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Rav4 ZR6 will not disappoint

image The test vehicle used 13.3l/100km over 400 or so kilometres.

Toyota's 3.5 litre V6 is no slug of an engine, that?s for sure.

Toyota's Rav4 has been regarded as a more than serviceable compact SUV for a number of years.

It has been endowed with most of the Toyota virtues including excellent finish and good reliability.

But it has never been regarded as a little flier, or as an SUV not to be taken lightly at the traffic lights.

That is until now.

Toyota, in their infinite wisdom, decided to re-invent the RAV4 by shoe-horning the 3.5 litre, 201kW, V6 engine from various other products including the Aurion and Kluger, into the RAV4's engine bay.

Needless to say the addition of 75 more kilowatts to the RAV's get up and go department has transformed the SUV, a bit like an intensive course of steroids.

The vehicle on test was the ZR6, the top-of-the-range RAV with leather heated seats, dual climate control airconditioning and most of the top-end features such as sat nav that you would expect to find in a top of the range Toyota. But on this subject it was more than a little bit strange to find it did not have any trip computer.

Fuel usage, range and so on was not available. Could this possibly be due to the fact the 3.5 litre Toyota engine has a voracious thirst for unleaded petrol? That's probably going too far and it could easily be that there simply is not enough room in the engine bay and on the dash for an item standard on even bottom-of-the-range cars from many brands.

Fuel consumption claimed by Toyota is 10.5l/100km on a combined cycle. The test vehicle used 13.3l/100km over 400 or so kilometres. It got an occasional flogging but most of the driving was steady stop/start stuff around town with a fair proportion of freeway motoring. If you are a lead foot, prepare for 15l/100km and to get anything like Toyota's 10.5 claim you will have to be a fairyfoot.

When it comes to sticking the boot in, a RAV4 V6 driver will be amply rewarded. A top speed of 210km/h, and that appears to be a little conservative, a 0-100km/h time of 7.4sec, which is good for a performance car never mind an SUV, and a 0-400m time of 15.3sec should get you to the beach on time.

In these days of escalating fuel prices the question of why, and whether it is a good idea, to make a V6 RAV4 springs to mind. Leaving aside the question of a guilty green conscience, there is ample evidence that Australians love high-performance vehicles, compact SUVs or other types, and that Toyota was perhaps missing out on that top-of-the-range market share.

And after all, Toyota does make the hybrid Prius so beloved by greenies which helps to balance the carbon equation somewhat.

Flooring the throttle results in instant take off, the all-wheel-drive system working faultlessly so there is negligible torque reaction from the front wheels which also refuse to spin.

Torque is spread among the four wheels for the best possible result. Seamless, progressive acceleration, with an increasing amount of induction noise, until the five-speed auto changes up at just below 6000rpm and the whole process starts again.

The auto, although not tiptronic or paddle actuated, can be used as a manual by the driver moving the gear stick around any of the five notches devoted to individual gears.

While this RAV4 never left the pavement, despite having diff lock and downhill descent assist, the manual function of the transmission would be a boon off-road.

On road, there is little to complain about. The ride can be a little choppy but that's the price for compromise suspension, which is capable both on and off the road. There is little body roll and tyres start to protest audibly if the driver forgets this is an SUV and indulges in some overly spirited cornering.

The back seat testers suggested the middle position was not one to be coveted if a long haul was contemplated; but there was ample back seat leg room, a fair amount of luggage space including a covered well where the spare wheel would have been; had it not adorned the rear door.

Age and crankiness of this tester apart, it is difficult to understand how some sat nav systems, notably BMW, appear well thought out and others require hours of instruction manual study to master even the simplest of calculations.

It took forever to find out how to stop the nameless female telling me where to go after someone touched something on the touch screen which activated a previous address, somewhere in Sydney, I think.

At $49,990, the ZR6 is no cheapie but you do get a fair amount of kit for your dollar.

If RAV4s are your fetish and you are sick of mediocre performance, the ZR6 will not disappoint.



