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Test Driving the Toyota 2016 RAV4 Hybrid

Test Driving the Toyota 2016 RAV4 Hybrid

This post brought to you by Toyota Canada. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Going Awesome Places.

Its not everyday that you get to test drive a new car without being pressured to buy.  At Toyota’s Towards Tomorrow event here in Toronto, I did exactly that and got behind the brand spanking new 2016 RAV4 Hybrid.

The Perfect Car For the Everyday Adventurer

My girlfriend and I have been on the lookout for a new car this past little while.  The requirements were simple.  We needed a car that was versatile enough for all the things we’d be doing in our daily lives but also the big epic road trips to destination unknown.  To us, space was important, reliability, and so was convenience. 2016 RAV4 Hybrid Test Drive Towards Tomorrow Event The available cars from the Towards Tomorrow Event included the Prius, Prius c, RAV4 Hybrid, and Scion iM.  Carefully considering each one, the one that we wanted to try out was the RAV4.  On paper it met all of our requirements but how was it when we put it to the test?

A Silent Winner

Toyota Test Drive 2016 RAV4 Hybrid - Interior Driver Side Life is all about first impressions right?  With the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, the first thing that jumped at me was not the fact that the interior was beautifully appointed with leather or the electric blue colour of the exterior but it was in fact how ridiculously quiet the car was on start.  Jokingly, I was thinking how easy it would be to creep up on someone without them noticing.

RAV4 Packed With Features That Matter

2016 RAV4 Hybrid Test Drive Experience With my new April Fools prank in my pocket, I then began to get an appreciation of how packed full of features the car comes with.  For the price point I was incredibly impressed with the interior.  You almost expect the car to be much more dominated with plastic but instead, Toyota has elected to tastefully enhance leather around the front dash and doors complete with sporty stitching.

Image courtesy of Toyota Canada

Image courtesy of Toyota Canada

The biggest surprise came from the tech and safety features they’ve built into this SUV.  I was blown away by the number of cameras that they’ve placed on the car.  With a camera at every corner this means that the RAV4 can give the driver a full birds eye view of the car which is incredibly useful when you’re just starting the car or parking.  That’s a full 360 degree view that allows you to check your surroundings and make sure you’re within the lines.  The car also has the new Toyota Safety Sense system which means you also get lane departure warning, and pre-collision braking, alongside front and rear beeping sonar. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Interior View What else was I impressed with?  For those Canadian winters, having heated everything is always a plus and the RAV4 is packed with the customary heated seats but also a heated steering wheel which I thought was a nice touch.  Another feature that was very convenient was the power lift gate rear.  With a touch of a button, it would open and close on its own.

Perfect For Road Trips

So how does the RAV4 Hybrid stack up for road trips?

  1. Fuel Efficient – This is the first year that the hybrid version is available for the RAV4.  This means that fuel efficiency is going to be significantly improved over the gas model.
  2. Comfy – Whether you’re sitting at the front or at the back, there is more than enough space.  The leather is both supple and non-slip.  Seats are also adjustable so you can set it to however you like.
  3. Ample Cargo Space – You’re going to be lugging suitcases and gear on these trips and the RAV4 has more than enough cargo space.  If you need more, simply drop forward the rear seats and you have a fully flat passthrough.
  4. Tech to Jam – Loaded with JBL speakers and a touch screen media console, you’ll be able to jam to music as you please through Bluetooth, USB, or auxiliary input.
  5. No Worry Cruising – Driving long distances is tiring and to help you with that is not only cruise control but also lane departure warning and pre-collision technology to make sure you and your travelling buddies stay safe.

A Look Inside Towards Tomorrow

Here was my day at Towards Tomorrow and all the reasons why I loved the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid.

Behind The Scene Photos

Toyota Towards Tomorrow Behind The Scenes Filming

Winging it is harder than it looks.

Toyota Towards Tomorrow Behind The Scenes Filming 2

Big lights and fancy cameras.

Remember You Can Still Win 100,000 Aeroplan Points

Aeroplan Logo It’s not too late.  The Towards Tomorrow gallery is open until May 31 at Square One Shopping Centre (100 City Centre Dr, Mississauga, ON L5B 2C9).  Learn more here for all the details.

Even if you don’t have plans to buy a car soon, make sure you drop by and put in your name into the contest to win enough Aeroplan points to take you to Asia and back and then some.  So what are you waiting for?

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About Will Tang

Will is a travel blogger writing for Going Awesome Places. Since quitting his consulting job in 2012 he's been travelling the world and along the way writing about his epic adventures and taking amazing photos. His true passion lies in telling stories, inspiring others to travel, writing detailed trip itineraries for others to follow and providing helpful tips and tricks to travel better. Also the founder behind Travel Blog Breakthrough and freelance writer for Hipmunk and currently working on the #‎HipmunkCityLove Project.

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