Toyota RAV4 2021 Review
The 2021 RAV4 (XA50) can trace its nameplate roots to the 1994 original, a then-new model that would pioneer the idea of today’s modern and more urban-oriented SUV. Over the years and generation, the RAV4 has grown in size and complexity, becoming the vehicle that you see today.
Unfortunately, the history of the RAV4 has been far from smooth sailing. The first-generation model was sold locally in a variety of trim levels and in both three-door and five-door guise, though by the time the second-generation model rolled around it was simply too expensive to offer locally and be competitive at the time.
As expected, the second, third, and fourth RAV4 generations were never put on sale in our market and Toyota has seemingly been exempt from what is an incredibly important segment when it comes to brand positioning. Through those two decades, Toyota’s focus was instead on the still popular sedan market, especially within ASEAN.
This fifth-generation model was launched globally in 2018, and launched locally in 2020, being first offered with either a 2.0-litre or 2.5-litre powertrain but eventually being streamlined to just the 2.5-litre variant. Built on the lauded TNGA platform, which also underlines the current Corolla Altis, Camry, and C-HR crossover, this in turn provides fantastic ride and handling qualities unlike anything you can find within the segment.
Toyota RAV4 2021 Specifications
The Toyota RAV4 is currently only available in Malaysia in one variant - RAV4 2.5L (AT). It comes with a naturally aspirated, 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine (A25A-FKS) producing a gutsy 207 PS at 6,600rpm and 243 Nm at 5,000rpm from Toyota’s Dynamic Force engine family. It features various efficiency technologies such as VVT-iE and D-4S fuel injection (varying between port and direct injection). Toyota has paired this to a conventional 8-speed automatic to drive the front wheels.
It also features paddle shifters for a little more driver involvement as well as three drive modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport. These different modes adjust the throttle and transmission mapping, being duller and short shifting for Eco, and being more responsive and aggressively mapped when in Sport. The transmission itself responds quickly when called upon, having less of the rubber-band effect of your traditional automatic transmissions.
In terms of overall dimensions, the RAV4 measures 4,600 mm long, 1,855 mm wide, and 1,685 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,690 mm. The wheelbase is roughly middle ground among its rivals, though being a five seater in allows for more interior space for passengers that is ever important when it comes to comfort on longer journeys. Boot space is an impressive 580 litres, expanding to 1,690 litres when you drop the rear seats.
Toyota RAV4 2021 Exterior
The exterior design itself is very bold and angular, even a little boxy, matching the FT-AC Concept that premiered at the 2017 Los Angeles Motor Show, giving it the impression of being larger than it actually is. It is refreshingly distinctive next among its sea of rivals, that’s for sure.
Continuing that angular theme, the DRL’s exude a very bold personality coupled with uniquely distinctive rear combination lamps. 18-inch alloy wheels complete the tough and dynamic exterior of the RAV4. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 comes in six colors: Dark Blue Mica, Attitude Black, Red Mica, White Pearl CS, Silver Metallic and Grey Metallic.
Toyota RAV4 2021 Interior
The interior is almost as ruggedly angular as the exterior and there’s certainly a strong theme present throughout the RAV4. Toyota terms it ‘Polygonal Motif’. Almost all materials within reach of human hands are soft touch and there’s even a dark reddish brown accent colour that nicely contrasts with the (many) black surfaces.
Leather seats are partly perforated and the front pair are ventilated and features a thicker and more supportive body hugging design. That said, only the driver gets 8-way power adjustment. There’s also dual-zone climate control with rear vents, smart entry and push start, partial ambient lighting, tyre pressure monitors, and even a vehicle telematics system that uses GPS and cellular networks to pinpoint the vehicle’s location should it ever be stolen.
Toyota RAV4 2021 Safety Features
Employing Toyota’s SAFE-T principles, the RAV4 comes with 7 SRS airbags, stability control, traction control, and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, Toyota’s Safety Sense suite is a highlight feature of the all-new RAV4, bundling in Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and Automatic High Beam (AHB).
As a point of contention when it comes to Toyota’s local offerings, it is also important to note the inclusion of the basics like electronic stability control and traction control, as well as systems like ABS with EBD, brake assist, and so on.
Toyota RAV4 2021 Strengths & Weakness
The most immediate weakness of the Toyota RAV4 that comes to mind is the fact that it is priced well beyond what you would expect a Japanese model to cost in this particular segment. Bordering on luxury car prices, the RAV4 then becomes a difficult proposition for consumers – though when you consider how much you get for the money, it’s a bitter pill that’s easier to swallow.
What your money does get you is an extensive suite of safety items, impeccable built quality and reliability, a robust powertrain that offers respectable naturally-aspirated power for its class, and that oh-so-lovely TNGA platform that delivers an unmatched driving experience. Whichever car is built upon that platform manages to deliver incredibly precise steering, and a rear end that seems to hug the road surface no matter how hard you throw it around.
If this last point seems a little unnecessary when it comes to SUVs, you’d be right – but it does also prove that the Japanese are more than capable of matching the Europeans in delivering on both comfort and driving experiences.
Toyota RAV4 2021 Price
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 2.5L retails for 215,664.50 (OTR with SST without insurance). A 5-year warranty with unlimited mileage also comes as standard.
Toyota RAV4 2021 Features
Toyota has also supplied the 2021 RAV4 with an Optitron gauge cluster paired with a 7-inch colour multi-function LCD display which can switch between analogue and digital readouts. Positioned prominently is the central infotainment display consisting of another 7-inch panel, touch sensitive this time, with all the expected connectivity options including support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (when available), hooked up to a six-speaker stereo. There’s also a wireless charging pad to charge your smartphone.
In addition to the above the Toyota RAV4 also comes with dual-zone auto air-conditioning, a front and rear digital video recorder, a 3D panoramic view monitor as well as tyre pressure warning system. For convenience and to store your knick-knacks, the RAV4 also comes with cup holders, front overhead console for your sunnies, kick-sensor power back door and a 2-level floor with reversible board.
Toyota RAV4 2021 Fuel Consumption
The RAV4 comes with a 55 litre fuel capacity – and while there are no local manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figures, we can look to the US market for a rough gauge of what to expect. Over there, a roughly equivalent Toyota RAV4 returns 30 miles per gallon of fuel, or 12.8 kilometres per litre – a respectable figure for an SUV in this day and age.
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- Body Type: SUV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 2487 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 5
- Price: RM 215,665
15 Sep 2020
Review: Can These 5 Things Justify the Toyota RAV4’s Price Tag?
Like Robin is to Batman, the RAV4’s Trailing Wishbone Rear Suspension, which is another first for Toyota in Malaysia, perfectly complements the TNGA platform. The suspension is designed in a way that it provides top class shock reduction over uneven surfaces. This was evident when we drove towards Pulau Carey in the RAV4 on roads that are full of trailers, where the bumps didn’t really bother us at all. We only went “Oh wow, that wasn’t too bad was it?”View full review
User Review of Toyota RAV4
Better than BMW X1
It's a good 4-wheel which needs less maintenance