2007 Toyota RAV4 V6 ZR6

Price: $49,990

Body: monocoque 5-door wagon

Engine: 3456cc, all-alloy, quad-cam, dual-VVT-i, 60-degree V6, 4 valves a cylinder, cast-aluminium block, Bore x stroke (mm): 94 x 83, Compression: 10.8:1

Power: 201kW @ 6200rpm

Torque: 333Nm @ 4700rpm

Fuel system: Sequential multi-point electronic port fuel injection. 91 RON ULP, capacity 60 litres, economy 10.5l/100km claimedCO2: 246g/km

Rating: Euro 4

Performacne: Max. speed, 210km/h; 0-100km/h, 7.4sec; 0-400m 15.3sec

Transmission: Electronically controlled, five-speed intelligent automatic with lock-up torque converter, part-time

AWD steering: Rack and pinion, electric power-assisted

Turning circle: 10.6m

Suspension: Front and rear: Independent, barrel-shaped coil springs, low-pressure nitrogen-filled dampers, multi-leaf linear control damper valves Front MacPherson struts, wide-based L-shaped lower arms. Rear, trailing-type double wishbone

Brakes: front, ventilated discs, 296mm, rear, solid discs, 281mm

Safety features: ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Hill-start Assist.

Wheels: Alloy 7.0J x 17 Tyres 225/65R17 101H, full size spare

Dimensions (MM): 4600 (l), 1855 (w), 1730 (h), 2660 (W'base), 1560 (Front and rear track), ground clearance 200

Angles: Approach 30 degrees, departure 26, break over/ramp over 20

Weights/loads: Kerb weight, 1655kg; gross vehicle mass, 2170kg; cargo capacity, 540kg with seats up; 90-litre under-floor storage

Towing: braked: 1900kg; unbraked 750kg


Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 22 comments

  • OK- I have bought a 2012 ZR6 RAV… replace my Adventra for towing. Problem…..It does not feel safe towing a horse float and horse weighing 1600kg combined. Supposed to tow 1900 braked…..Also, cannot open the side opening back door with the float on. No trip cpmputer, no fuel consumption gauge, and it cost me (optioned up) over $55,000. WTF? Who the hell were the engineers for this? Never again…and NOW (2013)they are not putting a V6 in it! Give me strength! So it becomes my run around, and the Adventra is my faithful warrior…........not happy,

    Gladcam of Victoria Posted on 19 March 2013 3:56pm
  • I have an Original Rav 4, that’s right i have one.. I have had it since Brabd new, i’ve never had any drama’s with it AT ALL.. I am now upgrading to a ZR6 as i now have a family. I love Rav 4’s, whenever i see one i’m like a woman checking out a man, can’t get my eye’s off them..

    Kirsty Green of Glenden Posted on 06 May 2011 3:28pm
  • All the frustration and rage boiling within her poured into the choking bodies around her.  He looked so?vivid, almost more real than the other two men, or perhaps less real.  Their corner of the garden, right under the balcony of Nialdlyes suite, was relatively quiet.  Her sinewy warrior had to pummel someone on a regular basis or he became antsy.    She felt the soothing fingers of a sleep spell seep into her mind.  His palm smoothed over her forehead, gently smoothing her hair back from her face.    Sitting up, she rubbed her hands.    She looked to Eyrhaen as Hyle sat up, guarded hope in her eyes.  But thats not what she agreed with Radin.  You need to understand that I wont stand in the way anymore.  Not that it moved him.  I know youre with Nialdlye now.  Does this mean you forgive me?  They still refused to relent.  She closed her eyes and groaned, luxuriating under his weight.  A palm smoothed over her ass.  You didnt have to knock.  Youre not done questioning me.  She could feel it in her soul.  Its so much more convenient.

    VafBoitoRaB Posted on 02 March 2010 3:29am
  • oh and for the record the 1998 model is the best built em like brick shit houses

    gayboy of Australia Posted on 10 December 2009 9:49pm
  • get over how u look in it the lot of you its just a car lol

    gayboy of Australia Posted on 10 December 2009 9:46pm
  • Hi Guys, This is a really interesting discussion reguarding Hairdresser cars and guys who sit to pee which poses an interesting question. I have always thought of the Honda CRV as being the most hairdresser/ gay guy car on the market. Which is the more the hairdresser car of the two?

