Review: Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 2019)

Rating:

Practical with a good boot and plenty of rear leg room. 2.5 hybrid with 2WD or 4WD available. Five year warranty. Proving very reliable.

Not as satisfying to drive as some rivals. Interior materials aren't as good as a Mazda CX-5.

Recently Added To This Review

24 May 2019

Report of 2016 Toyota RAV-4 failing to start because not driven far enough regularly enough to re-charge the 12v combustion engine and auxiliary battery. Read more

28 February 2019

Report of 2016 Toyota RAV-4 2.0i Valvematic Multidrive S suffering a flat spot g oing uphill, especially if driver had to slow down. Hits a flat spot, then takes a second or two to pick up speed again.... Read more

29 January 2018 R/2017/329:

BOLTS ON THE EXHAUST SIDE OF THE TURBOCHARGER ASSEMBLY MAY BE INCORRECTLY TIGHTENED. Affected vehicles have a 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel engine. There is a possibility that the bolts on the exhaust-side... Read more

Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 2019): At A Glance

The popularity of the crossover has ballooned in recent years, but back in the 1990s, when they were still called 4x4s, if you wanted something compact there were only a handful on sale, one of which was the original Toyota RAV4. So Toyota has quite a history with family-sized SUVs, and it shows with the latest RAV4.

This model tows the line between crossover and full-sized SUV to great effect. It’s a very commodious car and there’s enough space for a family, with plenty of legroom and headroom in the back. Thanks to low cabin floor there’s no awkward transmission tunnel either so even the middle seat is useable.

The boot is large and has some neat, practical extras like a net for storing bits and pieces, cubby holes and seats that fold completely flat in one movement. In terms of practicality it's among the best crossovers, bettering the likes of the Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan for overall space.

Toyota offers a choice of petrol or diesel engines but most buyers will go for the diesels. There’s a 2.2-litre with 151PS or a 2.0-litre with 123PS, the former of which is available with an optional six-speed automatic transmission and with 2WD. The only petrol on offer is a 2.0-litre Valvmatic with 152PS available only with Multidrive S CVT automatic gearbox and 4WD.

The least earth shattering engine was the entry-level 2.0-litre diesel, which emits a reasonable 127g/km of CO2 with 2WD and has official economy of 57.6mpg. 

Toyota RAV4 2013 Road Test

Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 2019): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4570–4605 mm
Width 1845 mm
Height 1660–1705 mm
Wheelbase 2660 mm

Full specifications

The RAV4 has an impressively practical cabin. It’s clearly been designed for families, with room in the back row for three passengers. The rear seat backs fold flat in one movement, expanding load space from an already very impressive 547 litres to huge 1746 litres. There are also some neat touches, like a net for storing odds and ends, and an under floor compartment.

Up front the RAV4 is nicely laid out, with plenty of useful cubby holes including one perfectly sized for smartphones. The air conditioning controls are neat and logical, as is the layout of the instrument binnacle. There’s also a touchscreen audio system on upper trim levels, but it takes a little getting used to.

Unfortunately the material choices aren’t the very best, with no soft touch plastics on the dash covering, for example. That said everything is hardwearing and should stand the test of time and there are some plush faux leather coverings on higher trim levels, along with leather seats.

Standard equipment is reasonable, with electric windows, alloy wheels, tinted glass, Bluetooth and air conditioning across all grades. The mid spec Icon grade probably offers the best blend of equipment and value, though – it has everything most drivers will need including cruise control, a rear view camera, automatic wipers and automatic headlights.

Moving to top Invincible trim adds heated leather seats, keyless entry and start, power hatchback door and rear parking sensors, but unless you really want leather upholstery its’ probably best to stick to the Icon model and save some money. 

Child seats that fit a Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 2019)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 2019) like to drive?

As is typical with crossover models, the RAV4 is offered with a choice of front or all-wheel drive. For most, the front-wheel drive model – powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine – should be perfectly adequate. It’s got plenty of torque and it’s frugal, with official fuel consumption of 57.6mpg and emissions of 126g/km.

While it’s a decent, flexible engine it’s a little on the gruff side, clattering and grumbling away even at idle, but generally it’s unobtrusive. The front-wheel drive version of the car is reasonable to drive – it’s not particularly exciting but it stops and turns well enough in town or on twisting roads.

The ride is reasonable. It's not so soft as to wallow around and feel unbalanced while at speed it does a great job of ironing out lumps and bumps, making it a confidence-inspiring companion on rural roads. Unfortunately it's not perfect at lower speeds in town, where rough, broken surfaces and bigger potholes upset the ride quality and create a lot of road noise. 

The steering is a little on the heavy side by Toyota's usual standards. If you've ever driven other Toyota models you'll be used to feather light steering, but the RAV4's is much meatier and heavier. That's a blessing at higher speeds and a curse at lower speeds. Thankfully the gearchange is slick and precise, plus the clutch is very light. 

Keener drivers, or those who live in rural areas, will be better off with an all-wheel drive model and there are two to choose from. Firstly the 2.0-litre petrol which is only offered in conjunction with a CVT automatic. For an all-wheel drive petrol auto it’s not too bad in terms of efficiency, managing 39.2mpg.

Toyota also offers all-wheel drive with a 2.2-litre diesel engine, linked to either a manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Keener drivers and those who tow caravans or trailers will appreciate the blend of surefooted handling and useful torque offered by the larger diesel model.

If running costs are top of the priority list buyers will have to stick to the front-wheel drive model though. The larger diesel engine has decent official fuel economy at 49.9mpg, but its emissions push it into VED band F – and if you choose the automatic gearbox economy is 42.2mpg and emissions are 176g/km, meaning band I VED. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
2.0 D-4D 60 mpg - 123 g/km
2.0 D-4D 2WD 58–60 mpg 9.6–10.5 s 123–128 g/km
2.0 D-4D 4WD 53 mpg 10.5 s 137 g/km
2.0 V-Matic CVT 4WD 39–44 mpg 9.9–10.7 s 152–157 g/km
2.2 D-4D 50 mpg 9.6 s 149 g/km
2.2 D-4D 2WD 58 mpg 10.5 s 128 g/km
2.2 D-4D Automatic 42 mpg 10.0 s 176 g/km
Hybrid 2WD 58 mpg 8.4 s 115 g/km
Hybrid 4WD 50–55 mpg 8.4 s 115–118 g/km

Real MPG average for a Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 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

80%

Real MPG

26–57 mpg

MPGs submitted

498

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.

What have we been asked about the Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 2019)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's the best small 4x4 with the lowest fuel costs?

I live in the depth of the countryside and now have to travel 65-miles (round trip) to work on a variety of roads. I'm currently driving a 1.2 petrol SEAT Ibiza (2010 model) which is eating through fuel as it struggles with the hills a bit. I need something that has capability to handle slightly adverse weather and roads but still has a degree of comfort and not too thirsty. Am I asking for too much? I've started searching online and wondering if Rav4/Jimny/Panda might be worth considering?
It sounds like a small 4x4 like the ones you've suggested would work well for your commute, but they will be thirstier than your current Ibiza. I'm a big fan of the Suzuki Jimny but the old model will get tiring for 65 miles a day, and the new one's not much better in that respect. Have you considered the Suzuki Ignis? It's a small car rather than a 'proper' 4x4, but it is available with a frugal hybrid system and 4x4, which should help on rural roads in poor weather conditions.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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