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.