Toyota RAV4 - Used

Car Review

Toyota RAV4, front
Toyota RAV4, front
Toyota RAV4, front
Toyota RAV4, front
Toyota RAV4, rear
Toyota RAV4, rear
Toyota RAV4, rear
Toyota RAV4, 2016, interior

TOYOTA'S latest RAV4 only came out last year, and that usually makes the outgoing model more reasonable secondhand.

The first RAV had rather strange looks but it was a 4x4 that drove like a hot hatch. Since then, the models have become more laid back and softer with a higher degree of comfort and refinement.

The driver-focussed feel may have changed, but with the model built between 2013 and 2019, appeal broadened, with sophisticated looks and excellent all-round ability.

There's a range of four power units - a petrol, a hybrid petrol/electric and two diesels - and there are three different gearboxes with two or four wheel drive (4WD).

Performance is pretty much the same across the board with the quickest model being the hybrid, which is available only as a 2WD.

It boasts a total power output of 194bhp from the combination of a 2.5-litre petrol plus an electric motor, and like all hybrid Toyotas, drives through a continuously variable automatic gearbox.

The zero to 60 miles an hour sprint takes 8.5 seconds, with economy of 57mpg and low emissions.

The other petrol is a 2.0-litre with 150bhp and four wheel drive and, again, it uses Toyota's Multidrive continuously variable automatic. The 60mph sprint takes 9.5 seconds and very best economy should be 39mpg.

The lowest powered diesel is a 2.0-litre D4D with 122bhp. It's capable of 57mpg and sprints to 60mph in 10.2 seconds.

Next comes a 140bhp version of the same unit that covers the sprint in 9.4 seconds and yet is still the most economical in the range, managing a best of 60mpg and low emissions.

Both of these 2.0-litre diesels have a six-speed manual gearbox and are only available with front wheel drive, which helps towards their excellent economy.

The last engine is a 2.2-litre D4D with 148bhp and comes with a choice of automatic or manual transmissions, both with six-speeds. 0-60mph takes 9.3 seconds for the manual, with a best of 49mpg.

The automatic is slightly slower, getting to 60mph in 9.7 seconds and will return 42mpg at best. This automatic is very easy to live with, changing gear swiftly and smoothly whether in automatic mode or when controlled using the standard steering wheel paddles.

The RAV4 is reasonably agile, stable and safe when taken along a demanding road and surefooted through the corners - albeit with a fair amount of body roll.

Four-wheel drive versions are fitted with a clever ‘Dynamic Torque Control System', which sends power to the rear wheels if the fronts start to slip.

The RAV4 handles well for what is essentially a large, heavy vehicle and although it's heavily biased towards road use it is also capable of taking to the rough if the need arises.

Most available on the secondhand market are likely to be diesels, with their better economy and little loss of performance.

Wind and road noise are minimal even at higher speeds and although the sound of the diesel engine comes through as the revs rise, it's never excessive.

Behind the wheel, these cars feel very much like an ordinary hatchback. The controls are easy, the cabin is light and airy and the high driving position excellent.

All models get climate control along with a six-speaker CD player, aux in and USB.They also have audio remote controls, traction control, alloys, loads of airbags, heated mirrors and excellent column and seat adjustment.

The mid-range Business Edition also has front foglights, parking sensors, sat nav and sports seats.

On top of all this, all Toyota's cars have an excellent reliability record, even many years down the line.

Pay about £10,250 for a '15 15-reg 2 litre 122bhp Business Edition, or £19,600 for a '17 17-reg Excel Hybrid.

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