The Look 

The Drive

On Board Computer

Camera & Parking

Seats & Rear Bench 

Cup Holders & Cubby Holes

Boot

Safety (Euro NCAP) 

An intelligent large family hybrid that ticks all the boxes

Starting price: £31,945

Pros

3 boosters in the rear

Large touchscreen

Screen sites high on the dashboard

Flush boot lip

Heated steering wheel

Cons

Cup holders could be better positioned in the front

No 360 camera

Intro

The Toyota RAV 4 is a great family car that not only makes travelling anywhere comfortable and enjoyable, but also allows you to do your bit for the environment.  It emits less CO2 than most small cars and Toyota are the market leading hybrid manufacturers.  So, whilst you’re doing your bit for the environment, you’re also saving on your petrol use.

There are 5 trims – Icon, Design, Excel, Dynamic and Black Edition.  We drove the Excel in automatic.  It is incredibly easy to drive and with perfectly positioned seats for an SUV, makes you feel high up on the road, providing great visibility. 

Interior

We aren’t blown away by the interior of the RAV4 and don’t feel it is as stylish as other cars in this class (probably due to our OCD of tidiness!) The dashboard is logically laid out and the on-board computer is fairly easy to navigate. However, the screen is not as sharp as other cars in this class and the small menu buttons at either side of the screen take some pressing. Smartphone integration comes as standard allowing you to access your phone’s apps. The 8 inch touchscreen sits high on the dashboard which we loved, meaning you can quickly glance at it whilst keeping your eyes on the road. 

The dual climate control is simple to use and there are air vents in the back to warm the little ones up or keep them cool.  Our only issue is that the air con dials are not aesthetically pleasing.  They stick out as opposed to being flush, clean and tidy with the rest of the control panel, however they are rubber and therefore easy to grip. This is obviously our own personal preference and clearly stems from wanting things orderly and tidy!

A great feature of the RAV 4 is the heated steering wheel!  Say goodbye to freezing cold hands in the winter months and enjoy the toasty warm feeling whilst driving!

The large wing mirrors provide great visibility and all trims have rear parking sensors and a rear camera.  However, if a 360° camera is on your “must have” list, you’ll need to budget another £1645,00 for the Premium Pack.  We love these cameras, they provide a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area of the car and make parking an absolute doddle.  Opting for this pack, will also gain you a panoramic roof, making the interior feel lovely and light as well as providing entertainment for any babies in the rear facing car seats!

Seats & Passenger Space

The seats are leather, making it much easier to wipe away any spillages or crumbs that inevitably happen with kids.  There’s lots of room in both the front and back in terms of height and leg room, so any long distance driving is going to be comfortable.  There is even the option to program 2 different driver positions. No more wasting those precious few minutes in a morning trying to get your seat in the right place, simply press a button and the car will automatically move the seat to your programmed preference!  Oh and Toyota haven’t forgotten about those cold winter mornings, the have provided heated seats too!

There are 2 ISOFIX points in the rear and there was enough space to fit 2 large child seats and a small booster seat in the centre. Great for those carshares and playdates or growing families.  The doors open nice and wide too, so getting a rear facing baby seat in and out is much easier.

Cups & Cubby

There’s plenty of little storage cubby holes here and there in the RAV4 and the glove box is a good size, although sadly not big enough to fit an iPad in. The door bins have plenty of room for a water bottle and more, and there are 2 cup holders in between the driver and passenger seats. There are also little storage trays dotted around the front, for phones and keys etc.  

There are 2 cup holders in the rear in the central drop down arm rest as well as good sized door bins.

Boot Space

The boot is a great size and at 547 litres, you’ll have no problem fitting in a pushchair, big shop and school bags.  There’s no drop, so a flush boot entrance means lifting things in and out is easily done.  There is also a powered tailgate (boot button) for convenience. One feature we really liked was the retractable parcel shelf.  No need to remove the parcel shelf if you’ve a boot full and store somewhere in your house, simply retract it and it’s gone – brilliant!

Summary

Overall, we really liked the Toyota RAV 4.  If you’re looking for a large family car that is not only comfortable and affordable but also easy to drive, then this is the car for you.  It ticks all the right boxes in terms of family essentials, whilst allowing you to do your bit for the environment and save on petrol usage.

Car seats used in this review – 2 x Graco Tri Logic (width 40.8cm)

Boot Capacity - Kate and Claire

Boot Capacity

547 Litres

Car Dimensions - Kate and Claire

Dimensions

4600 mm (L) x 1855 mm (W) x 1690 mm (H)

Miles per Gallon - Kate and Claire

Miles per gallon

47.8 – 48.7

Range - Kate and Claire

Range

N/A

Speedometer - Kate and Claire

Speed

0-60 mph in 8.4 secs