Next-gen RAV4 an 'SUV with sports-car intentions'

Do buyers of SUVs place much importance on razor-sharp handling, or are there more pressing priorities?

Toyota has decided that the new fourth-gen RAV4 should wear myriad changes – mostly positive – including more evolved and involving dynamics.

The new-gen is even fun to drive, though less so on poor surfaces.

Such is the dramatic overhaul of the RAV’s design and engineering that the latest iteration of the original SUV is unrecognisable as such.

Old styling cues, including the characteristic tailgate-mounted spare, are gone.

Yep, a top-hinged rear ’gate is the go. With a standard space-saver.

If you want a full-sizer, it’s now a $300 option that can be found under the cargo floor.

Replacing the slow-selling 3.5-litre V6 engine is a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel clearly aimed at taking on the Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5.
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