REVIEW: 2020 Toyota RAV4 in Malaysia, from RM196k

The just-launched Toyota RAV4 marks a return of the nameplate to Malaysian shores after a 12-year absence, giving UMW Toyota Motor a car-based family SUV to sell again. Unlike most of the local lineup, the RAV4 comes straight from Japan and comes packed with the latest technologies and powertrains.

Its fully-imported status and the disadvantageous exchange rate between the ringgit and yen also incurs a significant price premium over its locally-assembled rivals, the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5. Both variants are priced beyond the RM200,000 mark – the 2.0 litre model retails at RM203,880, while the 2.5 litre encroaches into premium car territory at RM223,880.

With the government’s 50% sales and service tax (SST) for CBU vehicles, the prices drop to RM196,436 and RM215,664 respectively, both on-the-road without insurance. Yes, they still cost a pretty penny, but they’re both fully kitted in terms of equipment.

REVIEW: 2020 Toyota RAV4 in Malaysia, from RM196k

Indeed, the specs are straight up identical between the two and include LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, auto lights and wipers, a power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory, leather upholstery, a seven-inch speedometer display, a 360-degree camera system and a hands-free powered tailgate.

The RAV4 is also one of the few Toyota models in Malaysia to come with an OEM infotainment system, rather than an aftermarket head unit. It features a seven-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, along with six speakers. A Qi wireless smartphone charger is also fitted.

Safety-wise, both variants receive the full Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver assistance features, which include autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane centring assist, blind spot monitoring and automatic high beam. Under the skin, the RAV4 rides on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which boasts a lower centre of gravity and increased rigidity, all claimed to improve ride and handling.

Power comes from new Dynamic Force engines with D-4S direct and port injection and VVT-iE. The 2.0 litre version makes 173 PS and 207 Nm of torque and is paired to a Direct Shift CVT with a startup first gear. The car you see here is the 2.5 litre model that churns out 207 PS and 243 Nm and is paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Both transmissions get a manual shifting mode with paddle shifters.

We were given a brief test drive of the new RAV4 yesterday, and now you can get our thoughts on how this car feels and handles. Are the plentiful features, the feel-good “made in Japan” label and the benefits of the TNGA platform and engines enough to offset the high prices? You’ll just have to watch to find out.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.

 

Comments

  • Darren on Jun 18, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    From the side looks like the lexus nx

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15
    • Nasi lemak on Jun 18, 2020 at 4:21 pm

      Moment of silence for Proton as this world class Game Changer will greatly distrupt X70 sales

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 52
      • My cousin brader in SG bought Toyota RAV4 bcoz the cheapest there at S$128K. Compared to Honda CR-V $131K and VW Tiguan Comfortline 1.4 $141K. RAV4 is cheap here.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 6
        • Overprice on Jun 19, 2020 at 12:47 pm

          Its too much overprice for mesia price. Wif that high price not even have sunroof.
          Umw selfish.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • Chavez on Jun 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

        “Greatly disrupt”… Oh really? (Giving you owl look)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
      • It’s wayyyyy to expensive to disrupt X70 sales

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1
      • Lollapalooza on Jun 20, 2020 at 9:59 am

        You’re the funniest Nasi Lemak I ever seen. But.. yeah, I think you have a point .. of none!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • TheDean on Jun 18, 2020 at 4:42 pm

      That is so gooding looks plus sushi so high RV

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 14
      • His Friend on Jun 18, 2020 at 6:18 pm

        This is sushi quality nowadays
        https://paultan.org/2020/06/18/honda-malaysia-recalls-55354-units-over-fuel-pump/

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4
  • Benard on Jun 18, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Honda CRV is no.1 in local SUV shootout. period

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 17
    • Truckers on Jun 18, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      King X70 says hi

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 9
      • Ya ya ya on Jun 18, 2020 at 5:18 pm

        X50 say Be patient, I am on my way…. To take over all your sells… Wahahaha

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4
    • Rulered on Jun 18, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      Toybota dominate with hilux and hiace for soo long where Honda Malaysia didn’t venture at all, even UMW Vellfire is more on the road compared to Oddysey, plus they have one finger in Perodua, whatever people complaint about the pricing, no pressure for them to reduce the price.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
    • MeiLi on Jun 18, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Yes, Benard. C-RV is no. 1 in local shootout about the steering rack problem, slow warranty claim, uneven panels gaps, and also the oil dilution problem issue famous in cold weather countries. There are so many small issues in C-RV.

      Back to the Toyota, some would say it is better to consider Harrier than this. Hmmm, if we r talking abt the driver assist features, NO! RAV4 is better but I would envy the Harrier due to its turbocharged. Lain cerita if we can get the new Harrier but they are only available in CVT. Sad.

