The crossover SUV segment is one of the most popular in the UK, and Toyota's RAV4 was one of the first pioneers in this field. The first iteration arrived back in 1994, and since then the manufacturer has improved the model to make it a segment-leader.
Hybrids don't behave like most cars. For a start, they recycle energy and have two engines working in harmony to deliver figures as impressively low as 3 litres of petrol consumed per 100km. A noticeable return indeed and one that can be further reduced when driving in Eco Mode. Of course, if you want to eliminate that figure completely, simply select electric EV-mode, go easy on the pedal and you won’t use a single drop when accelerating up to 50km/h. The future is here!
Today's version is confident, modern and with a hint of sports character. The 17-inch chrome alloy wheels lift it high above the road to exaggerate the car's muscular front and rear sections, while a rear spoiler sits above the rear windscreen with privacy glass. The combination of slim headlamps and a mesh grille with chrome fins is characteristic of Toyota's latest styling signature, while LED daytime running lights are a premium detail fitted here at no extra cost.
As one of the biggest in the class the RAV4 has plenty of space inside for passengers and luggage. Three adults can easily be accommodated on the rear bench which folds virtually flat to offer a large load space. For the driver the instruments are easy to read with a single glance and all buttons and switches fall instantly to hand. Swap the standard cloth seat trim for luxurious leather if desired to complement the other premium materials used to construct the interior.
The RAV4 hybrid is a sharp-looking and well-built vehicle that sports a swooping roofline, which culminates in a smartly-styled rear spoiler. This SUV boasts, among other things, 17-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels as standard and a number of subtly attractive body-coloured fixtures. These include door handles and power-adjustable and heated door mirrors, with the latter also featuring integrated indicator lights. Further illumination includes follow-me-home headlamps, lighting the path to your front door, and the striking light signature provided by LED daytime running lights.
The RAV4’s five-seat cabin is just as robust the exterior. It’s also very comfortable, with lots of room for travellers in both compartments. The driver is provided with a three-spoke leather steering wheel, which offers tilt-and-telescopic adjustability, and he or she also benefits from a height-adjustable position. Other standard features include an air-conditioned ride, while privacy glass helps to provide that little bit of extra exclusivity. A 501-litre boot space compares extremely favourably with other vehicles in the RAV4’s class. Thanks to 60/40 split-folding rear seats, cargo volume can be expanded to in excess of 1,600 litres.
Also featured inside the cockpit are examples of Toyota's latest cutting-edge technology. The entry-level Active brings a four-speaker audio system with AUX and USB input plus steering wheel-mounted controls for this and the Bluetooth interface, which you can link a smartphone to. Just one grade above is Toyota Touch 2 with Go navigation which combines a touchscreen, DAB radio and rear-view camera. For family motorists the optional rear entertainment system will keep children engaged for the longest trips.
A seven-inch touchscreen display is supplied as standard, providing intuitive access to a range of multimedia features. These include a six-speaker sound system (with DAB radio) and output from the car’s reversing camera. All infotainment and telephone functions can be safely operated, thanks to steering wheel-mounted controls. Other standard features include Bluetooth® connectivity and USB and AUX inputs.
The RAV4's performance is defined by control, agility and power as each of its engine options deliver. Both two and all-wheel drive powertrains can be selected from to suit your typical journeys as well as petrol or diesel power. The 2.0-litre 151HP Valvematic petrol completes 0-60mph in under ten seconds with the help of advanced Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and its diesel alternatives are ideal for those wanting optimum efficiency. The 124HP 2.0-litre D-4D diesel with manual transmission returns unbeaten economy up to 57.6mpg combined.
A 2.5-litre engine is paired with automatic transmission, producing 197bhp, a peak torque of 210Nm, 0-60mph in approximately 8.6 seconds and a towing capacity of 800kg with brakes and 750kg without. As you might expect from a hybrid-petrol setup, fuel-efficiency is particularly strong, with the engine returning as much as 57.6mpg and producing CO2 emissions as low as 112g/km. The RAV4 also comes with fuel-saving Stop & Start system as standard.
The crossover is not only nimble but sure-footed too, a trait helped by its intelligent active safety technologies. The Dynamic Drive System maximises traction on a variety of surfaces and is supported by Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Downhill Assist Control (DAC) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). Toyota's passive features protect you and your passengers in the event of a collision and comprise seven airbags plus strong ISOFIX anchor points.
The RAV4 comes with Euro NCAP’s maximum five-star crash test-rating, and an array of safety features. These include Anti-lock Braking System, Hill-start Assist and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. The latter maintains a watchful eye on the air pressure of each tyre and reports any significant discrepancies. The vehicle provides a safe environment for all travellers, not least any infant occupants, who benefit from the security provided by ISOFIX anchor points and child-proof door locks.
Discuss the new RAV4 with an expert adviser at Yeomans Toyota for more of its many strengths, and book a test drive today to sample the experience at the wheel.
If you like the look of the RAV4 Hybrid, we would be delighted to show you it in closer detail – and accompany you on a test drive. To make your appointment, please complete our online contact form, or phone or visit us in Brighton, Eastbourne or Worthing today.