Samurai Rides: Spring Forward to Summer with the 2016 Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid
This is a pleasant surprise indeed. Samurai Rides gets it’s first time behind the wheel of a new Toyota vehicle to finish out the final days of spring. This is a pleasure for me mainly because Toyota is the go to car brand of my parents. The Avalon and the Camry have held my parents down for years now. Even beyond that, the streets of my home town New Rochelle are full of Toyota rides. With all that being said I’ve had no experience with the Rav 4 so it’s still a fresh experience and I’m ready to share it with you.
So as I’ve mentioned I’m no stranger to Toyota. In regards to the Rav 4, my initial thought when I learned I was getting one was a college flashback. I remembered the compact 2 door vehicle that my friend drove on campus that I knew I couldn’t fit in. Fast forward to 2016 and space is one of the last things I had to worry about with the Rav 4. First things first, the Magnetic Grey finish on the car was killer and the blue trimmed logo adds a nice touch.
Off top you’re getting the standard goodies like remote access aka smart key, power everything from mirrors to seats to the moon roof. There is plenty of leg room so immediately I’m in a comfortable zone. Now one thing that many others may not noticed that made me happy was the cup holder. I have large cups that usually don’t fit but this Toyota design is perfect. It’s the little things that matter so bonus points for that.
Summer time often calls for heavier packing be it for road trips or store runs for BBQ supplies. Not to mention now with a baby on board that’s just more cargo to carry around. Either way the trunk space had me fully covered and that was without the seats folded down so you’d be in great shape for any serious luggage packing if need be.
The Rav 4’s safety features were all on point. Sensitive enough to alert me to possible issues, especially in the rain but not so sensitive that they were constantly going off. The collection of Toyota safety indicators range form pedestrian alerts to lane departure. Take a moment to look more into the Safety aspect of the Rav 4 here.
My trips range from the short to the long these days and one of the tech tools I look forward to is the entertainment system. The satellite radio is already a must have but that USB plug in brings the real joy to the road as you can get your summer time playlists lined up to make for a memorable ride. With the sound powered by the good people at JBL Audio the tunes are crisp and clean, with no static.
Alright I know all the bells and wistles are nice but handling the road is what it all comes down to and I have to say that I was not disappointed with how the Rav 4 hugged the highway. In perfect weather and heavy rain up and down the Jersey Turnpike Toyota’s Hybrid SUV came thru with flying colors. The RAV4 Hybrid’s performance is a product of it’s gas engine, electric motor and hybrid battery which you can monitor very easily on your dash. All that tech is combining for nearly 200 horsepower and the acceleration is swift.
In all honestly Toyota is a brand that speaks for itself. There’s not much I could say that isn’t known, but I think hearing this from a source you know and trust does help if you’re on the fence about your next ride. Plus for me personally it was good to see how the Rav 4 fared in the compact SUV field where I’ve reviewed so many other stand out rides. Hopefully I’ll get to bring you more of what Toyota has lined up.