The highly anticipated 2016 RAV4 is now in dealerships with added safety features, stature and a new look.

As the nation’s number one selling SUV and fifth highest selling model in New Zealand, the latest RAV4 has added a Limited model to the 2WD range and makes its RAV4 Toyota Safety Sense debut on GXL and Limited variants.

With updates to the CVT transmission, resulting in improved fuel economy for 2WD variants, and the addition of a new NOx reduction system for diesel variants, all models of the 2016 RAV4 have achieved EURO5 emission standards.

Transmission options across the GX, GXL and Limited grades include a 2.0-litre petrol engine with CVT transmission, a 2.5-litre petrol engine with six-speed automatic transmission and 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine with six-speed automatic completing the nine model line-up.

The addition of the 2.0-litre petrol 2WD Limited to the line-up provides urban drivers, or those who do not require 4WD capability, with the same superior level of specification of an AWD Limited in petrol or diesel without incurring the cost of the  drivetrain and retails at only $47,990.

New improvements to the floor silencer pads, rear deck design and revised door seals reduce noise into the cabin for a quieter and more comfortable ride. The RAV4 has also been awarded a 5 star 2015 ANCAP safety rating.

The Toyota Safety Sense, which comes standard in GXL and Limited grades, features Pre-Crash System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist Function, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Automatic Brake Control and Automatic High Beam.

GX gains a backing monitor with static guidelines while GXL variants are enhanced with the addition of dynamic guidelines and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, features previously exclusive to the Limited grades of the outgoing model. GXL and Limited gain front parking sensors.

A reversing camera, Hill-start Assist Control and Downhill Assist Control (4WD models only), Emergency Stop Signal, a seven air bag system, two ISOFIX child seat anchor points and three tether anchors come standard across the range.

The remodelled front has a new bumper, grille and headlamp design for a sharper, more refined look. There are new self-levelling LED headlamps with incorporated Daytime Running Lights across the range and a partially painted rear bumper with new LED tail lamps add to the RAV4’s athletic appeal.

Reverse lights have been integrated with the reflector in the lower bumper with a black garnish for GX and a prominent silver garnish for GXL and Limited. There are two new exterior colours available – Carmine and Blue Gem – making up the ten exterior colour range.

New wheel designs give each grade a distinct sense of purpose with 17” robust steel wheels with two-tone wheel cap for the GX grade, contemporary styled 17” machine finished alloy wheels for GXL and dual 5-spoke 18” machine finished black and silver alloy wheels for Limited buyers.

Improvements to the CVT have resulted in fuel consumption and emission reductions for 2WD petrol models with the combined fuel consumption down to 7.0L/100km, a reduction of more than five percent and combined CO2 emissions have decreased from 173g/km to 162g/km.

As of the end of November, RAV4 sales CYTD are at 3,058, and of that, 27.2 percent were 2WD variants with the most popular model being the 2.5-litre petrol AWD GXL accounting for 45.7 percent, or 1,396 sales.

GXL and Limited grades feature a wide array of interior upgrades heightening the comfort, convenience and premium feel experienced within the cabin.

GXL adopts a 4.2” TFT Colour Multi Information Display, leather steering wheel, a leather gear lever with silver detail, premium fabric seats, chrome inside door handles, illuminated entry system, dual-zone climate control and privacy tinted rear and back glass.

Limited models feature a moon roof with tilt and slide functions, leather finished door trims, leather accented seats, an 11 speaker JBL premium audio system and Satellite Navigation with SUNA traffic avoidance system. Limited models also have the exclusive interior colour option Vigor Tan – which replaces Terracotta in the outgoing model.

Key features on the RAV4 include a rear spoiler, silver roof rails, Multi Information Display, audio, phone and MID controls on the steering wheel, six-way driver and four-way front passenger seat adjustment, variable intermittent windscreen wipers, engine immobiliser and three 12V accessory connectors.

The GXL adds front fog lights, smart key and pushbutton start, rain sensing front wipers and an electro-chromatic auto anti-glare rear view mirror. Limited models are upgraded to an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and heated front seats.

The RAV4 range is priced at:

2.0 2WD Petrol SUV GX, $37,490

2.0 2WD Petrol SUV GXL, $43,990

2.0 2WD Petrol SUV Limited, $47,990


2.5 AWD Petrol SUV GX, $44,990

2.5 AWD Petrol SUV GXL, $49,990

2.5 AWD Petrol SUV Limited, $58,990


2.2 AWD Diesel SUV GX, $46,990

2.2 AWD Diesel SUV GXL, $51,990

2.2 AWD Diesel SUV Limited, $60,990

Previous articleLexus IS200t Limited – Car Review
Next articleWatch (and Listen): Supercars at Fuji Speedway
Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.