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Toyota RAV4 vs Nissan X-Trail


They've gone head to head for years on showroom floors, but does the updated Toyota RAV4 have what it takes to beat the Nissan X-Trail? Richard Berry referees.

value

Toyota RAV4 GXL AWD 2.5-litre petrol

$36,990

Value for money is Toyota's 'shtick'. This makes them so popular you'll never stand out from the crowd in one but you'll have bought a reliable, good quality car that comes impressively equipped at an affordable price. The RAV4 in GXL spec has proximity unlocking, LED headlights 6.1-inch touchscreen, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, rain sensing wipers, dual zone climate control and 18-inch alloys. It runs on el cheapo 91 RON petrol, too.

Nissan X-Trail ST-L 4WD 2.5-litre petrol

$39,490

Like the Toyota, the X-Trail in ST-L spec comes with proximity unlocking, rear view camera, dual zone climate control and drinks 91 RON petrol. The X-Trail costs $2,500 more than the RAV4 but has a larger 7-inch display screen, satnav and surround view camera. Keep in mind though that this X-Trail doesn't come with rain sensing wipers, parking sensors or LED headlights and has smaller (17-inch) alloys than the RAV4.

design

Toyota RAV4 GXL AWD 2.5-litre petrol

When the RAV4 debuted in 1994 it had the spare wheel on the back and was a lot smaller. The past two decades saw it grow up, lose the wheel and become more sophisticated looking. Then in December 2015 Toyota introduced this updated version with more premium styling. Inside is spacious – particularly in the second row and the boot is a huge at 577 litres.

Nissan X-Trail ST-L 4WD 2.5-litre petrol

The current generation X-Trail was launched in 2014, and it too had been given an image overhaul. Here was a beautiful beast that bared no resemblance to the boxy box on wheels that preceded it. The X-Trail is also arguably better looking than the RAV4 inside and out with a higher level of refinement. Its cabin is roomy too but it has a smaller boot than the RAV4 at 550 litres.

technology

Toyota RAV4 GXL AWD 2.5-litre petrol

Engine

A 132kW/233Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine powers the RAV4 and great a six speed automatic transmission does the gear shifting. This RAV4 is all-wheel drive and it has a slightly higher fuel consumption than the X-Trail at 8.5L/100km.

Nissan X-Trail ST-L 4WD 2.5-litre petrol

Engine

A 2.5-litre four cylinder also moves the X-Trail but its output is a smidge less than the RAV4's at 126kW/226Nm, but sips less petrol at 8.3L/100km. This X-Trail is all-wheel drive too, but rather than an auto it uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

safety

Toyota RAV4 GXL AWD 2.5-litre petrol

The RAV4 has a five-star ANCAP crash test rating. There's seven airbags, hill hold function, ABS, EBD, stability and traction control. A spare (space saver) wheel is also standard.

Nissan X-Trail ST-L 4WD 2.5-litre petrol

The X-Trail also has a five-star ANCAP rating. There's six airbags, ABS, EBD, traction and stability control, hill hold function and a space saver spare wheel.

driving

Toyota RAV4 GXL AWD 2.5-litre petrol

This updated version of the RAV4 has seen major improvements in the ride and also the car's stability. The revision also included better sound insulation and the cabin is now a much more quiet place. These changes make the RAV4 a good handling SUV with a comfortable ride that remains composed on even the dodgiest city roads.

Nissan X-Trail ST-L 4WD 2.5-litre petrol

Nissan revised the suspension in the new-generation X-Trail and it's a major step up in comfort over the previous gen. There's still room for improvement though with the ride feeling unsettled at times on uneven surfaces. Road noise intruding into the cabin is also a drawback.

Verdict

Toyota RAV4 GXL AWD 2.5-litre petrol

Nissan X-Trail ST-L 4WD 2.5-litre petrol

The RAV4 couldn't have beat the X-Trail just on its value for money proposition. It was Toyota's update to its ride and handling which gave it enough to win.

Click here for more Toyota RAV4 price and spec info

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