The Toyota Rav 4 helped to establish the now
extremely popular compact SUV market when it launched back in 1994, almost 2 decades
later, how does it fare in today’s fiercely competitive market? The latest model is larger than before offering
more space for five passengers and their luggage. Helped by this very large boot, which is easy
to load items in and out of – and comes complete with this handy net. In fact the whole family’s
set of bags will fit – complete with tent, camping stove and whatever else you would
need on an adventurous camping trip. Or perhaps those fun days out to Swedish furniture
stores, fold the seats down and there is plenty of room to accommodate your shopping fixes.
Fold them back up and your passengers will be very happy with the space they have. As you can see there is plenty of head room
and leg room. Whilst we’re on the subject of practicality
let me show you the abundance of cubby holes for every day items. I love this huge central
storage box and big cup holders because you can really take advantage of them, it’s like
your one messy drawer in the house or “man tin” that is just full of things you might
need. Moving on, we also have a decent size glove box and large door bins! Enough of space, what’s the spec like? The
entry level model comes with pretty much everything that you need including 17″ alloy wheels,
air conditioning, Bluetooth and front fog lights. The mid spec would be our recommendation though,
which adds a powered boot lid as seen earlier in this review, cruise control and automatic
lights and wipers. All models come with stop start though, aiding
to its decent fuel economy. There are two diesel and one petrol engine to choose from.
The most economical being the front-wheel drive 2.0 diesel with manual gearbox, emitting
just 127 g/km of co2 and averaging 57.6 mpg. Whilst you’re not spending loads of money
on fuel, Toyota have done a very good job since the GT86 of making their cars fairly
driver engaging. So the RAV4 even comes with Sport mode on four wheel drive models, which
increases the weight of the steering and send more power to the rear wheels to improve grip
when cornering at speed. Unfortunately the roll in the corners means it cannot match
the Ford Kuga or even the Honda CR-V in the ‘fun to drive’ stakes. Another complaint I have is the interior.
It’s a bit dated and some of the buttons and switches should be replaced for newer sleeker
ones. Having said that, Toyota’s are extremely reliable
and the Rav 4 is comfortable, practical and boasts good spec levels. What’s more, the
5 year, 100,000 mile warranty is transferrable to a new owner, which should help resale values.
How reliable is your car? Why not tell us at DriverPower.co.uk. Finally, why not check out a couple of the
RAV4’s closest rival by clicking on the Mazda CX5 video here and Ford Kuga here. And don’t
forget to subscribe to the Carbuyer Channel here.