“Welcome home,” said the Toyota 2015 RAV4 Limited AWD SUV once I opened the door and took my rightful place in the driver’s seat. It had been a while since I test drove a RAV4. I sat there in the Softex-trimmed 8-way power adjustable driver seat perfecting my memory settings and recalling the treacherous weather we pushed through a couple of winters ago because it could easily plow through snowy and icy roads. It was the beginning of a memorable relationship. Now we meet again in springtime.
It didn’t hurt that the Barcelona Red Metallic stirred my creative spirits to the point that I felt compelled to color coordinate my clothing and surroundings as if no one could already see the brilliant color. I searched and found a residence with red accents then parked the RAV4 in front with pride. Offering eco and sport modes, this RAV4 also features a 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder engine w/dual VVT-I, 176 hp@6000 rpm and 6-speed automatic transmission.
A spring chill and rain greeted us during our reunion. It was the perfect weather to test the heated seats, available for both driver and front-seat passenger. The wet roads were no match for the traction control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist and Smart Stop Technology. If you’ve ever sat frozen in a car as it skated across icy roads you can appreciate the peace of mind these features bring to your drive. The height adjusted power lift gate, with jam protection, allowed me just the right amount of coverage from the rain when accessing the back storage area. The flashing indicator light on the outside mirrors was helpful in monitoring blind spots during the rain when some cars managed to move too up-close and personal on the road.
This RAV4 features a privacy glass as well as a back-up camera with “training wheels” or the red and blue lines that let you know when to stop before you hit something? Don’t laugh. Not every back up camera provides such guidance – audibly and visually.
On a check list, it would be easy to mark everything “great,” especially the power lumbar support and the limited interior in terracotta with French stitching, but I didn’t get a chance. The reunion had come to an end, for now. We’ll talk again.
Toyota 2015 RAV4 Limited AWD SUV MSRP: $29, 850. Combined city/highway MPG: 25.