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Do you remember the original RAV4? It was an icon within popular culture. It looked like an elevated high top sneaker – garnished with a bull bar that gave it attitude.

Well, that was the original. Now four generations on it’s a bigger more responsible car. It’s grown with its original customers, now catering to families, young couples and adventure seekers.

I was invited to the launch of the refreshed RAV4, which ventured to spectacular yet remote parts of Mozambique and back into KZN. The journey took us over a variety of roads and road surfaces providing a first-hand experience to the cars remarkable abilities: high speed cruising, off-road sand dune climbing, low speed crawling and potting around town. The journey was testing but the RAV4 passed.

The new and refreshed RAV4 has a striking look that has instantly modernised its appearance. A new bumper, grille and headlights are what have given it its new lease on life, while new rear taillights wag their tail at other motorists as the RAV4 progressively shoots forward.

The RAV4 is driven forward by either the 2.0l or 2.4l petrol engine or a 2.0l turbo diesel engine. Available in all-you-really-need 2WD or for those adventure seekers a 4WD version is on offer too. You can choose between going manual or automatic although the automatic option is extended further with a CVT (Continually Variable Transmission) which is offered exclusively but alongside the manual on the 2.0l RAV4.

Priced to remain the leader in the compact SUV/crossover segment – you can get your hands on a RAV4 from R328 000 and the top of the range model will set you back R490 000. As part of the price the RAV4 is sold with a three year/100,000km warranty and a five-year/ 90 000 km service plan. The new models are also supported by the ToyotaCare Roadside

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