It’s medium and it’s well done

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Short Cutpeter -

The Cruiser petrol vari­ant isn’t cheap at $44,490 but comes with all the driver as­sist good­ies as stan­dard (these can be had in an op­tion pack lower in the line-up).

Rel­a­tive to the ri­vals, the Cruiser is good value es­pe­cially when you fac­tor in all the lux­ury kit as well that in­cludes leather trim, six-speed auto (the sole trans­mis­sion), a de­cent in­fo­tain­ment screen with sat­nav and mul­ti­ple ve­hi­cle con­trols. The capped price ser­vic­ing is $180 a pop.

The cov­eted driver as­sist kit in­cludes au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, ac­tive (radar) cruise con­trol, pre­c­ol­li­sion prepa­ra­tion, for­ward col­li­sion warning, lane de­par­ture warning, blind spot warning, auto (LED) head­lights, cross traf­fic alert and front park­ing sen­sors. Toy­ota re­vis­ited RAV4’s re­fine­ment this time around, tweak­ing its sus­pen­sion for com­fort and con­trol as well as re­duc­ing road and ex­haust noise. For a medium SUV, it’s quite large in­side with room for five and de­cent load space.

Au­dio qual­ity is good but the Blue­tooth phone is av­er­age in terms of con­nect­ing and voice re­pro­duc­tion (plenty of Toy­otas share this af­flic­tion). And you must be sta­tion­ary to set the sat­nav.

Cabin am­bi­ence is pleasant with a high level of func­tion­al­ity for all con­trols. It doesn’t take long to be­come com­pletely fa­mil­iar with ev­ery­thing the RAV4 can do and ac­cess is easy thanks to the seat­ing be­ing not too high. It’s a five-star car but the Cruiser goes fur­ther than that thanks to all the driver as­sist tech­nol­ogy that helps you avoid a crash in the first place.

In com­mon with other brands, Toy­ota is yet to “democra­tise’’ all this life­sav­ing tech­nol­ogy but it will come down­stream in time. Un­til then We to­tally un­der­stand why RAV4 is at the top of the medium SUV tree. It’s a well rounded pack­age that looks good in­side and out, is prac­ti­cal, built to a high stan­dard and in Cruiser’s case, of­fers a high level of ac­tive and pas­sive safety. It’s a bit thirsty though.

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