The RAV4 is one of the UK’s best-loved 4x4s, so the arrival of the third-generation model has been much anticipated.
It has grown in every direction, so there's loads more room in the cabin, and the boot is 25% bigger than before. A new, simpler seat folding system called Easy-Flat means that just one handle has to be tugged to fold the seats into the floor and increase the load area.
Much of the increased cabin space is down to a significantly longer wheelbase, but the new RAV4 still has a much tighter turning circle, which will make it far easier to manoeuvre around town. Where before there were two engine options, now there are three: a 150bhp 2.0-litre petrol, plus diesels offering 134bhp or 175bhp. The top-rated 2.2-litre diesel takes the RAV4 to 62mph in 9.3sec, but still returns 42.2mpg on the combined cycle.
Toyota promises that build quality has also taken a step forward from the excellent standard of the existing car. It is also confident that the car will receive a class-leading score in Euro NCAP crash tests. Seven airbags, including two sets of knee airbags, will help it in this ambition.
Venturing off-road? The new RAV4 is fitted with four-wheel drive as standard, and a hill descent control system (but only if you plump for the automatic petrol model). Off-roading is probably best limited to steep car park ramps, therefore, but the new RAV4’s chunkier design will make it look meaner on your driveway.
To watch our exclusive video preview of some of the models in this sector, click on the relevant link for you below.