What Car? says...

SUVs are all gas-guzzling planet-polluters, right? Well, not the Toyota RAV4 – it actually pumps out less CO2 than a number of city-dwelling small cars.

We're not pulling your leg. This large SUV really is one of the most efficient models in its class. That’s according to official figures, and it didn’t disappoint in our independent True MPG testing either.

How efficient is the RAV4 exactly and, even if the figures stand up to scrutiny, is it a good car in other key areas too? Over the next few pages of this review, we’ll give you all the information you need, including how good the performance and handling are, how much space there is in the back and how much it will cost to run.

If you decide you're ready to buy a new car, make sure you find it for the best price by checking out the free What Car? New Car Deals service. You could save a four-figure sum with some of the latest new large SUV deals.


  • Regular hybrid versions took 10 carry-on suitcases in our tests – matching the Peugeot 5008 and Kia Sorento and beating the Honda CR-V. If you go for the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version, boot space is reduced from 580 litres to 490, but it still takes a decent eight carry-on cases.

  • With it being stock only, you can’t get a RAV4 through Motability but there are other Toyota models you can get through the scheme. To find out which cars are eligible see the Motability website.

  • It depends which version you go for. The front-wheel-drive hybrid tows just 800kg (braked), but with four-wheel drive and that increases to 1650kg (braked). The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) has the lowest rating at 725kg (braked).

  • The RAV4 is 4600mm long, 1690mm high and 2115mm wide (including door mirrors).

  • We recommend the RAV4 with the regular hybrid engine in Design trim, which gets you everything you’d need including lots of standard safety tech.