rav4

Toyota RAV4 crossover adds high-tech toys for 2012

The RAV4, Toyota's premium crossover vehicle, adds new audio systems for 2012 that provide occupants with hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth. The next step up from the base, the 2012 Toyota RAV4 Limited Grade, adds an optional display audio system with navigation and Toyota Entune connectivity services.

The Limited edition of the 2012 Toyota RAV4 also includes XM satellite and HD radio.

Entune is a collection of mobile applications and data services that gives RAV4 owners three years of free access to apps and services delivered via most smartphones. After a smartphone is connected to the 2012 Toyora RAV4 using Bluetooth or a USB cable, Entune's features are operated using the crossover vehicle's controls or, for some services, by voice recognition. Entune apps for 2012 include Bing, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable, and Pandora.

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 starts at around $23,000 and is offered in RAV4 base, Sport and Limited grades and a choice of two engines: A 2.5-liter 4 cylinder engine or V6. Each engine can be teamed with front-wheel drive or electronic on-demand four-wheel-drive. The RAV4 offers optional third-row seating on base and Limited models.

The standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine produces 179 horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is partnered with a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The RAV4 with this powerplant delivers 22 mpg city / 28 mpg highway on front-wheel drive models and 21 mpg city / 27 mpg highway on 4-wheel drive models.

An uphill / downhill shift control significantly reduces “hunting” between third and fourth gears when driving uphill. Braking when going downhill automatically causes a downshift, enhancing engine braking for better control. A flex lock-up torque converter continuously controls lock-up switch slippage to boost fuel economy.

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