruise control, map lights, keyless entry, rear spoiler, power heated mirrors with integrated turn signals. AWD models also get an automatic transmission fluid warning indicator. The optional Upgrade Package adds a 6.1-inch display audio system with voice recognition and six speakers, heated front seats, privacy tinted glass, roof rails, tonneau cover, and a reverse camera.

XLE trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, 6.1-inch display audio system with six speakers, dual zone automatic climate control, heated front sport seats, driver window auto-up/down, backup camera, tonneau cover, rear privacy glass, silver-painted roof rails, chromed interior door handles, automatic headlamps, satellite radio, moonroof, variable intermittent wipers, fog lights, and vehicle anti-theft system. Also available is the Navigation package that adds navigation, text message assistant, and streaming Bluetooth audio.

Limited trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, synthetic leather upholstered seats, power 8-way driver seat, auto-dimming rear view mirror, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, navigation, text-message assistant, cargo net, push button start, smart key system, and a power liftgate. Limited buyers can also upgrade to the Technology Package that adds automatic high-beam lights, reverse parking sensors with cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitor, lane departure warning, and an 11-speaker JBL audio system

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