    EYMA TEAPOT Posted on 27 February 2008 3:31pm
  • The 3.5litr V6 is NOT overkill and will probably make no difference to the issue of global warming.  Being a bigger engine with more TORQUE means it will not work as hard to move the 1600+kg of car its fitted to.  Probably using less fuel than a 4cyl in the real world.  A lot of people are dimwitted enough to think that a bigger car or engine automatically equates to a greater contribution to global warming.  They are probably driving some old peice of crap that glugs double the fuel, four times the oil and with ten times the emmisions.  I drive a D4D prado which uses less than 10 ltrs/100km and I occassionally get idiots asking why I drive such a gas guzzler… This RAV4 probably has better fuel consumption than the top 2 selling cars in OZ, Commodore No1, then Falcon No2.  Keep in mind that companies like Toyota also have some of the greenest production facilities in the world (I think Honda are no 1 in that dept), so when people criticise Toyota for being moronic (PIERRE),  they obviously do so without knowing much about the topic.  Sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt, Pierre.

    I’d lve to take one for a Drive, nice work Toyota.

    Mark of QLD Posted on 26 February 2008 7:19pm
  • It’s a useless review when you don’t address the question of why it was (effectively) recalled, what the problem was, and how (if?) they fixed it.

    TC Posted on 17 February 2008 12:10am
  • Rob,
    You seem to be infatuated with pillow biters and shirt lifters you should really get out of the closet and drive your pink Citroen CV2 a little more often. But you do sound like you should be driving Pajero.

    Adrian Moore of Perth Posted on 14 February 2008 1:27pm
  • ” siting down to have a pee” is a polite way of saying that a car is a gay icon car. The old Rav4 gained this reputation, and I see no reason why the new model does not also fall into that category. Hey Matt Moore, share that gem with your parents. I suspect they will never quite feel the same the next time they drive it.
    Another gay icon car is the Mazda MX5 roadster. Ah, yes, the pillowbiters just can’t get enough of them. Wheels magazine describes the MX5 as having ” image ” issues. I guess “hairdresser’s car” carry the same connotation.

    robert of brisbane Posted on 13 February 2008 5:57pm
  • I own a RAV4 Cruiser 06 with SAT Nav and paid through the nose for it. The car doesn’t really need the extra 75 Kilowatts but its great they have done it. I have been into 4 dealers trying to test drive one and spoken to a number of supposedly salesmen, but funny enough i still don’t have one i think Toyota have a problem with quality sales persons. I love the Rav its no sissy in the bush either i have been the back way from Jurien bay all bush and embarrassed some Pajeros and Patrols in the process. Keep them coming.

    Adrian Moore of Perth Posted on 13 February 2008 1:59pm
  • I dont own a rav 4, i drive a bmw.
    So when my parents bought a rav4 i naturally made fun of them.
    the old rav 4 was a dingy little thing with no interior room, cheap body work and an overall lack of power.

    The stigma the old rav4 brings to the new one is pretty close to the whole Volvo thing.

    the new rav4 is spacious inside with excellent ideas to use all the space within the vehicle, including under the floor space in the rear of the car.
    the power is also not lacking, and pulling away from the lights nice and quickly is always a bonus.

    I still love my BMW dont get me wrong, but after driving the parents Rav4, i understand why they bought it, basically because they tried it… instead of just dismissing it as a piece of crap like the old ones were.

