What an exciting time to be able to get some seat and photo time with the all the new Toyota RAV4 SE. Toyota made a bold statement with the Sport Edition RAV4 by debuting it in a hot lava/orange color. Toyota also added more details to the RAV4 SE that highlight the sporty look such as the mesh grille, black-painted trim 18-inch wheels, black exterior accents and the LED exterior lighting. Once I set eyes on this sleek and sporty beauty, I immediately began to map locations in Washington DC that had an artistic background to compliment the look of the vehicle. The hot lava color set the tone that this vehicle is ready to be noticed and have the streets on fire.
Toyota is coming in sporty for the summer of 2016 with the Toyota RAV4 SE
All over the Washington DC area there are murals that are viewed as hidden gems. My first stop was to the Marvin Gaye mural that was painted by Aniekan Udofia. This mural is located on 7th and S Street in the Shaw neighborhood of NW, DC. Local artist Aniekan Udofia created this mural after his original Marvin Gaye mural was covered because of construction.
While driving thru the city, the Toyota RAV4 SE proved to be a very comfortable and nimble ride. The Toyota RAV4 SE I tested was all-wheel drive and loaded with a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine kicking out 178 horsepower through a 6-speed transmission. The RAV4 also comes with ECO and Sport driving modes, a sport-tuned suspension and paddle shifters. Throughout most of the ride I was in ECO mode, which seemed to be extremely efficient, but there were times that I needed to add some power to my drive and kicked it into Sport mode. I must say that it was definitely a fun experience tapping the paddle shifters on the RAV4 and moving about in a quicker fashion. This is typically something that RAV4’s were not originally set out to do. The updated suspension and well-weighted steering assisted in the comfort of the ride.
My next stop was to another breathtaking mural titled “Education is a Powerful Weapon” located at 312 Florida Avenue NW, DC. This mural was also done by Aniekan Udofia, and shows a curvy woman pointing a sharp pencil from her hips that seem to jump out of the wall in 3D.
This mural complimented the new sporty look of the RAV4. The new body lines and cleaner grille give it a sleek look. The RAV4 comes equipped with LED lighting in the headlamps and taillights. Toyota really hit the mark by making this crossover SUV look cool and getting the edge on its competition such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester and the Hyundai Santa Fe. The RAV4 SE has stepped up to be a more exciting looking vehicle and will surely be an engaging crossover SUV to get around town in.
My next stop took me to 1710 Good Hope Road, SE DC to Murphys Auto for yet another beautiful piece of artwork done by Hamilton Glass. The finished painting serves as a promotion for the longstanding Anacostia business as well as a striking piece of art. The theme of the fast pace of every day in the city is a frequent motif of the artist and fitting for Murphy’s Auto.
With more seat time in the vehicle, the interior upgrades became more evident. The unique orange stitching stood out to me the most. The RAV4 also has good storage spaces to store things like cellphones or wallets. There are also nice sized cup holders, the SofTex seat upholstery and the soft-touch dash. Other options including the dual zone climate controls, the moonroof, a blind spot monitor and rear-view camera help make the RAV4 SE a step above the rest. The SE model offered to me for testing had the optional $3,030 Advanced Technology Package in it.
The Advanced Technology Package includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, auto high beams, adaptive cruise control, a bird’s-eye view camera with perimeter scan, front and rear parking sensors, Entune Premium JBL Audio system with 11 speakers, a 7-inch in-dash touch screen, the Entune App Suite, AM/FM HD Radio, aux-in and USB ports, Bluetooth for phone and audio, HD Radio traffic and weather info, and navigation. The JBL audio system sounded exceptionally good as I cruised around town listening to the SIRIUSXM package.
No different than any other week, I still had errands to run and the increase in cargo space helped me tow around all of my belongings in one trip. The height adjustable power lift gate assisted me tremendously in packing this sporty crossover SUV with ease. Driving around in the RAV4, I would say that it is achieves good fuel economy, getting 25 mpg combined with 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The sloping sight lines make it an easy car to pilot.
The Toyota RAV4 SE AWD model tested is priced at $34,595 which is priced competitively in this market. I enjoyed my time in the RAV4 and truly see that Toyota is dedicated to making cutting edge vehicles that are reliable and hip. Enjoy the photo gallery and video.