2020 Toyota RAV4 GX Petrol Manual VS EDGE 8-speed automatic

Toyota RAV4 has gone through many iterations, and the latest is stuffed full of tech goodies. It has more of everything. Interestingly, the base model GX has the same power as the 2000 model. It seems some things never go out of fashion.

We reviewed RAV4 EDGE last year HERE and HERE

See FULL details at the Toyota website HERE


Looks are a matter of taste. Some will like it, and others won’t. RAV4 looks modern, eschewing the rounded corners of models past, for a more aggressive angular affair. The 2WD GX has 17” wheels VS the 19 inchers on the EDGE.

GX has the same auto-levelling lights as the EDGE, and carries the same LED daytime running lights, and tail lights.

On the face of it, saving $16,500 by spending your shekels on GX rather than EDGE is a good idea.


The cabin looks similar, but without the stunning orange highlights and fancy fabrics in the EDGE, GX feels a trifle plain by comparison. Air conditioning is manual, so those who prefer full climate control might feel disappointed. Fear not, you can set the controls just as you like them. I like frosty air with low flow.

You still get comfortable seats, but the fabric has the easy-clean feeling of a picnic table cloth. Although they are well and truly out of fashion, I’d whack some sheep-skins on to add a spot of luxury.

The sound system is adequate, and comes with the 8” touch screen installed across the range. It comes with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth streaming, DAB, and USB charging outlets.

Storage is abundant. There are Cubby holes and cup holders in the centre console, with bottle holders and large pockets in the doors.

You need the key to start the car, and the buttons on the fob for lock the doors. I find that just a little disappointing.

Cargo area is 580L, and rear seats fold down 60/40 for even more space.

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Toyota Safety Sense includes a bevy of useful gadgets for safety and comfort:


  • Lane Departure Alert,
  • Lane Trace Assist (auto CVT only),
  • Pre-Collision Safety system with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection
  • Road Sign Assist
  • Automatic High Beam
  • Active Cruise Control
  • (All-speed on auto and auto CVT, High-speed on manual)

That’s not all, there is also:

  • reversing camera with sensors front and rear
  • trailer sway control
  • Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic
  • Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist
  • Vehicle Stability Control and
  • Traction Control
  • Hill-start assist
  • Electric parking brake
  • Downhill Assist Control
  • 7 SRS airbags – front, front side, full length
  • curtain airbags and driver’s knee airbag
  • Seatbelt warning (all seats)
  • ISOFIX child restraint anchorage points (outer rear seats)
  • Auto Brake Hold

The Drive:

With all that gear on board, you might think RAV4 will be more like driving a laptop than a medium SUV, but not a bit of it.

Keep the revs high for performance, and Bob’s your uncle. Cruising on the highway is a doddle, and as long as you remember to drop a cog or two, overtaking is easy.

Handling is comfortable but remember RAV4 is not a sports car. It will tackle a gravel drive, but the front wheels will lose grip on loose surfaces if you try anything too difficult, especially moist grass or steep unpaved hills. You wouldn’t do that anyway, would you? There is plenty of ground clearance, so your cosy, charismatic, country cottage is in easy reach.

RAV4 has built in navigation, or CarPlay/Android Auto for those family road trips. Active lane control and active cruise control makes highways less taxing on the nerves, and none of it is too intrusive. You can turn it all off if you’re of a mind to, but best leave it all on.

Traffic sign recognition displays the speed on the dash but it can lag a little, so use it as an indication only.

Our Conclusion:

RAV4 GX felt a little underpowered until I got used to the gears. After that it was smooth sailing.

It runs on the cheapest of fuels too. That’s a bonus on holidays.

For 30 grand plus onroads, GX is a peach. Don’t let the plain-Jane cabin put you off. It doesn’t feel as cutting edge as the range topper, but you can spend the $16,500 you save on a holiday. That’s a win I can live with.

Toyota RAV4 GX details:

Price: $30,640 (plus onroads)

Engine: 2.0L, in-line 4cyl, DOHC, Dual VVT-i

Power: 127kW @ 6600rpm

Torque: 203Nm @ 4800rpm

fuel octane: 91 RON

Emissions: EURO V


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