- Comfortable ride
- Wide range of powerful and economical engines
- Rivals are better looking
- Body rolls around corners
- Diesel models sacrifice performance
What's the Toyota RAV4 like?
The first RAV4 had rather strange looks, but it was a 4x4 that drove like a hot hatch. Since then, the models have become more laid back and softer, with a higher degree of comfort and refinement.
The driver-focussed feel may have changed, but with the model built between 2013 and 2019, appeal broadened, with superb levels of equipment and excellent all-round ability.
There’s a range of four power units – a petrol, a hybrid petrol/electric and two diesels – and there are three different gearboxes with two or four-wheel drive (4WD).
Performance is pretty much the same across the board, with the quickest model being the hybrid, which is available only as a 2WD.
It boasts a total power output of 194bhp from the combination of a 2.5-litre petrol plus an electric motor, and like all Toyota hybrids, drives through a continuously variable automatic gearbox.
The 0 to 60mph sprint takes 8.5 seconds, with economy of 57mpg and low emissions.
The other petrol is a 2.0-litre with 150bhp and four-wheel drive and, again, it uses Toyota’s Multidrive continuously variable automatic. The 60mph sprint takes 9.5 seconds, and very best economy should be 39mpg.
The lowest powered diesel is a 2.0-litre D4D with 122bhp. It’s capable of 57mpg and sprints to 60mph in 10.2 seconds.
Next comes a 140bhp version of the same unit that covers the sprint in 9.4 seconds and yet is still the most economical in the range, managing a best of 60mpg and low emissions.
Both of these 2.0-litre diesels have a 6-speed manual gearbox and are only available with front-wheel drive, which helps towards their excellent economy.
The last engine is a 2.2-litre D4D with 148bhp and comes with a choice of automatic or manual transmissions, both with 6-speeds. 0 to 60mph takes 9.3 seconds for the manual, with a best of 49mpg.
The automatic is slightly slower, getting to 60mph in 9.7 seconds, and will return 42mpg at best. This automatic is very easy to live with, changing gear swiftly and smoothly whether in automatic mode or when controlled using the standard steering wheel paddles.
Driving Experience and Practicality
The RAV4 is reasonably agile, stable, and safe when taken along a demanding road and sure-footed through the corners – albeit with a fair amount of body roll.
Four-wheel drive versions are fitted with a clever ‘Dynamic Torque Control System’, which sends power to the rear wheels if the fronts start to slip.
The RAV4 handles well for what's essentially a large, heavy vehicle and although it’s heavily biased towards road use, it's also capable of taking to the rough if the need arises.
Most available on the used market are likely to be diesels, with their better economy and little loss of performance.
Wind and road noise are minimal even at higher speeds and although the sound of the diesel engine comes through as the revs rise, it's never excessive.
Behind the wheel, these cars feel very much like an ordinary hatchback. The controls are easy, the cabin is light and airy, and the high driving position excellent.
All models get climate control along with a 6-speaker CD player, aux in and USB. They also have audio remote controls, traction control, alloys, loads of airbags, heated mirrors, and excellent column and seat adjustment.
The mid-range Business Edition also has front fog lights, parking sensors, sat nav, and sports seats.
On top of all this, all Toyota’s cars have an excellent reliability record, even many years down the line.
Find your Toyota RAV4 your way with CarStore
Reliable as they come, the Toyota RAV4 is built to last, with a strong, robust body and efficient petrol, diesel, and hybrid powertrains available. Families can benefit from its huge boot and interior space as well as the abundance of tech on offer, providing a welcome mix of comfort and practicality.
Here at CarStore, you're able to buy your car your way. Whether that be online, in-person, or a mix of both, the choice is yours. With an extensive variety of used cars available, we're sure to have a car that suits your lifestyle.