      As anyone already said, the price is the big issue here. Waiting for the locally assembled, or Thailand assembled, could the price be lower?

      If the price is about similar to CX-5 2.5T and C-RV 1.5 TCP, I would pick the RAV4. Why? Because it is TOYOTA!! Don’t mind the turbocharged in the others. Again, this is C-RV, CX-5, X-Trail, Forester, X70 rival, not Harrier.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5
      • Rulered on Jun 19, 2020 at 9:52 am

        Yes I agree with you. If Toyota puts the price competitive to Honda or Mazda, I would certainly choose Toyota. Why? Whether we like it or not, Toyota is robust/tahan lasak, no nonsense car with good aftersales service. I can’t say the same for CRV or Mazda.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
      • Monana on Jun 19, 2020 at 10:16 am

        Yes, IF price is abt similar,

        RAV4 vs CX-5: RAV4 bcoz CX-5 doesnt have MRCC. If have MRCC, Mazda LKAS does not center the car in the lane.

        RAV4 vs CR-V: RAV4 2.5 bcoz CR-V is CVT and have quality issues. CR-V have Honda Sensing though.

        RAV4 vs X-Trail: RAV4 bcoz X-Trail is CVT. X-Trail have ACC though.

        The only bad abt RAV4 is, no turbo. But its not always bad, it also mean less issue.

        So, RAV4 win. BUT, only IF their prices are abt similar. So, jangan mimpilah!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4
  • Ben Yap on Jun 18, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    ugly center console, unimpressive engine performance, uninspiring design with the rear that looks like Perodua Aruz and brainless pricing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 11
  • Jinggo on Jun 18, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    overpriced, better get the cx5..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 3
  • azrai on Jun 18, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    Overpriced. Get the mini me, P2 Raize.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
  • Vedder on Jun 18, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Doesn’t look like a 200k car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0
  • Jiangshi on Jun 18, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Overpriced. Not saying this because of Toyota, but because ghe pricing in other market makes more sense. Dont buy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0
  • Saladin on Jun 18, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    Malaysian buying criteria
    1) price
    2) maintainence
    3) looks

    If score 3 item sells like pisang goreng. If score 2 people still buy not many. Most car also score 2. If score 1, better not sell. Wasting time. What score u all think ur car is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
    • msia driver on Jun 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      of course see price first la..unless we r super rich everyone is billionaire…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • This is too expensive. With this price, I would buy a Fortuner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0
  • RM200k for that kind of rim design…ewww

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  • mengembek on Jun 18, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    RAV4
    1) price = 0 point
    2) maintenance = 1 point
    3) looks = 0 point
    Total = 1 point = total lost

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    • Pak Toh on Jun 19, 2020 at 12:37 pm

      RAV4 Lexus NX

      1) price = 0 point
      2) maintenance = 1 point
      3) looks = 2 point
      Total = 3 point = Fair

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • potato on Jun 18, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    might as well top up abit and get the previous gen Harrier 2.0T that shares the same engine & platform as Lexus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Malaysia spec only 2wd……this price can buy recond harrier Awd 2.0t with turbo…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • potato on Jun 20, 2020 at 1:56 am

      bet you don’t know much about AWD, it requires more care and you have to make sure all 4 tyres are equal to avoid damaging the differentials.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Chris P. Bacon on Jun 19, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Am I the only one to comment that this is one ugly looking SUV?

    I cannot see any appeal in its appearance, particularly the picture of the side view.

    I suppose beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • ThePolygon on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      Yeah man… not sure why all the hu-hah on something that looks like this. It’s like a way step back from C-HR and Harrier.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • Looks better IRL.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • ThePolygon on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    The Aruz DNA is very strong in this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Penyu on Jun 19, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Meh this looks like an HRV competition, or closer to Toyota Rush in looks. But at 200k. LOL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • A horrific price point for a JDM , CVT SUV. Now, Rav4 is at least given the new dynamic force engine. Why the newest Camry is with the 4gen old engine? So UMW is planning to finally offers the rightful engine with another obvious price hike. We have Pirates n Looters trying to con local consumers

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • ujinboi on Jun 21, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Bring-in the CKD RAV-4 lah to maintain Toyota presence lah…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • Look at the price tag, straight away not interested to know further of this SUV!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • R Harindranath R Ravindra Nath on Sep 30, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    You should do a SUV shoot out:
    1) Mazda CX8 2.5
    2) Mazda CX 5 2.5 turbo
    3) Honda CRV 1.5T premium
    4) Toyota RAV 4 2.5
    5) Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4 petrol Premium
    6) Kia Sorento 2.2 CRdi
    7) Peugeot 5008 Premium

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
 

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