With 246 pound-feet of torque, the RAV4 V-6 jumps from 45-65 mph in 3.2 seconds -- impressive for a family soft-roader and on par with the Ford Mustang V-6 and Cadillac CTS Coupe (both automatic). From a standstill, the RAV4 gobbles up the 0-60 mph run in 6.3 seconds. Don't think that's fast? Try it in a CUV with 7.5 inches of ground clearance and a cushy ride designed to soak up the road and its imperfections. But in the era of the six-speed automatic, it's not hard to notice the RAV4's five-speed doesn't have the quickest reflexes. Maybe next generation...

The Limited model mounts 17-inch six-spoke alloys wrapped in 225/65/17 tires to the corners. There's little to mask the copious body roll and the physical fact that the RAV4 carries 3702 pounds around with it at all times. The electric steering offers surprisingly natural sensitivity; steering effort is low overall and perfectly suited for the type of urban shuttling duties most RAV4s inevitably perform. If it's any consolation, Toyota did a good job with the front MacPherson strut and rear double A-arm suspension to control braking dive, in spite of the 58/42 weight distribution. From 60 mph, the brake calipers and discs joined forces to haul the compact CUV to a stop in 122 feet.

Because Toyota didn't feel the need to bring in daring stylists, there are no surprises within the cabin. The six-way power driver's seat can be raised high for a commanding eye level or dropped as low as it can go for a more car-like sitting position. After five years, most of the interior is showing its age rather nicely, neither flaunting lavish appointments/materials nor a flashy design. The center console's cell phone slot, directly above the side mirror toggle, is a nice addition to a prime location. There's a fine sense of logic, and that never goes out of style.