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FEATURES | 7 out of 10
The black cargo tonneau cover is fiddly and appears to have been made from a Glad garbage bag.
Car and Driver
The problem is that the gate requires a lot of room behind the RAV4 to open — enough to complicate parking in ways that liftgates don't
there are no thrills or electronics to play with
In a tight parking lot, the door is almost unusable, and when parked on a busy street, access to the cargo requires loading from the street side — a possibly dangerous proposition.
The 2012 Toyota RAV4 is offered in three different trims—each with a choice of the four or V-6—so families are covered in seeking whichever model best meets their needs, ranging from basic and fuel-efficient to luxurious or sporty and powerful.
The base model includes a Lexus-like electroluminescent instrument panel, remote keyless entry, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power mirrors, three 12-volt outlets, ten cup holders, and cruise control. On the other hand, the top Limited model can be optioned like a luxury model, with leather seating areas, heated front seats, and the SUV-requisite rear seat DVD entertainment system to keep the kids entertained.
For 2012, sound systems have been completely revamped, and all models now include Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. With the new Display Audio systems, Bluetooth music streaming is also included, while in Limited models HD Radio with iTunes tagging, text-to-voice capability, and XM satellite radio are added. Also wrapped in is Toyota's Entune suite of services, with a range of data services and apps like Pandora streaming.
Hill Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC)—useful driving aids on- or off-road at low speed—are standard on V-6 models and four-cylinder models with the optional third-row seat. And on V-6 models, towing capacity can be increased to 3,500 pounds.
If you choose the right model, you can do without the external spare; a Sport Appearance Package remains available, creating a more carlike silhouette by deleting it. Just that one change, combined with some other minor changes, make the RAV4 look much more like the crossover wagon it is.
The feature list offers plenty for families on a budget.