Power, space and fuel efficiency — can you have it all?
The 2010 Toyota RAV4 V6 — which just wrapped up a week with the Autos Examiner — promises just that combination. It comes with more cargo room than some midsize SUVs and with a more promising power-to-weight ratio. And that low weight also promises decent fuel economy ratings of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with four-wheel-drive.
But despite far surpassing the EPA ratings on the last two test vehicles — and several others in the past — this reviewer was merely on target with the RAV4’s 21-mpg rating for mixed driving, observing 21.5 miles per gallon over the course of 400 miles.
As always, the first thing to note is that these figures are wholly unscientific. The RAV4 was tested during a bitter cold snap (by the standards of the Washington, D.C., area; high temperatures in the upper 20s), which took its toll on fuel consumption compared to the friendlier-weather tests of other vehicles. There was also no duplication of the driving routes and conditions.
The RAV4 was consistent during its stay with the Autos Examiner, however. The 400 miles represented two fill-ups, recording 21.4 and 21.8 miles per gallon.
For a very rough comparison, see below how the tested RAV4 stacked up against other V6 4WD/AWD SUVs in Autos Examiner testing (in different road and weather conditions):
2010 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited V6 AWD: 23.2 mpg observed / 22 miles mpg EPA
2011 Kia Sorento EX V6 4WD: 20.4 mpg observed / 21 mpg EPA
2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited V6 4WD: 20.6 mpg observed / 19 mpg EPA
2010 Toyota RAV4 Limited V6 4WD: 21.5 mpg observed / 21 mpg EPA
Check back for more details on what there is to like — and what more to dislike — about the RAV4, and see more photos and details about the car in the introduction post.
Going and stopping
Vehicle tested: 2010 Toyota RAV4
Vehicle base price (MSRP): $21,675
Version tested: Limited V6 4WD
Version base price (MSRP): $27,810
Vehicle price as tested (MSRP): $30,973
Estimated transaction price as tested: $28,169 (2011)
Odometer reading, beginning of test: 13,193
Odometer reading, end of test: 13,589
Test vehicle provided by: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A
Length: 181.1 inches
Width: 71.5 inches
Height: 69.1 inches
Wheelbase: 104.7 inches
Weight: 3,675 pounds
Cargo volume behind rear seat: 36.4 cubic feet
Cargo volume behind front seats: 73.0 cubic feet
Turning radius: 17.4 feet
Engine (as tested): 3.5-liter V6 with 269 horsepower
Transmission (as tested): 5-speed automatic
EPA city mileage: 19 miles per gallon
EPA highway mileage: 26 miles per gallon
EPA overall mileage: 21 miles per gallon
Observed mileage during test: 21.5 miles per gallon
For more information: Toyota website