    So unless you have driven the new Rav4 dont bother calling it a piece of crap… try being a little more open minded to test driving the car… you never know you might just like it….

    matt moore of perth Posted on 13 February 2008 1:16pm
  • I took delivery of a RAV CV6 in late November and have now done 8000km in it.  It is used mainly for country cruising. Economy wise I have been averaging about 9.5l/100km, but that does drop if you start to use all those “killer wasps”  Apart from an annoying lack of dust sealing round the doors I have had no problems with the car and would buy another should the situation arise

    Bob of Roxby Downs SA Posted on 13 February 2008 8:14am
  • I just picked up my RavZR6 this am. I previously drove a Commodore V6 ute then Discovery TD5 and wanted a more femine, lower, go everywhere (not a sedan)vehicle. I flogged the Rav through the hills on the bitumen and it held nicely, sat on cruise control on the freeway, hopped around the city, drove the long way home down the highway, over cow pastures, rutted gravel roads etc. After driving diesels I will have to be a little more light footed, but got 456kms from my first tank (filled when light on).  Learning to drive the sat nav, bluetooth etc will take some reading and experimenting, but I will be able to download diary, phone book etc. The RavZR6 will be my office on wheels.  Day 1 - I love it!

    amanda Posted on 12 February 2008 11:31pm
  • Great a V6 RAV4, why can’t we get the Diesel Model that is so widely available across Europe??

    Andrew Posted on 12 February 2008 7:48pm
  • only time i sit down to pee is when i’m too drunk to stand up

    but seriously, it still is a hairdressers car, just one that will go faster into the back of someone else as the hairdresser is busy texting his/her friends

    Matt of Newcastle Posted on 12 February 2008 11:56am
  • well with a name like “pierre” it’s no surprise that you sit down to pee.

    chris of somewhere Posted on 12 February 2008 9:43am
  • Hey rob, I’m a guy and I sit down to pee. And I’ll have you know it’s not because I’m girly - it’s because I’m lazy. As for the car…. just another car company shoe horning a fuel guzzling engine into a car to make it go faster, despite the world reaching peak oil and global warming being extremely high profile. Moronic.

    Pierre Posted on 12 February 2008 12:08am
  • I agree with Vas Retsas about the after sales service from Toyota. I have now had three services carried out on my Toyota and there has been drama each time. On two occasions they have not cleaned the oil residue from around the filter which has resulted in an oil stain on my garage floor. At one service they broke a plastic hose connection on the air filter and then tried to cover it up by repairing it with super glue. Needless to say it broke again and I insisted the air filter cover be replaced under warranty. At one service they left the old oil filter lying in the engine compartment leaking oil.

    After each service I have received a questionaire about the service. Despite my complaining about these issues not once have I had and communication or apology from Toyota. I am about to have the car serviced again by Toyota. This is their last chance to get it right. If they dont get it right this time I will take it elsewhere in future.

    Howard Posted on 11 February 2008 9:20pm
  • Putting a more powerful engine in still does not get over the problem that it has probably the least interior space in its class, and externally it looks girlie. It’s a sweet little car for girls, and guys who sit down to have a pee.

    rob of brisbane Posted on 11 February 2008 4:38pm
  • It actually takes 3 presses of the touch screen to delete the destination. I think you’re too good with the gadgets that you don’t know how to use a very simple system (which I might add I did not read the owner’s manual for the sat nav. The iDrive system on the other hand took days to figure out how to use the function but then that we wouldn’t want that to get in the way of the facts.

    ST Posted on 11 February 2008 1:09pm
  • I own a SX6, I think I was one of the first in South Australia to have one. We had it for a week before it went back to the dealership (Cornes Toyota) for a month so they could figure out the problem with it, as to why it would lose power at 60km/hr. We got it back with no apology what so ever for the inconvenience. They only pulled their finger out when I threatened to park the car in a prominent shopping centre in Adelaide and drive the car with a list of the problems with it. Fuel economy is better than our “old” 2007 Rav4 Cruiser 4cyl. Powerful engine, but very annoying whine from the automatic transmission at 40-55km/hr, which we are told is typical in the V6 Rav4. After our experience with toyota, both the dealership and toyota Australia I will NEVER buy another Toyota again. Very poor after sales service. Really there is not much difference between the old and the new Rav4 & V6 apart from the engine.

    Vas Retsas Posted on 11 February 2008 12:22pm
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