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Toyota RAV 4 2008 Review

Toyota expects that the new additions will attract first time buyers to the RAV4 brand and cement itself as king of the SUVs.

Controlled by a five-speed automatic transmission, the ZR6 is powered by a 3.5 litre all-alloy quad-cam V6 engine that develops 201kW at 6200rpm and 333Nm at 4700rpm.

At 7.4 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash, it’s quite rapid for an SUV and will continue to a top speed of 210km/h. The V6 burns 10.4 litres of fuel per 100kms and emits 246gm of C02/km.

Toyota wanted the V6s in the range to have a premium, modern and rugged appearance but still hold onto the youthful look of the RAV4.

But what does it look like? Just one sentence.

Sturdy yet agile, the ZR6 has been designed with aerodynamics in mind to reduce wind noise and drag.

The ZR6 also gets privacy window glass, five spoke 17 inch alloys, roof rails and a moonroof.

On top of the usual toys like cruise control, multi-function steering wheel and a six speaker stereo, the ZR6 comes with dual front zone climate control, leather seats and an LED display with sat nav and MP3 and Bluetooth compatibility.

With the back seats in their normal position there is 540 litres of cargo space, plus you get a 90 litre under-floor storage box under a bi-fold rear deck board. The deck sides also have luggage hooks.

Bottle holders in each of the four doors plus twin cup holders in the centre console and rear arm rests help keep the kids in check and there are several more small compartments for other bits and pieces.

The 60:40 split rear seats can also fold fully flat to carry extra cargo.

A comprehensive airbag package heads up the ZR6 impressive safety list, including ABS Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control.

The RAV4 V6 range starts at $39,990 for the CV6, $43,990 for the SX6 and $49,990 for the top of the line ZR6.

The new RAV V6s are a welcome addition to a range that has underwhelmed in terms of power and zip.

The top of the range ZR6 performs just as well around town as it does on winding country roads and the extra boost gives you confidence when merging and overtaking on the freeway.

There was little body roll, although we didn’t feel entirely supported by the slippery seats when cornering hard.

We expected the heavier car to feel more sluggish that the four-cylinder, but the extra 75kW made it feel just as nimble.

We also tested on a small amount of untarred road which included a rather steep decline, and plenty of holes and ruts. We were bounced around the cabin at times but generally the combination of Downhill Assist and Vehicle Stability Control made light work of the trip.

The RAV has grown over the last few years and its chunkier appearance has allowed it to muscle in on rivals like the Holden Captiva and Mazda CX-7. It also means it’s now bigger inside with enough room for three of our rotund male friends – and plenty of space for car seats and capsules if need be. The ZR6 treated us to leather trim, satnav, Bluetooth capabilities and a six stacker CD player.

To make things more comfortable the ZR6 has split fold 60/40 rear seats, a generous amount of storage bins and compartments plus cup and bottle holders. Add to that the generous boot space and the 90 litre under-floor cargo area, and you have a very decent package to get you out of the house for a few days in style and comfort.

Verdict: 7.3/10

Pricing guides

Based on 113 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

Cruiser (4x4) 2.4L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $7,400 – 11,440 2008 Toyota RAV4 2008 Cruiser (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Cruiser L (4x4) 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $8,000 – 12,430 2008 Toyota RAV4 2008 Cruiser L (4x4) Pricing and Specs
CV (4X4) 2.4L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $6,300 – 9,790 2008 Toyota RAV4 2008 CV (4X4) Pricing and Specs
CV6 3.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $6,600 – 10,230 2008 Toyota RAV4 2008 CV6 Pricing and Specs
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.