2016 Toyota RAV4 features improved looks, sportier SE model (pictures)
Exterior updates to the RAV4 lineup include new light housings, bumpers, rocker panels and wheel designs.
SE models receive standard LED taillights.
A more aggressive front bumper with a larger lower grille and honeycomb insert is exclusive to the SE.
The RAV4 SE rides on Y-spoke 18-inch aluminum wheels wrapped with Bridgestone tires.
Standard LED headlights have an auto on/off feature.
This test car's electric storm blue helped the RAV4 standout from the crowd.
LED daytime running lights give the RAV4 SE a slicker look.
Performance changes center around the suspension, which receives firmer shocks and springs in this model.
The upgraded suspension does result in a tighter-handling vehicle, but results in a harsher ride quality.
For a compact crossover, the RAV4 SE does handle quite well.
Steering is fairly responsive to inputs and there's little body roll through corners.
Being a sport model, a little more power from the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine would have been nice, but it's not necessarry.
The RAV4 SE's slightly harsher ride quality will likely turn off typical compact crossover shoppers.
For people who prefer a more engaging experience from behind the wheel, the SE model is likely for them.
The RAV4 SE adds a little bit of sport to an extremely practical compact crossover package.
LED daytime running lights and LED headlights are standard on the RAV4 SE.
Fog lights on the RAV4 SE, which was a trim level added to the lineup for 2016.
Contrasting black exterior side mirrors feature integrated turn signal indicators.
The body-color rear spoiler on the 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE.
LED taillight housings on the RAV4 SE.
In addition to the SE, the 2016 RAV4 lineup also features a new hybrid model.
The RAV4 SE is available with both front- and all-wheel drive.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is shared with the rest of the non-hybrid RAV4 models producing 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque.
A straightforward cabin layout features plenty of large, clearly labeled buttons.
The numerous wrapped and soft-touch surfaces look of good quality with nice accent stitching.
A 7.0-inch touchscreen is part of this test car's optional advanced technology package.
A navigation system is also included in the optional advanced technology packagee.
A bird's-eye camera system comes in handy when backing out of parking spots.
The bird's-eye camera system also features a perimeter scan function to offer drivers an even clearer view of the surrounding area.
HVAC controls consist of large buttons and knobs.
A push-button starter system comes standard.
USB and power outlets are easily accessible at the bottom of the center stack.
The center console offers a good amount of storage for items.
A color center gauge cluster screen can display a variety of vehicle and infotainment information.
The optional advanced technology package ads a precollision system with pedestrian detection and a lane departure alert system.
The RAV4's three-spoke steering wheel with integrated infotainment controls.
Steering-wheel controls for the RAV4's audio system.
Additional steering-wheel controls for the trip computer and central gauge cluster screen.
For a sportier flavor, the RAV4 SE includes paddle shifters enabling drivers to select their own gears. Unfortunately, they aren't very responsive.
The back seat of the RAV4 offers good leg- and headroom. We heard no complaints from any passengers.
With the rear seats up, the RAV4 can carry 38.4 cubic feet of cargo.
The second-row seats feature a 60/40 split offering added interior flexibility.
With the rear seats folded completely, there's a total of 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than you get in the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape or Jeep Cherokee.
The JBL subwoofer is included as part of the optional advanced technology package.