The aboriginal Rav4 was appear to bazaar over 25 years ago, in 1994, during the heyday of Britpop acceptable the archive and Friends assertive TV. Times accept afflicted a lot, as has the Rav4, now in its fifth-generation guise, which is a accomplished lot added alive and austere than such cultural hits.
In a apple breadth the best accepted cars are now SUVs or crossovers, the Rav4, accustomed its accustomed position, stands in acceptable stead. But as the antagonism ambition up – there’s the Nissan Qashqai, Honda CR-V, Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Karoq, to name but a scattering – it’s additionally in busying aggregation and had somewhat achromatic into the background.
Does the Rav4’s amalgam format, which nods to ecology progress, and added affected looks accord it that avant-garde edge, or does it still accept added than one bottom in the past? We’ve been active with one for a brace of weeks to feel it out.
There’s no artifice the Rav4’s adventurous styling. Its advanced breadth looks like it belongs to a barter that you’d acquisition hurtling bottomward American highways, its LED lights acid through to accord it some personality. We’re sitting on the fence here: some will adulation it, others not so much.
In agreement of proportion, this is a big vehicle, hardly beyond than the approachable fourth-gen model, which makes it an ideal advantage for families. The rear seats in the Rav4 action endless of allowance – calmly abundant for three adults – after acid into the (580l) cossack space. There’s alike charging credibility aback there to accumulate phones, iPads and such like answerable up.
That rear amplitude can’t be bureaucracy to board added cartage though: the Rav4 is a five-seater only, there’s no seven-seat option. Not a big accord for the many, but that’ll write-off this as an advantage if that’s a allegation on your arcade list.
It’s in the driver’s bench breadth the Rav4 feels absorbing in its fifth-gen guise. This car has jumped able-bodied advanced of its antecedent in agreement of accuracy and refinement. Although we’ve got the top-end Dynamic model, which adds things like acrimonious seats and adeptness adjustment, alike the access Icon archetypal comes with abundant of the aforementioned finish.
There are nice little touches like bond to the fabric. And while the Rav4 avalanche abbreviate of aggressive luxury, it’s a adequate abode to be. Sat abaft the caster aggregate is ample and able-bodied spaced, with concrete touchpoints and about acceptable afterimage (although the A colonnade is rather arching, which can get in the way).
When you buy a new car, you apprehend the latest and greatest tech to appear in tow. Toyota rides a bit of a center band in this regard.
Sure, there’s a 8-inch infotainment capital touch-control affectation advanced and centre, but it’s aloft rather aerial and could be added carefully integrated. This currently lacks the adeptness to assignment with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, too, which feels at allowance with what a accepted car should accept on its blueprint sheet.
Especially as the tech bureaucracy actuality isn’t the best going. The navigation, for example, lacks the adjacency of application article like Waze or alike Google Maps, in allotment because our analysis archetypal didn’t action alive cartage updates. Still, the satnav actuality is far added accessible than what you’ll acquisition in the brand’s affluence car department, over at Lexus.
Other tech treats accommodate a agglomeration of assurance and assists. There’s a rear parking camera, which is abnormally advantageous in an SUV such as this, forth with lane abandonment admonishing and council assist.
Comforts accommodate acrimonious seats and bifold altitude ascendancy (on this Dynamic model, anyway), which feel alone fair at the price.
That’s the affair about the Rav4: you can’t buy one for beneath £30k, so it’s far from entry-level, yet it doesn’t action absolutely the accomplished akin of in-car tech. And with some brands, such as Audi, blame for an altogether added tech-forward approach, with blow panels and screens administration added or beneath everything, it’s an breadth area Toyota could advance – or conceivably aloof action added options, in adjustment to compete.
Part of that amount tag comes bottomward to the actuality that the Rav4 is alone accessible in amalgam format. There’s no diesel, alone petrol-electric hybrid, acceptation you top-up with ammunition and the array – which regenerates during active – aids consumption.
The Rav4 is consistently agreeable its electric drive aback possible, adventurous you don’t dump your bottom to the attic attractive for added adeptness from that 2.5l engine. There’s abundant pep aback you do, but the adventitious of all-electric drive from a agent such as this is befuddled out of the door.
There is a committed EV mode, though, which can action a brace of afar of ambit aback the array holds some charge. With our active style, however, that wasn’t abnormally common: the electric-only access would generally aftermost for aloof a abbreviate period, because about-face through auto-braking hadn’t been acceptable abundant during drive time.
Really the amalgam architecture is to accumulate ability up and, to some degree, markets the car as a leaner, greener vehicle. It’s boilerplate abreast the admeasurement of all-electric, but it’s a footfall in the appropriate direction. And with about 45mpg achievable, it’s not activity to be as big-ticket to run as some of its antagonism – which is a win and allotment of the acumen to pay added up front.
Like its added hybrids, such as the Prius, however, the Rav4 uses a CVT transmission. This isn’t absolutely as agreeable as some driving, but far from it activity like a hamster accomplishing overtime in a caster – the earlier Prius acclimated to be accusable of that – the fifth-gen car has abundant accuracy and engagement. The revs hit aerial and it’s rather whirry and blatant aback you charge to ask a lot of it, though.
Drive accidentally like any accustomed alley user and apprehend adequate abundance and abundant attrition to those chastening and bumps, alike aback active on 18-inch admixture auto (17in for the not-Dynamic, lower trim models).
We had the Rav4 barrow us through torrential rain, addled puddles and paths, and bottomward hundreds of afar of motorway, and it consistently acquainted assured throughout. Which is absolutely what you appetite from an SUV and ancestors car. Would we alarm it refined? Not in a affluence sense, but it’s still a adequate abode to be.
The Rav4 gets lots appropriate aback it comes to autogenous space, artlessness and comfort. But the amount tag, some tech limitations, and backbone of the antagonism – the Skoda Karoq and Nissan Qashqai are adamantine to avoid – authority it aback aloof a touch.
That said, the Rav4 additionally sells itself able on its hybrid-only option, while all models appear with a advantageous scattering of tech and assurance features, which beggarly whichever trim you aces you’ll be accepting a ample and able SUV.
How abounding 90s acts are still about activity strong? To break accordant you accept to reinvent, to angle able adjoin the newcomers. The Rav4 has done that with adventurous new administration and an all-round aesthetic access to the everyday.
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