One of the most spacious Hybrid options on the market; Slick new Toyota RAV4 is here to shake up the crossover segment

“One of the most spacious Hybrid options on the market; Slick new Toyota RAV4 is here to shake up the crossover segment”

  • Striking new design

  • New and more refined Hybrid system

  • Generous levels of safety equipment

79%

Overall Rating

  • Interior is a little dull

  • Touchscreen graphics could be better

  • Not the most exciting to drive

Overall Rating

Overview

Like the rest of the Toyota range, the all new 5th generation Toyota RAV4 has ditched diesel for an all-new Hybrid powertrain. It’s also been given a dramatic new makeover with a striking new grille design and some sharper lines that give it a meaner, more aggressive stance.

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Interior Gallery

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Space & Practicality

The RAV4 has always been praised for its spacious and comfortable cabin, and this latest model is no different. In fact, boot space has grown by more than 15 percent on the previous model to a massive 580 litres. As boots go, it’s about as practical as they get – a flat load lip, a good wide opening, a good sturdy set of tether points and seats that will fold nice and flat if you ever need to carry anything bigger.

Space in the back is also impressive. The wide, boxy shape lends itself to lots of head and legroom. The floor in the in the middle is slightly raised but it’s not as intrusive as in some rivals, and so you should be able to fit three in the back quite comfortably.

Storage in the front is also quite good with some well placed cupholders and hidden storage under the armrest. A smattering of USB ports means you’ll never have to look too far for somewhere to charge your phone.

The driving position is good, with a slightly raised position that can of course be adjusted in several ways to help you get comfortable behind the wheel.

Equipment and Safety

Like with most Toyotas, you get quite a bit of bang for your buck and there are five different trim levels to choose from. The range kicks off with the Aura and starting at just under €36,000 its highlights include 17 inch Alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, push button start, adaptive cruise control, and a 7 inch Touchscreen Multimedia System with Bluetooth and a reversing Camera.

Special mention here for the exceptional level of safety kit that comes as standard including a speed limiter, automatic high beams, emergency braking and an emergency call function.
This latest model hasn’t been through the NCAP safety test yet but signs are looking good for the usual top marks.

The next level up is the Luna, always one of their most popular trim levels and the one Toyota say is the best value option because it adds some really nice features such as a larger 8 inch touchscreen, a power tailgate, upgraded styling and front and rear parking sensors.

From there you’ve got the Stylish Sol which adds larger 18 inch wheels, privacy glass, SatNav and heated seats. The Sport gets some more upgraded styling and electrically adjustable lumbar support, while the top of the range platinum comes with every bell and whistle imaginable including heated memory seats and a heated steering wheel.

Performance & Running Costs

As previously mentioned, Toyota are done with diesel and the only powertrain on offer for the new RAV4 is a 2.5l petrol Hybrid option although you do have a choice of whether you want it front or all wheel drive. Our test car was the front wheel drive Sol which achieved a fuel economy of 5.6l per 100km and 128g CO2 a kilometre under the comprehensive new WLTP ‘real-world’ efficiency tests.

It has a combined power output of 218hp from the engine and electric motor. This helps it achieve a 0 – 100kmph time of just 8.4 seconds, which is fairly impressive given the size and makes it quicker than many of its diesel rivals, as well as the Honda CR-V Hybrid that is likely to be its fiercest competitor. There is plenty of power available and the E-CVT gearbox picks it up nice and smoothly although it can get quite noisy at motorway speeds.

As with most Hybrids, the motorway is not where it’s at its most comfortable and it’s also where you will start to see those fuel economy figures start to deteriorate, but in a perfect balancing act, it does seem to spend a good majority of the time in EV mode around town and the suburbs.

In terms of handling, its general bulk and large dimensions were never going to lend themselves to thrills and it’s not exactly what you’d call exciting to drive. However, it is nicely set up for comfortable family journeys with a nice supple suspension set up and well weighted, accurate steering.

There is a Drive mode selector with a Sport option but it doesn’t appear to make a huge difference to the ride quality except for making the cabin a bit noisier. Fans of the quiet relaxation that a Hybrid drive provides might be best leaving this off.

Reliability & Residuals

The new Toyota RAV4 is a good-looking, spacious, comfortable and well-specced SUV and if you’re looking to replace the family cruiser with something a little bit friendlier to the planet you won’t go too far wrong by putting one of these on your shortlist for a test drive.

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