Toyota RAV4

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Toyota RAV4

  • 2.0 TDI SE Business 5dr

  • 6+47 8k Miles p/a

  • Monthly payments: Call for best rate

  • Per month, excl VAT


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Car & Driving
The independent definitive Toyota RAV4 video review
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    The Definitive Review - Toyota RAV4


    Toyota's fifth generation RAV4 gets a bit of an upgrade. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

    Toyota's RAV4 mid-sized SUV soft roader has been around so long it's easy to forget quite how far it's come. The fifth generation model has now been significantly updated with completely new interior screen tech, plus fresh safety systems and various clever remote services. As before, there's the choice of a self-charging full-Hybrid engine with front or four-wheel drive. And a 4WD Plug-in Hybrid variant. Reacquaint yourself with a RAV4. You might be in for a surprise.


    It's easy to underestimate quite what a debt of gratitude we owe the Toyota RAV4. Back in 1994, the market for compact SUVs was massively different to the one we have today. If you wanted a modestly-sized car of this kind back then, you had to have it with the proviso that it was likely to fall over if it was shown a picture of a corner. This was all part of the bargain. You saved money on the up-front cost, but shelled out when it disappeared through a hedge row on its door handles. The RAV4 changed all that. It was the first compact SUV that was actually good fun to drive on road. But times change. The RAV4 has grown ever bigger and more sophisticated in response to market entrants like the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Honda CR-V and the Ford Kuga. This fifth generation car was a smarter take on a well-established theme and now it's been usefully updated, aiming to bring the RAV4 back to a prominent position amongst volume brand entrants in the mid-sized SUV marketplace.

    Driving Experience

    Nothing's changed beneath the bonnet with this MK5 RAV4, so as before, there's the choice of a 2.5 VVT-i self charging hybrid engine with front or four-wheel drive; it delivers 215bhp in front-driven form or 219bhp in AWD form (that variant featuring an extra electric motor). The AWD model adds a further electric motor on the back axle, providing significantly increased extra traction. The powerplant alternative is an AWD-only Plug-in Hybrid variant at the top of the range which has 302bhp and can be really rather fast. You're probably going to want one of the self-charging models and as with all Toyota hybrids, there's a belt-driven CVT auto gearbox and the RAV4 in this form can be driven in three ways. By the electric motors only (as is the case from start-off for up to 1.2 miles using the provided 'EV' mode); with just the engine (if you're giving it full throttle); or more usually, with a combination of both. During deceleration and under braking, the engine switches off and both electric motors act as high-output generators, recovering kinetic energy that automatically recharges the batteries for the next time the hybrid system is able to switch back to electric-only mode. This is no BMW X3, but thanks to a stiff GA-K platform and a low centre of gravity, the car turns keenly into corners at speed and there's less understeer than you'd expect in an SUV of this kind, plus plenty of traction to power you out of the other side of the turn. There's an automatic limited slip differential control on AWD-i models - Toyota calls it a 'Trail Mode' and it's selected via a button on the dash. It deals with the issue that afflicted previous generation AWD RAV4s which saw a risk of the vehicle being stranded if a driven wheel lost contact with the ground on very uneven terrain. Should this happen when 'Trail Mode' is activated, the free rotating wheel will be braked while drive torque is directed to the grounded the same time, throttle control and the transmission shift pattern will be adapted to help the driver keep the vehicle moving.

    Design and Build

    Toyota hasn't made any further visual updates to this fifth generation RAV4 because a package of subtle aesthetic changes was only recently introduced. By way of a recap, this included the adoption of projector-style LED headlights and LED front fog lamps, plus some variants got a smarter 10-spoke alloy wheel design. In 2022, the range also got an extra 'Adventure'-spec version with wider wheel arches, silver front and rear under-runs and more of a serious SUV look. Overall though, this MK5 RAV4 looks much as it did when we first saw the car back in 2018. It still looks accessible - a RAV4 must never be big and bulky. Buyers have always looked at one and thought 'yes I could drive that', 'yes, I could park it' and 'yes, that would look rather nice in the driveway'. It's inside though, where you'll find virtually all the updates made to this rejuvenated version of this 'XA50'-series model. Toyota has at last upgraded its multimedia system and the result is that this car gains a larger 10.5-inch central screen with a high-definition colour display, plus "Hey Toyota" voice control and over-the-air updates. 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring is of course included, though only the Apple system works wirelessly. There's new screen tech for the instrument binnacle too, the old fashioned dials replaced by a 12.3-inch digital combimeter display with four style themes, weirdly named 'Casual', 'Smart', 'Sport' and 'Tough'. Further back, things are as before. This MK5 model's relatively long wheelbase continues to mean that this car is a size bigger than something like a Qashqai or an Ateca (as it should be for the price) and you can stretch out a little more in the second row as a result. There's no option of third row seating. You get a big boot out back though, 580-litres in size in the standard Hybrid variant. There's 1,690-litres of space on offer if you fold the rear bench.




    0-62mph (secs):



    RAV4 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid Excel CVT AWD

    RAV4 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid Excel CVT AWD

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    Category: Compact Car