The second-tier model in the 2019 Toyota RAV4 range is the GXL, which could well be be the pick of the range based on its price and spec, as well as the fact it can be had with a choice of different power options.

The entry-level drivetrain for the GXL is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which is only available in front-wheel drive layout and comes with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic. The 2.0-litre is good for 127kW of power and 203Nm of torque, with fuel consumption rated at 6.5L/100km.

The GXL can also be had with a 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid, which teams a four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine (with 131kW and 221Nm) to an 88kW/202Nm electric motor. The total combined power output is 160kW for the 2WD. The figure jumps to 163kW for the AWD, which gets an additional on-demand 40kW/121Nm electric motor at the rear axle. As is Toyota’s way, there’s no combined torque figure. All hybrid models run a CVT automatic transmission as standard. 

Fuel use for the 2WD hybrid is 4.7L/100km, while the AWD uses a claimed 4.8L/100km - a new benchmark for the segment.

The price you’ll pay for the GXL model depends on the drivetrain: the 2.0L CVT 2WD is $35,640, while the 2.5L Hybrid 2WD will cost you $38,140, and the 2.5L Hybrid AWD version is $41,140. All prices are before on-road costs.

Standard equipment levels for the GXL are even more generous than the GX that sits below it.

Visually you can differentiate it by its added roof rails, tinted windows at the rear, 18-inch wheels (with a 17-inch temporary spare), front and rear mudflaps, “premium embossed fabric seats”, leather steering wheel and shifter, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, Qi wireless phone charging, keyless entry and push-button start. The reversing camera has active guidance lines on the display, plus you get three front USBs and two rear USBs.

Also included is auto LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights, front fog lamps, heated and folding electric exterior mirrors, auto wipers, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a six-speaker stereo, AM/FM/DAB radio, and sat nav with SUNA live traffic. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto - yet. The brand has announced it will be fitting the tech to all models from the fourth quarter of this year, and every version sold before then can be retrofitted with the smartphone integration. 

The safety on offer is also solid, with all grades getting auto emergency braking with day/night pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, auto high beam lights, road sign recognition and alerts, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, and seven airbags (dual front, front side, side curtain and driver’s knee).