Toyota RAV4 Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

In these climate-conscious times, SUVs can get a pretty bad press. Gas-guzzling Chelsea tractors are painted as the enemy of the planet, and this is surely only going to increase when environmental concerns return to being the issue of the day and the era of green motoring gathers more pace. Step forward the Toyota RAV4, a hybrid SUV that emits less CO2 than the average small city car. It’s available as a plain hybrid or as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) to allow you to cover greater distances using only the electric charge. With some of the creature comforts and features of less-efficient SUVs still included, is the RAV4 the leader of the pack?

Visit the RAV4 model page to explore available cars and learn more.

What we think about the Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 is an affordable family SUV with hybrid technology, making it kind to the planet and your wallet.



Excellent fuel efficiency for a car of this size


Great value for money


Bristling with safety technology


Less enjoyable to drive than rivals

Poor infotainment system

No seven-seater version

The hybrid version of the Toyota RAV4 debuted in 2016, before the model went hybrid-only from 2019. Petrol and diesel versions of the car were around since 2000, with the 2013 update bringing in the Dynamic Torque Control system, offering improved cornering control and a sport driving mode. There are five trim levels on offer: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure and Limited

Driving performance of the Toyota Rav4

Our Driving Rating7 / 10

As well as the huge improvements it brings to fuel economy, hybrid technology offers the added benefit of harnessing both petrol and electric power for acceleration, meaning you can overtake and join roundabouts with ease. Those who find the driving experience in hybrids lacking might be tempted by one of the older diesel or petrol models, but if thrills behind the wheel are what you’re looking for, there are rivals that are better placed to deliver. All in all, the feel of the newer models on the road makes them worth the slightly higher price.

Safety and reliability of the Toyota Rav4

Our Safety Rating9 / 10

The 2019 edition of the Toyota RAV4 scored a maximum five stars from Euro NCAP. All RAV4s now come with an outstanding suite of safety equipment including a reversing camera, pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind spot warning, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition and front and rear parking sensors. Many of these are standard in the older models too, along with seven airbags and dual Isofix attachments for child seats. Toyota in general and the RAV4 in particular have an excellent reputation for reliability.

Under the bonnet of the Toyota Rav4

Our Engine Rating8 / 10

With the petrol engine and the electric motor working together, the two-wheel drive version of the RAV4 hybrid can do 0 to 60 in 8.4 seconds, with the 4WD version a shade quicker at 8.1 seconds. If you need towing capacity, the all-wheel drive is a much better bet, with its 1,650 kg in line with rivals like the Kia Sorento. Non-hybrid engines available in older models include a 2.2-litre turbodiesel, as well as 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol options. Of course, those won’t match the efficiency you get from the newer hybrids, but they offer satisfying performance.

What you'll find in the Toyota Rav4

Our Design Rating8 / 10

Family SUVs are as much about the look as the practicalities, and the RAV4 holds its own in this department, with modern, rugged and premium styling. The aggressive front end looks like it’s been borrowed from a sports saloon – whether you think this is a good thing on a family car is down to personal taste. It certainly stands out from the crowd anyhow, with its angular form, creases and sleek tail-lights.

Comfort and interiors in the Toyota Rav4

Our Comfort Rating8 / 10

The RAV4 offers plenty of space for both people and their luggage. Cargo capacity of 580 litres means you can fit in plenty of bags or other gear, while the cabin is also well equipped with cup-holders, a deep centre console box and a shelf above the glove box. It’s a shame there’s no seven-seater version for bigger families, but five people can sit in comfort with ample headroom. The interior styling is functional rather than luxurious, but it’s well put-together, as you’d expect from a Toyota.

Toyota RAV4 dashboard

What features you'll find in the Toyota Rav4

Our Features Rating9 / 10

The GXL hybrid version comes with a host of funky features, including an 8-inch touchscreen, satnav, a six-speaker stereo, rear privacy glass, dual-zone climate control and 18-inch alloys. Higher-level trims add styling such as black alloy wheels and a black roof, but the cheaper trims offer better value for money if you’re not concerned about these aesthetic touches. That said, the entry-level tech of older models might be a little too dated for some.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Toyota Rav4

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

Real-world tests with the two-wheel drive RAV4 hybrid have notched up 49 mpg. This figure went up to an eye-popping 91.9 mpg in the urban section of the test, making this one of the most efficient cars out there for city driving. Toyota claims 282 mpg for the PHEV version, and while you could struggle to get near that, if you’re using the car mostly for short hops you might only need to fill up very rarely. A home wallbox charger should give you a full charge from empty in around two-and-a-half hours. As you’d expect, the diesel offers the best economy of the pre-hybrid models, with an official average fuel consumption figure of 57.6 mpg.

Running costs of the Toyota Rav4

Our Cost Rating9 / 10

In addition to the fuel economy discussed above, hybrid versions of the RAV4 are covered by Toyota’s five-year warranty, which can be extended to seven years with logbook servicing from an authorised Toyota dealer. Servicing should be affordable for this generally dependable car, and the various versions sit in insurance groups ranging from 22-30.

Our verdict of the Toyota Rav4

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

The Toyota RAV4 is a great-value family car that offers style and safety while bringing SUVs into the electric era.