Rav Sport; the GTO of SUV's
By Don on
2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
We checked them all out; CRV's, Rogues, Outlanders and Tiguan, etc. All had their points. We chose the Rav because of the build quality, the great lease deal, and the hot 265 hp V- 6 that gets mpg almost as good as the 4. It's really quick, with great handling; lots of fun to drive. The Rav sport w/ the V-6 is the only Rav without a tailgate mounted spare. You get "run flat" tires instead. We'll see how that works out. The Rav is a total package choice; I don't think it wins, hands down, in any one category but is a solid choice across the board, including great resale (if you purchase). We were looking to get a little pizzaz in an otherwise functional vehicle; the RAV4 Sport 6 delivers.
build quality, fit and finish, the V-6 performance; reliability and resale
The dash design; center stack in dash is functional but not very classy. Toyota's insistence on white light speedo and tach dials and amber backlit LCD gauges for everything else seems mismatched; a vertical lift tailgate and a way to eliminate the rear mounted tire w/o resorting to run flat tire.