Table of contents:
- Sportage and Tiguan did the RAV4 like Khabib did with Conor: they waited for the opponent to weaken, and then twisted him into a painful one. So much so that the "rafik", at least of the fourth generation, did not get out of this grip. But now a new RAV4 has reached Russia and Toyota is seriously expecting to regain the crown. But … it's not that simple
Sportage and Tiguan did the RAV4 like Khabib did with Conor: they waited for the opponent to weaken, and then twisted him into a painful one. So much so that the "rafik", at least of the fourth generation, did not get out of this grip. But now a new RAV4 has reached Russia and Toyota is seriously expecting to regain the crown. But … it's not that simple
To begin with, let's go back a couple of years and remember what the fourth generation RAV4 was like - the one that was reputed to be the best-selling in the class. It had a huge trunk, a welcoming second row of seats, high residual value and impressive reliability, as well as no sound insulation, mediocre ride, boring handling, dull dynamics, outdated ergonomics and the same finishing materials. In general, he had everything to be a good product, and everything to be considered not the most successful car.
However, any minus of "rafic" was compensated by three words: "This is Toyota!"
I don’t know how significant the brand's strength was in the success of that crossover. I believe that it is not less than the favorable conditions for loans and seasonal discounts. But it seems that even Toyota understood that magic alone, legends about reliability and “sold for more than bought” today will not go far. It's time to change - at least for the sake of those who have not considered Toyota before.
Company President Akio Toyoda said: "Stop making boring cars!" (we didn’t come up with it - he really said so). Then he forced the engineers to create a GT86 sports coupe together with Subaru, went to BMW and agreed to turn the new Z4 into a revived Supra (here we are no longer sure that everything was exactly like that, but still …). The only nuance is that over the past few years Toyota has become so mired in stereotypes about itself that, before starting funny cars, it took first to compose cars that raise fewer questions than before. And the RAV4 is no exception.
The first impressions of the crossover are suddenly pleasant. Design, of course, is a matter of taste, but I rather like it. Although he lacks continuity - because of all the "rafiks" the coolest was the first. Yes, yes, again taste.
The interior does not strike on the spot, but it pleasantly pleases with good, soft plastic and stitching with real thread, and not its stamped imitation and plastic, which is scratched by dust after a light breath of a spring breeze.
And it turned out that the Japanese, when they want, can still come up with normal ergonomics instead of chaotic scattering of buttons around the cabin. The keyboard to the left of the steering wheel remains, but now, like the competitors, there are buttons for calling functions that you remember only when you show the car to the next owner. Dealing with everything else is not required at all.
Of course, there is something to find fault with: the seat cushion is short, a large screen on the tidy, which is both a speedometer and an on-board computer, glares in the sun, the armrest is not adjustable in length, the passenger seat (even in the top!) Is mechanically adjusted … But you can deal with it. But you want to cover the multimedia with an opaque cloth, and nail its edges to the plastic. And it will fly off, God forbid.
More precisely, how … The RAV4 is equipped with a Touch 2 complex with a modified interface: the same as that of the latest Camry. But, having tightened the shell, Toyota completely forgot to make the functionality of the complex richer than that of a coffee grinder. There are no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, no online or concierge services - even more so. But what is really there: the car in the pre-top configuration does not even have navigation! It will be exclusively for the most expensive version, which costs … however, about the prices later, otherwise you will close the tab right there.
And this is perhaps the most obvious blunder of the new "rafik".Because not only multimedia from the past was installed on the previous crossover, but also a complex from Yandex - with a built-in navigator, streaming music and even a weather forecast. Eh, Alice …
To the question "Will the new RAV4 have a system from Yandex?" Toyota representatives are still evasive. However, the fact that the Japanese have been preparing the crossover to enter the Russian market for more than a year (the fifth Rafik debuted in other markets back in 2018), and this issue has not been resolved, directly indicates that something went wrong …
But enough about multimedia - the best qualities of this crossover are still with it. In a sense, for the spaciousness "rafik" is ready to explain to anyone.
