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STYLING | 7 out of 10
contemporary but conventional good looks
Kelley Blue Book
[Sport model has] "a different rear door without the mounted spare tire
The 2010 Toyota RAV4 is cautious and conservative in appearance, no doubt, but last year Toyota introduced several minor updates that help keep this carlike ute looking at least somewhat fresh.
Reviewers tend to think that the RAV4 looks a little more rugged than previous versions, but it's not clear whether that's a good thing. According to Cars.com, "Toyota says the third-generation RAV4's exterior styling follows a 'modern-rugged theme.'" Kelley Blue Book decides that the most recent redesign makes it "more substantial and less 'cute'" than the previous generation, but discovers that typically clean, play-it-safe Toyota styling is the rule, with the exception of "the triangular rear C-pillar and vertically-wrapped taillamps." MyRide notes that "fewer superfluous curves and less cladding" than the previous RAV present "a more finished appearance."
A mild refresh given to the RAV4 last year included a slightly different appearance at the front and rear on Base and Limited models, but Toyota introduced an all-new Sport Appearance Package that got rid of the rear-mounted spare for the first time. For this year, it comes with all Sport trims.
Toyota doesn't go the traditional route with the interior styling in the 2010 RAV4—especially when it comes to the instrument panel. Kelley Blue Book explains that "the center cluster, door trim and steering wheel spokes are brushed metallic-look plastic," while Car and Driver muses of the sweeping two-tier dash, whose "swollen protuberances at first look Jetson-ish, but in fact break up what would otherwise be a dull sea of plastic." MyRide is critical, calling it a "horizontal gash running the width of the car," with only "a bi-level glove box" as a redeeming feature. Autoblog takes a look around the interior and can't find anything to fault: "No fiddly rockers or digital displays here, just elegant, functional simplicity."
Last year's minor refresh gave a slight boost to good-looking vehicle—made better, in the opinion of TheCarConnection.com, with the Sport model's appearance.