Toyota RAV4 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid Excel 5dr CVT Pan Roof/JBL+PVM

  • Automatic
  • Petrol/Electric Hybrid
  • 47.9 mpg
  • 5 door 4x4
  • 134 g/km CO2

Ten Second Review

Toyota's RAV4 mid-sized SUV soft roader has been around so long it's easy to forget quite how far it's come. The fifth generation model is bigger, better finished, and far more efficient, thanks to an exclusive reliance on hybrid power, now offered in plug-in form as well as in self-charging guise. And Toyota hasn't forgotten that cars in this class need to look good and drive well too. Reacquaint yourself with it. You might be in for a surprise.

Background

It's easy to underestimate quite what a debt of gratitude we owe the Toyota RAV4. Back in 1994, the market for compact SUVs was massively different to the one we have today. If you wanted a modestly-sized car of this kind back then, you had to do so with the proviso that it was likely to fall over if it was shown a picture of a corner. This was all part of the bargain. You saved money on the upfront cost, but shelled out when it disappeared through a hedgerow on its door handles. The RAV4 changed all that. It was the first compact SUV that was actually good fun to drive on road. But times change. The RAV4 has grown ever bigger and more sophisticated in response to market entrants like the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Honda CR-V and the Ford Kuga. This fifth generation car is a smarter take on a well-established theme. More spacious and more efficient courtesy of hybrid power, it aims to bring the RAV4 back to a prominent position amongst volume brand entrants in the mid-sized SUV marketplace.

Driving Experience

Having dipped its toe into the hybrid waters with the previous generation version of this model, Toyota has gone all-out with petrol/electric power in this MK5 version. It's all you can have - though buyers are offered the option of either front wheel drive or All-Wheel Drive. This model's body is stiffer than that the previous one, while its centre of gravity is also lower down: it's all aimed at making this model a more engaging steer, as is the engineering of this fifth generation RAV4's much more sophisticated TNGA GA-K platform. The suspension set-up's more predictable, using MacPherson struts up front, while a double wishbone arrangement at the rear. The mainstream self charging hybrid engine isn't too much different from the hybrid unit that RAV4 buyers were served up before. It's 2.5-litres in size and generates a combined power output of 215bhp. The All-Wheel Drive variants gain a second electric motor driving the rear axle, which lifts that output slightly to 219bhp. As before, this set-up has to be mated to CVT belt-driven automatic transmission. This demands a relaxed driving style if revs are not to flare every time you exercise your right foot. If you do that, rest to 62mph occupies 8.4s en route to a maximum of 112mph. Toyota also now offers a Plug-in hybrid variant, which boosts engine output to 302bhp, sprints to 62mph in 6.2s and offeers a 37 mile EV driving range.

Design and Build

This fifth generation RAV4 certainly has a more aggressive, angular look than its predecessors. It's now sits 10mm closer to the ground, and at the front, the emphasis is on width and strength with extra volume added to the lower bumper section. There's a similar effect at the rear where the horizontal line created by the tail lights and back window angles sharply downwards at each edge, drawing the eye towards the rear wheels and expressing what the stylists call the "polygon" influence on the design. Inside, it's not quite as avant garde as outside, but the cabin is usefully more spacious than before, courtesy of the way that the wheelbase has been stretched by 30mm, so as to increase rear leg room. You can really stretch out in the second row as a result. There's no option of third row seating. Up front, as usual with a RAV4, the finish is functional rather than luxurious. Unfortunately, Toyota hasn't taken the opportunity to upgrade its infotainment technology, which means that the graphics aren't particularly smart and there's no smartphone-mirroring functionality. You get a big boot out back though, 580-litres in size. There's 1,690-litres of space on offer if you fold the rear bench.

Market and Model

Prices now start at around £30,500 in the all-Hybrid range and run to around £37,000 - though you'll pay significantly more for top versions of the Plug-in variant. There's a choice of four trim levels - 'Icon', 'Design', 'Excel' and 'Dynamic'. With each of these options, there's a £1,555 premium to go from a front wheel drive to an AWD version. Even the base 'Icon' models get 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, rear parking sensors, auto headlamps and wipers, roof rails, LED headlights, rear privacy glass and power-folding mirrors. Inside, there's the 'Toyota Touch 2' infotainment screen with a DAB tuner and a rear view camera built in. And all RAV4 models are equipped with the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense. Significant upgrades have been made to some of the systems in the package, notably with the Pre-Collision System now able to detect pedestrians in the vehicle's path during both day and night-time driving, and cyclists during daylight hours. The Adaptive Cruise Control has improved deceleration and acceleration control, keeping the RAV4 a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. Other systems include Lane Departure Alert and Lane Trace Assist, to help keep the vehicle positioned within its traffic lane, Road Sign Assist and Automatic High Beam. Other advanced safety features include a Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (on 'Excel' and 'Design' grades) for safe manoeuvring. Plus an E-Call service on all models that can automatically alert the emergency services to the vehicle's location in the event of an accident - triggered when the airbags are deployed.

