Toyota RAV4 (2019) Review

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Toyota RAV4 (2019) At A Glance

Efficient hybrid crossover available with two- or four-wheel drive. Spacious and robust interior. Very quiet and refined to drive.

Not everyone will like how it looks. No seven-seat option. Expensive compared to rivals like the Skoda Karoq.

On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

Arguably the original crossover SUV, the Toyota RAV4 is now in its fifth generation and better than ever thanks to its solid build quality and sophisticated petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.

The majority of buyers will opt for two-wheel-drive models, although there's also a four-wheel-drive version available if AWD capability is high on your wish list. In the UK, the sole engine offering is a 2.5-litre petrol combined with an electric motor along with an automatic gearbox.

The advantages of the hybrid powertrain are obvious as soon as you drive the RAV4. It's quiet and refined, with even the CVT automatic transmission not kicking up too much of a fuss under acceleration.

One thing that will put some buyers off is the near-£30,000 starting price - that's significantly more than the likes of the Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Karoq (and even the bigger Kodiaq). But, spec-for-spec, it's not that much more expensive. And they're not available with hybrid engines, either.

While interiors have never been Toyota's strong point, the new RAV4's is hugely better than its predecessor. It feels well-made and borderline premium, with lots of plush materials. All models get an eight-inch touchscreen media display perched on top of the dash, although this isn't as slick as some used in rivals and, frustratingly, doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

There's loads of space - more so than in a Skoda Karoq or Nissan Qashqai - with room for five adults without too much discomfort. There isn't a seven-seat option, unfortunately, but the boot is huge and easy to access. 

If you're looking for a robust family SUV with lots of room, the Toyota RAV4 is a strong choice. It has its niggles - that infotainment system and a limited engine line-up - but Toyota's five-year warranty and well-deserved reputation for reliability makes it a difficult option to ignore.

Looking for a Toyota RAV4 (2019 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Toyota RAV4 (2019)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

75%

Real MPG

35–59 mpg

MPGs submitted

65

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

ASK HJ

I need a large car for long trips but hear diesel isn't a smart idea anymore. Can you advise?
I need a new car: large with big boot and good fuel economy for a long commute. Should I get a diesel, petrol, hybrid etc? I would go diesel but I hear people say they are phasing this out. I need a high ride and large boot so the recent Kia and Hyundai don't quite suffice. Any suggestions? Or should I just keep to diesel? Thanks in advance!
Diesels tend to be the most efficient engines for large SUVs. However, in recent years, petrol hybrids are getting very close to matching diesels for high mpg. The two-wheel drive Honda CR-V, for example, will return almost 50mpg: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/honda/cr-v-2018 The latest Toyota RAV4 petrol hybrid will also return 50mpg, while the four-wheel drive model averages at 47mpg: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/toyota/rav4-2019
Answered by Dan Powell
Why won't the dealer spec both a sunroof and spare wheel on the same car?
I bought a new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. It had to be ordered as I spec'd a spare wheel. When I collected the car, there was no spare wheel but the rubber injection kit instead. On complaining, I was told that because I had ordered a sunroof it would violate their conditions of sale to provide a spare wheel. Why can they do this? Is there anyway I can purchase a wheel as they wouldn't sell me one? I'm uncomfortable travelling without the spare. Hope you can help.
It's all down to emissions. By the time you've added the weight of the panoramic sunroof and spare wheel, the RAV4 officially emits more CO2 and the first year's tax will cost more. To get around this, Toyota offers a tyre repair kit instead of the full-sized spare wheel. They should be able to sell you one as an aftermarket accessory, though. Try a different dealer.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Should I go for petrol, hybrid or electric?
O recently retired and I'm wanting an SUV for easier access. I do mostly short journeys, sometimes with two grandchildren. 8000-9000 miles annually anticipated. I have a static caravan that we travel to at least once a fortnight (110 miles away). Unsure what type would be most cost effective to buy and run - petrol, Hybrid or PHEV. I don't think diesel would be an option at those miles so suggestions for fuel type and model(s) appreciated. Budget not really a problem but would like to stay under £40k tax threshold.
You're right to dismiss diesel for that mileage. Can you charge a car at home - i.e. do you have off-road parking with access to a plug? If so, a plug-in hybrid could work. You'll be able to complete your local journeys under electric power, with a petrol engine on hand for your longer journeys to the caravan. Otherwise, a petrol or hybrid would be fine. A Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V could be a good option - both are available with hybrid engines and will have enough space for your grandchildren.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Post-coronavirus, I'm working from home more. Should I swap my diesel to avoid DPF issues?
At the start of the year, I bought a 2018 diesel Peugeot 3008 to cater for a daily commute of 40 miles each way and regular long distance family trips - 20,000 miles per year on average. Post-Coronavirus, my company has moved firmly to long term working from home and I'm averaging 100 miles a month. Would I be better off swapping now to a smaller petrol/hybrid equivalent and swallow the cost to change, or stick with the diesel and risk mechanical issues due to low mileage?
Modern diesel engines are not really designed for 100 miles a month. The DPF alone needs 15-miles per journey to complete a regeneration cycle: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/what-is-a-dpf-and-does-your-car-have-one/ If your driving habits have changed for the foreseeable future then it may be better to change the car for a petrol or hybrid, rather than wait for the inevitable mechanical problems. The Toyota RAV4 is available with an excellent petrol hybrid system: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/rav-4-2018
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a Toyota RAV4 (2019) cost?

Buy new from £26,765 (list price from £30,950)
Contract hire from £297.73 per month
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