The trunk has grown, and now its volume is 580 liters (previously it was 577). But more importantly, what he added to the practicality. There are pockets, a 12-volt socket, a separate paw with a switch, and a two-level floor, and even a double-sided panel of this floor. On the one hand, it is trimmed with pile, on the other, with hard plastic, which can be washed with a hose, if you forgot to take a bucket for fishing on a fishing trip, but nevertheless it got bite …
There are no handles for folding the backs of the second row seats from the trunk, as in the Tiguan or CX-5, and this is bad. However, if the seats are folded down, then you will not need a cargo taxi to move, and nothing will interfere with loading: the floor is even. And this is good.
In terms of space in the second row, the RAV4 is able to compete even with the Camry. With an increase of 183 centimeters, the margin in all respects is very impressive. The list of amenities for second-row passengers includes separate vents, a pair of USB ports, a folding armrest with cup holders, as well as adjusting the angle of the back of the sofa - but the range is small, so in this case we are talking about micro-adjustments rather than a full-fledged search for the ideal position. But all the same - progress!
In the list of inconveniences behind there is only one item - the central tunnel. Yes, the RAV4 is now also in the humpback club, although the tunnel is wide and long enough for a third passenger's legs to be piled right on top of it. But a flat floor is still more comfortable. By the way, about the tunnels.
It was drawn for a reason: this is a feature of the machines made on the basis of the global TNGA architecture. At the heart of the RAV4 is the GA-K platform - about the same as the latest Camry. And if the two previous sentences look something like this for you: "ydagprydltizhavimshyrvldmoytyvloi", now I will explain all this in a more understandable form.
Toyota produces about a trillion different models. Many of them are named the same, but can differ radically from each other depending on the market. Previously, for each of these models, the Japanese came up with unique components: pedal assemblies, suspension elements and so on, but at some point Toyota realized that there were too many components. And then the idea of TNGA was born, which took the form of a fixed set of components, from which several platforms are then assembled for completely different machines.
Simply put, this is not a modular trolley, like Volkswagen's MQB with several unchanged parameters, around which different cars are built - even a city Golf, even a giant Teramont. Toyota has platforms that are different in size and architecture, but partially made from the same parts.
“They save money, bad people!”, You say. Well yes. And there is nothing wrong with that. In addition, thanks to TNG, the new Toyota has learned what no one else dreamed of: they learned to drive. And the RAV4 is no exception.
And it's not only about the platform, but also about the increased rigidity of the body, the transfer of the electric booster from the steering shaft to the rail … In general, in terms of handling, the Rafik is now a strong middle peasant of the class - and this is a huge compliment to him.
The crossover learned to turn as it should, and not as it turns out, the reactions became linear, the steering wheel now has not only heating and buttons, but also feedback, and the rolls have decreased to quite acceptable values.
It is rumored that the RAV4 has a tendency to skid even on dry asphalt, but on Romanian roads, where bumps are replaced by studs that turn into a bumpy bunch of ten apexes, the crossover seemed monolithic, understandable and safe. Not ideal, from the point of view of a driver car, but it is generally unfair to call him a lazy bump. And as the tests of our colleagues show, Russian crossovers do not have a tendency to skid.
In everyday life, the new RAV4 rides almost the same as the KiSportage and Hyundai Tucson - the difference is in the small nuances that appear on the training ground, but not on the public road. However, driving a Tiguan or a Mazda CX-5 is still more interesting: they are both nimble and responsive. It is a fact.
On the other hand, the RAV4 is more comfortable than the main lighters in the class. And this is a victory not only over nimble, but tough competitors, but also over himself. Micro-profile, small and medium defects, the crossover rides serenely. And in front of hard joints, as well as holes with sharp edges - even on top-end 19-inch wheels - it is not necessary to brake to the floor. Although the suspension fulfills them loudly and flabby. But if you get mad at the end and don't slow down at all, then the suspension will break through the suspension on the protruding sewer hatch. However, the suspension of the same Tiguan will close on the travel stops even earlier.
Finally, the Rafik is quiet. The wheels are not heard at all, the huge side mirrors and the front struts begin to sing along only after 100 km / h, and the engine does not seem to work up to 3000-4000 rpm. It is a pity that the tachometer needle for more or less active drivers will never fall below this mark. Especially on two-liter "rafiks".
