The vantage point driving position and good side and forward vision are positive safety features, and sitting quite high up means that you are elevated from the accident point.
Comfort and Refinement
It is a bit disappointing that the RAV4 still has hard-touch surfaces in its cabin, when so many rivals have their dashboards clad entirely in more tactile surfaces. This fourth generation RAV4 has undergone a cabin revamp, but it has not really brought it up to the level of the best competitors in stylish user-friendliness. Nor is the level of refinement quite a match for the benchmark in cars of this type. There is a bit more guttural rumble from the D4D engine than we would ideally like to hear, and you can feel a degree of engine vibration through the controls, which ideally you shouldn’t.
That said, the sound of the engine at work is reasonably subdued in the general level of noise once you get the car on the move across country, and is acceptably muted on a motorway. It is not as refined, though, as rivals like the Ford Kuga.
Safety and Security
The RAV4 scored 5 stars in Euro NCAP testing. The vantage point driving position and good side and forward vision are positive safety features, and sitting quite high up means that you are elevated from the accident point. It comes equipped with driver, passenger, side, head and driver’s knee airbags, so there is good protection a micro-second away in the unlucky event of an accident. It also has electronic aids including brakeforce distribution and brake assist.
Although the RAV4’s insurance group looks on the high side, it is actually lower than that of some of its rivals, reflecting the car’s security features and good repairability. It is also worth bearing in mind that the warranty gives longer-than-normal cover against any problems that may arise. Where most cars have cover for three years or 60,000 miles, this one is covered for five years and up to 100,000 miles of driving.
The audio system sound quality is good though not exceptional, and the system is not quite as swift to respond as it could be. The level of standard equipment on the RAV4 is pretty good, though. This model comes with standard leather upholstery, privacy glass, cruise control, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and Aux sockets, voice control, heated door mirrors with power folding, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, front seat heating, powered tailgate with a memory function, roof rails, rear parking sensors with camera.
- Ford Kuga
- Honda CR-V
- Kia Sorento
- Hyundai Santa Fe
- Subaru Forester
What We Liked
- Rugged looking
- Tough-as-old-boots image
- Good driving position with elevated view
- Roomy cabin, lots of space inside for passengers
- Big boot that accommodates more than some rivals’
- Easy seat-folding, one-handed operation
- Reasonable economy and CO2
- Strong reputation for reliability
- Longer-than-usual warranty, covered for five years or 100,000 miles
What We Disliked
- Looks and feels a bit of a workhorse compared with some rivals
- Cabin design a bit old school even in this latest version
- You can feel its height and bulk in the handling, leans on the corners
- There’s a bit of engine noise and vibration
- Not all the cabin surfaces are soft-touch
- Audio functionality not as slick as some
- Reflections make the stereo display tricky to read in bright sunshine
What We Would Like To See
- Tauter handling
- Better refinement
Toyota has a solid workhorse in the RAV4, with some strong points in its favour. It has a reputation for reliability, and a longer-than-normal warranty that covers the first five years or 100,000 miles of the car’s life. It isn’t the most engaging car to drive amongst similar rival 4x4s, and there is a slightly agricultural edge to its demeanour, but it is roomy and well-built with a rugged character.4 June 2013
Toyota RAV4 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Toyota RAV4 Invincible 2.2 D-4D AWD|
|Body Type||5-door SUV|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9.6 Seconds|
|Top Speed||118 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||56.5 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5-Stars|
|Warranty||5 Years / 100,000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 04/06/13)||£28,200|