Toyota’s Rav4 gets adventurous
Don’t be fooled by all the media release double-speak and historical ownership attempted by each and every auto brand with a compact SUV, because, fact of the matter is that Toyota invented the urban off-roader.
Before Rav4 there was nothing with pseudo off-road ability sans a transfer case. In 2013, you can hardly buy a compact SUV with low-range anymore. Although the Koreans, Nissan, Land Rover and practically everyone else now markets a Rav4 rival, Toyota’s compact SUV is now in its fourth incarnation and remains as credible as ever.
If you like the idea of a more robust Rav4, well, Toyota is not about to do one with low-range or a lockable differential, but thanks to some diligent work by Toyota’s Kansei design team in Brussels.
It’s called, rather unimaginatively, the Rav4 Adventure. Beyond the disapprovingly plain name it looks rather cool.
Most noticeable are those flared wheel arches, crafted to accommodate 20-inch alloys shod with robustly patterned off-road specification tyres. Toyota’s added contrasting, easy-to-replace black cladding panels to surface areas easily damaged off-road, a rear skid-plate to protect mechanicals and…well, that’s about it.
All told, we like it a lot and all those styling add-ons are production executable. Future application? In all likelihood the Rav4 Adventure’s bits will become optional on the current fourth-generation Rav4, due in South Africa mid-year.