Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Dynamic 4x2

Toyota RAV4, full front static
Toyota RAV4, front action
Toyota RAV4, front action 2
Toyota RAV4, front sunset
Toyota RAV4, rear side action
Toyota RAV4, dashboard
Toyota RAV4, rear sunset
Toyota RAV4, rear side static
Toyota RAV4, boot

MAKE a car easy to live with and it will grow on you as the miles mount. Spend a week in a RAV4 and you're in no doubt this is a message Toyota has learned well.

It starts with comfy seats and easily reached controls and ends, after several hundred miles, with a dashboard economy readout that brings a quiet glow of satisfaction.

The first RAV4 arrived in 1994 as a three-door that would look positively tiny parked alongside today's fifth generation model, now longer than a Land Rover Discovery Sport and wide enough to have you concentrating hard on narrow country roads.

Those added inches mean it's now a car with lounging room for five and a huge boot and, with chunky squared off wheelarches and a multi-angled face it's got solid look-at-me posing points too.

Moving this big and confidently styled SUV is a petrol and electric hybrid mix that Toyota's been on top of for decades. In this instance a biggish (2.5-litre) petrol engine and modestly powerful electric motor combine to produce the sort of economy you'd be pleased with from a noisier diesel - 57mpg in the case of the test car.

It produces enough power for easy overtaking and the CVT automatic transmission means nothing for your left (clutch) foot to do and has little of the annoying whining as you accelerate that sometimes goes with this system.

You can feel the chunky wheels working hard on rougher roads but the interior remains resolutely hushed, especially when travelling on battery power alone through villages along the way.

Toyotas in general sit high in any reliability survey and the RAV4 feels solidly built, with a nice soft touch to places like the door pulls and dash top and a reassuring lack of buzzes and rattles on the move.

The powered tailgate stopped working on day two - hopefully a one off glitch - but the five year warranty gives you confidence that Toyota doesn't expect anything much to go wrong with its car.

The RAV4 range starts at £30,970 with the Icon grade that comes with dual-zone air conditioning, 17in alloy wheels, eight inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Work your way up to the top Dynamic spec tested here and the (now black) alloys have grown an inch and there's a sat nav system, sadly with a choice of screen colours and typefaces that make it hard to read.

Superbly comfortable and heated front seats (with lumbar support for the driver) and a suite of safety features, from pedestrian protection to intelligent adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring means your journey is as relaxing as possible.

A rear view camera makes you look like a seasoned pro reversing into a tight car park spot and sitting high lets you see a long way down the road.

FAST FACTS

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Dynamic 4x2

Price: £35,735

Mechanical: 219bhp, 2,494cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 50.4

Insurance Group: 27

C02 emissions: 129g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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