Cost & verdict

Toyota RAV4 review

Manufacturer price from:£29,305
What Car? Target Price:£26,965
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Toyota RAV4
Review continues below...
18 Dec 2015 12:21 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 12:57

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The cheapest diesel model is temptingly priced. However, the version you’ll actually want – the mid-spec Icon – is the best option for private buyers, while the Business Edition (for those wanting a company car) costs quite a bit more than a similarly equipped Mazda CX-5. You’ll still have to pay extra to add sat-nav on Icon trim, though.

Depreciation will also be quite heavy, but Toyota offers good finance deals, and our True MPG tests show that the diesel’s real-world fuel economy is competitive. Avoid the petrol, though, because it’ll be expensive to run.

The 2.0-litre petrol is available only in mid-level Icon and range-topping Excel trim, whereas the 2.0 diesel comes in all four trims. Icon cars are well equipped, though, so we wouldn’t bother going any further up the range if you’re in the market for a diesel.

Whichever model you choose, we’d recommend you look at Toyota’s finance scheme before buying, because this can make the RAV4 surprisingly affordable. Business users should stick to the front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre diesel if possible, because that offers good emissions and company car costs – although the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Qashqai will still be a bit cheaper for BIK tax, thanks to lower list prices.

Toyota has a good reputation for reliability, and a five-year or 100,000-mile warranty betters that of most rivals and is further peace of mind.

Toyota RAV4
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Verdict

Practical, but some rivals are cleaner and better to drive

  • Spacious and generally comfortable
  • Easy to drive
  • Long warranty
  • Good equipment levels on all but the base trim
  • Very competitive finance options
  • The Mazda CX-5 is more refined
  • Not as fun to drive as the Ford Kuga
  • Engines are average at best in terms of their flexibility
There are 4 trims available for the RAV4 4x4. Click to see details.See all versions
Icon
The one to get if you’re buying privately and want the petrol engine or 2.2 diesel. If you want the 2.0-litre diesel, though, go for the Business Edition, which gets sat-nav as standard for similar...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Electric Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£26,965
Average Saving £2,340
View Trim
Icon Tech
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Electric Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£27,461
Average Saving £2,384
View Trim
Design
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Electric Hybrid, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£29,452
Average Saving £2,563
View Trim
Excel
Lots of standard equipment but you pay for it. Probably best avoided, because the RAV4 doesn’t look great value against its rivals in this form...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Electric Hybrid, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£30,594
Average Saving £2,666
View Trim