Cost of Ownership

The Japanese maker describes the RAV4 Hybrid's mainstream technology as being of the 'self-charging' variety - but now also offers a plug-in version too, which can offer an EV driving range of 37 miles and a CO2 reading of less than 30g/km, both class-leading figures. Most though, will want the ordinary self-charging hybrid version of this car. Let's get to the figures for that. CO2 emissions range between 102 to 129g/km (NEDC) for the front-driven model and 103-131g/km (NEDC) for the AWD version. The combined cycle fuel figure for the front driven model is quoted at up to 50.4mpg (WLTP). For the AWD version, it's up to 48.7mpg (WLTP). The low emissions mean low Vehicle Excise Duty (£135 annually across the range). And, more importantly, low Benefit-in-Kind taxation for business users. The base RAV4 model has a BiK rating of just 21% - and every other version comes in at 22%, regardless of drivetrain or spec. As a result, Toyota thinks that a RAV4 company user will save around £120 a month in tax over what they'd have to fork out by running a comparable Volkswagen Tiguan in either petrol or diesel form. That's a strong incentive. Residual values for the RAV4 have always been good, in most cases bearing comparison with its closest Honda CR-V and Land Rover Discovery Sport rivals and there's little reason to doubt that they'll only improve this time round. What else? Well, the five year 100,000 mile warranty is extremely good and even after that runs out, you'll find that most spares are relatively inexpensive. There's also three years warranty against rust and 12 years of anti-corrosion protection.

Summary

Though opinion may be divided as to whether the RAV4 invented the soft roading segment, no one doubts that, more than any other, this model defined it. In some ways, it continues to do just that, for this car still sums up most of what a model of this kind should be all about. Smart, wieldy, reasonably spacious, affordable to run and with just enough SUV-ness about it to get you to the places you tend to dream about but will probably never go. This fifth generation version has brought notable changes - extra space and technology, lower running costs and a more dynamic drive - timely improvements, even if there are still other rivals that better it either on or off road. Few though, provide a stronger compromise between the two and none can better the unimpeachable build quality and strong residuals that have become a RAV4 trademark.

  • Rear door armrests
  • Leather upholstery
  • Rear view display in display audio screen with dynamic guide lines
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Grey roof lining
  • Rear coat hooks
  • Satin chrome interior door handles
  • Folding rear centre armrest
  • Telephone and voice recognition switches on steering wheel
  • Manual telescopic and tilt 3-spoke leather steering wheel with Chrome insert
  • Leather gear shift with chrome surround
  • Under floor storage in luggage area
  • Sunglasses holder
  • Front and rear bottle holders
  • Dual sided deck board in boot
  • Front centre armrest
  • Front/rear roof mounted assist grips
  • Smart entry + Smart start
  • Light - on and Key in reminder
  • Motion sensor alarm
  • Tilt detection sensors
  • Immobiliser
  • Remote central locking
  • Glass-breaking alarm sensors
  • Intrusion alarm
  • Speed sensitive auto door locking
  • 8" Multimedia display touch screen
  • JBL premium sound system with 9 speakers, 800W amplifier, 2 tweeters, 4 wide dispersion and 2 full range speakers, subwoofer, panoramic view monitor
  • Auxiliary socket for external MP3 player
  • USB connection
  • Toyota touch media system
  • DAB audio
  • Power boot opening and closing
  • Push button start
  • Remote boot door release in key
  • Remote boot door release in cabin
  • Seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters
  • Driver/Front Passenger airbags
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Front passenger airbag detector
  • Driver/front passenger side airbags
  • Front and rear seatbelt reminder
  • Front and rear curtain airbags
  • Passenger airbag cut-off device
  • Pre collision system
  • Acoustic vehicle alerting system
  • Adjustable front driver and passenger seat belt extender
  • Toyota safety sense
  • Tyre pressure warning
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • Child proof door locks
  • Skyview electric opening panoramic sunroof
  • Meshed upper front grille
  • Silver front under-run
  • Body coloured Shark-fin antenna
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body colour rear spoiler
  • Silver rear under-run
  • Body colour roof
  • Emergency brake-light signal (EBS)
  • Dual exhaust pipes
  • Black roof rails
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5700
  • Top Speed: 111
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.1
  • Engine Power - BHP: 222
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 3600
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 163
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 22.5
  • Engine Torque - NM: 221
  • Engine Power - KW: 163
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 87
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.5
  • Coin Description: VVT-i Hybrid
  • Special Order: False
  • Badge Power: 222
  • Generation Mark: 5
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 30A
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 93
  • Based On ID: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 77
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Coin Series: Excel[PanRf/JBL+PVM]
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 85
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 5.0
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 47.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 6
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 54.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 39.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 5.0
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 55.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 47.1
  • EC Combined (mpg): 64.2
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 61.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 7.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 56.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 7.1
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 55.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 5.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 47.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 47.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 39.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 6.0
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 5.1
  • EC Urban (mpg): 62.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 56.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 39.2
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 55.4
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 5.1
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 87.5
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Compression Ratio: 14.0:1
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Engine Code: A25A-FXS
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 103.5
  • CC: 2487
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 164
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 161
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 114
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 134
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 116
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 118
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 134
  • CO2 (g/km): 103
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 116
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 136
  • NOx: 0.003
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 114
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 137
  • HC: 0.017
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 116
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 136
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 136
  • CO: 0.169
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 161
  • Noise Level dB(A): 69
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • Height: 1685
  • Wheelbase: 2690
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Width (including mirrors): N
  • Length: 4600
  • Width: 1855
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Roof Load: 70
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2155
  • Max. Loading Weight: 501
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 55
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1650
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1654
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 580
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/55 R19
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/55 R19
  • Wheel Style: 5-SPOKE