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Driving report: Toyota RAV4 GR Sport

Why does a functional, compact SUV get a GR badge? After all, the two letters standing for "Gazoo Racing" should actually only stand for Sportcars be granted. Let's try it.

At Toyota, you have to be careful when you come across the abbreviation “GR”, which stands for Gazoo Racing, in the product price lists. Because there are offers like real ones rally cars called GR Yaris or milder sports variants listening to the designation GR86. And also the sharp one Toyota GR Supra can be meant. And if then between all these Athletes suddenly pushes a RAV4 GR Sport (from 57.690 euros), one is surprised.

Not that the SUV lacks GR-ready performance. the hybrid version with mandatory all wheel drive brings it to 163 kW/222 hp system output, the plug-in hybrid, which is exactly 10.300 euros more expensive, even rolls around the corner with 225 kW/306 hp. Nothing has changed in terms of power - that was with the multi-engine ones RAV4 earlier too. The “GR Sport” trim level, on the other hand, is new.

In the GR Sport equipment variant, slightly tighter tuned dampers are being introduced in the multifunctional car

This means that slightly tighter dampers have found their way into the multifunctional car, and 19-inch aluminum wheels with a black finish ensure the correspondingly sporty appearance. In general, the GR Sport looks wiry with specifically designed bumper in honeycomb design. This is joined in front Underrun protection painted in a gray metallic tone — an element painted in the same color adorns the rear bumper.

It remains to be seen whether the RAV4 as GR Sport really wedges around the corners rougher - on asphalt with good grip. On the snowy roads of northern Sweden where the first practice rounds are shot with the refreshed RAV4, one can be lucky if the traction just enough for reasonably quick progress. The studded tires do that driving behavior not exactly calmer. However, the tracks here are alternately covered with wavy ice remnants and uneven layers of snow, which constantly stimulate the structure of the body. However, the GR Sport is by no means noticeable as an unpleasantly harsh chunk, which can only make things better on cleared roads. The RAV4 is not a real GR, the basic design remains commod.

The hybrid version with obligatory all-wheel drive has a system output of 163 kW/222 hp, the plug-in hybrid, which is exactly 10.300 euros more expensive, even rolls around the corner with 225 kW/306 hp

Especially since it regarding the drive there are no innovations at all. And it also stays with the so-called power-split system - this means that interruptions in traction are completely excluded. For this, the speed remains below full load far up, you just have to get used to it. And of course, the Japanese makes a confident impression, is not only agile, but even moderately powerful when the ground is just the right one for a moment Grip gives. And that even applies to the weaker variant without an externally rechargeable one Accumulator. The candidate with the 306 full-grown horses sprints even more vehemently, but above all can be driven quite far electrically. Thanks to the 18 kWh battery, Toyota states 75 kilometers according to WLTP. That makes it PHEV In practice, it can even be used quite well if there are appropriate charging options in your personal environment. In addition, the two electric motors (134 kW/182 hp at the front and 40 kW/54 hp at the rear) really pack a punch, so that the Allradler does not become a traffic obstacle even without an active petrol engine.

The interior designers have also tackled that infotainment — now new: the instrument cluster without mechanical displays. Toyota offers a variety of options for personal configuration of the display surface. You can now either have classic scales reproduced or take a look at the purely digital form of administration. There has to be so much gimmick. Nice also that the central Touchscreen from 9 to 10,5 inches, displays have recently become a sought-after currency in automobiles.

However, the classic virtues are still in the running. This also includes the practical benefit. That the RAV4 is still a spacious touring car is, he does not hide. So the passengers find themselves neat in the second row legroom in order to be able to unwind long distances stress-free. You can also take plenty of luggage with you – up to 1.604 liters Boot capacity calls the data sheet. Incidentally, the prices for the hybrid editions may sound ambitious, but it must not be forgotten that the lower middle class is really packed with goodies. These include solid positions such as 360-degree camera, keyless locking system, electrically adjustable seats with memory function, sound system including nine loudspeakers and cruise control more adaptive Steering. The full arsenal of assistants from the autonomous emergency braking function via an active steering correction to lane departure control is on board anyway. If you think you can do without the GR sports badge, you can get the RAV4 from 43.790 euros.

Patrick Broich / SP-X

Toyota RAV4 GR Sport Specifications:
Lower mid-size SUV, length: 4,60 meters, width: 1,86 meters, height: 1,69 meters, wheelbase: 2,69 meters, trunk volume: 580 to 1.690 liters

HEV all-wheel drive: 2,5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, 131 kW/178 hp, electric motor (front): 88 kW/120 hp, electric motor (rear): 40 kW/54 hp, system output: 163 kW/222 hp, maximum Torque: 221 Nm at 3.600 to 5.200 rpm (petrol engine), 202 Nm (front electric motor), 121 Nm (rear electric motor), continuously variable automatic (power-split), all-wheel drive, 0-100 km/h: 8,1 s, Vmax : 180 km/h, average consumption: 5,6 to 5,8 l/100 km (WLTP), CO2 emissions: 128 to 132 g/km, emission standard: Euro 6d-ISC-FCM, prices: from 45.190 euros and 57.690 Euro (GR Sport)

PHEV all-wheel drive: 2,5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, 136 kW/185 hp, electric motor (front): 134 kW/182 hp, electric motor (rear): 40 kW/54 hp, system output: 225 kW/306 hp, maximum Torque: 227 Nm at 3.200 to 3.700 rpm (petrol engine), 270 Nm (front electric motor), 121 Nm (rear electric motor), continuously variable automatic (power-split), all-wheel drive, 0-100 km/h: 6,0 s, Vmax : 180 km/h, average consumption: 1,2 l/100 km (WLTP), power consumption: 16,6 kWh/100 km (WLTP), CO2 emissions: 26 g/km, emission standard: Euro 6d-ISC-FCM, Prices: from 59.790 euros and 67.990 euros (GR Sport)

Toyota RAV4 GR Sport – Brief Characteristics:
Why: Because its powerful drive is fun
Why not: Because only hybrids are available
What else: Audi Q5, Kia Sportage, Mercedes GLA/GLB, Volvo XC 40
When: Immediately

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