The new RAV4 arrived in Russia with gasoline aspirated 2.0 and 2.5 with 149 and 199 horsepower. Both are members of TNGA's new Dynamic Force family. They differ from older engines of the same size, for example, by an increased compression ratio (13: 1), redesigned exhaust ports, a modified variable valve timing system, a reduced cylinder diameter and an increased piston stroke to maintain a working volume.
Simply put, the changes are really enough to consider these motors new, but …
But there are no revelations in their character at all. Two-liter "four"? The usual two-liter aspirated: neither fish nor meat. Exactly and even confidently takes out the crossover up to 80 km / h, and then begins to tear the veins more and more. However, sooner or later the Rafik will accelerate to the mainline speed.
On the positive side, there is a new CVT for versions 2.0. They now have a Direct Shift CVT transmission, the same as the Lexus UX. Its peculiarity is that the crossover starts off in mechanical first gear, and then the pulleys and the belt come into play. This provides a much more confident jerk from standstill and reduces the load on the variator. The thing really works: the "rafik" gets under way from a place very confidently and without delays.
And when the area of responsibility of the gear train ends, it is still convenient to control the thrust. Even the change of 10 virtual bands is soft and to some extent "automatic" plausible.
The negative point is fuel consumption. Even with a very careful operation, driving outside endless traffic jams and the right pedal not lying in the floor, 13-14 liters per hundred are obtained! For 11 seconds to a hundred (in fact, about half a second slower), this is too much. However, I fully admit that the car that I got for the test was simply run-in incorrectly. And it's good that she asks for 92nd gasoline: the new engines were tuned specifically for it.
The 199-horsepower 2.5 is also not a revelation. And in general, and against the background of 2.0 in particular. A little more traction, it fizzles out later, and the transmission works more pleasantly. It is understandable: the top-end "rafiki" is equipped with an eight-speed "automatic", the same as on the Camry. Its range of gear ratios is much wider than that of the previous six-speed, and the first gear was made short, guided by the same considerations as when installing a mechanical transmission in a variator, for the sake of a vigorous start from a standstill.
It is much more important that the "machine" turned out to be fast, smooth, logical and inconspicuous. And this is the best characteristic for any transmission in a civilian vehicle.
Another interesting note: a 2.5 engine is much more economical than a two-liter one. The difference of 3-4 liters of gasoline per hundred kilometers cannot be called anything other than dramatic. However, as well as the difference in price between 2.0 and 2.5. And in general, the cost of the RAV4 makes you raise an eyebrow. Or even two at once.
The cheapest crossover costs 1,756,000 rubles. And it will be a car with a two-liter engine, front-wheel drive and a manual (!) Gearbox. Therefore, in general, it does not matter at all what equipment she has. Somewhere in economical Europe, such cars are probably in demand, but definitely not here.
The two-pedal RAV4 will cost at least 1,980,000 rubles, and for all-wheel drive they will require another 107,000 rubles from above. And it will still be a car with fabric seats, mechanical seat adjustments, a small 4.2-inch on-board computer screen, and no wireless charging and heated rear seats.
If your nervous system still hasn't malfunctioned, then you should know: a top-end two-liter car costs 2,290,000 rubles, and the fattest version - with a 2.5 engine and a navigator - 2,661,000 rubles.
This is where the nuance lies. Competitors in running trim levels are simply cheaper. And some of them - not tens, but even hundreds of thousands of rubles! For example, a front-wheel-drive two-liter Sportage with an “automatic” and in a good (average in the hierarchy) Luxe configuration with heating of almost everything, decent multimedia and dual-zone climate control costs 1,664,900.
That is, you can take it for an amount with which the RAV4 cannot even be approached!
Yes, the Tiguan and MazdCX-5 are closer to the new Toyota at prices, but in the most popular versions the price balance is still shifting not in favor of the RAV4. So it turns out that, having decided to abandon their previous image and start making "not boring cars", Toyota did not dare to change the very philosophy and believe that their cars should be more expensive than competitors and should be good in the opinion of Toyota itself. And the rest? Get used to it.
Nobody knows how many clients the old "rafik" has generated the legendary image of the brand, but I am absolutely sure that he is at least involved in all the previous records. Given that the new RAV4 is better than the previous one in almost all respects, it seems that Toyota's approach may work again. The only problem is that the competitors are stronger now than they were before. And they took their positions when the old "rafik" was rapidly aging, and the new one was in no hurry to join us.