The RAV4 is a strong competitor at the £20,000 mark, but up the price to £27,000 and its case becomes much weaker.

What's new?This is the third-generation Rav4, a car which helped popularise the compact SUV sector when it was first launched in 1994. This generation is available only as a five-door, and is a bit more expensive than previous versions – topping out at an ouchsome £27,000 for the 175bhp diesel powered T180, which is the car we’ve spent most time in. But there are also 2.0-litre petrol and 138bhp turbodiesel versions, starting from under £20,000.Pretty good. The T180’s engine can be a little grumbly under load at low revs, but is mostly as refined as other modern turbodiesels. The T180 rides on run-flat tyres and so doesn’t get a spare wheel, which makes it look a little less muscular than other models - to its detriment, we feel.Although interior fit and finish is excellent and the plastics are fine for a £20,000 off-roader, trying to see this car matching premium competitors (75 percent of buyers will come from cars other than 4x4s) is a big ask - the interior materials aren’t quite up to it.In general though, this car has more space inside than previous Rav4s, including a decent boot and very easily foldable rear seats. Its on-road ride is comfortable, the seats are fine and noise levels are low. It also copes adequately with the sort of light off-road that buyers are likely to throw at it.Should I buy one?At the top of the range it’s hard to see the argument, even though the T180 is a very highly specified car. At the cheaper end, it makes a reasonable amount of sense. ?what's>

Join the debate

Add a comment…
0177rintintin 30 May 2013

RAV4 Ownership

On my 2nd Rav now have only had the 2.0petrol auto with 150bhp so not really sporty but does it's job well struggle to see 33mpg on motoway cruises but 36mpg trolling round country side is not so bad live in Lincs so mostly flat. Never had a breakdown in 7yrs so well happy with Toyota reliability. Rear door conversion a must unless you have no spare on the back, see new ones have lift up tailgate at last. I think it is as well toyota are quite reliable as experiences with Toyota main dealers for servicing etc not very convincing as worked through 4 dealers now and still don't fully trust their service staff. Love the car though!!!.

findus 18 May 2009

Re: Toyota RAV4 2.2 D-4D T180

Owned this car from new Nov 06 and cannot see anything I'd like better!

Its very quiet/smooth on any A road and although many in the media say its no off roader, I've been down some muddy tracks/through a 2ft deep ford with a sandy/rocky base and never got stuck - off roading is how you drive whether you'll get stuck!

Run flat tyres only had one puncture and tyre didn't deflate so just a need 4x4 tyre, as they have run flat inner bands and are not run flat tyres like BMW's. The higher tyre wall is impossible to get stiff/rigid on 4x4 tyres, whereas its easy on low profiles. By carrying a digital air compressor (bought from accessory shop £29), if the light comes on its easy to check roadside for a puncture. As after all we are supposed to check our tyre pressures once a week via the UK Highway code that could be used as evidence in legal proceedings against you.

As an once serious accident victim, keyless entry and especially keyless go is a safety device. In an accident your right knee collides with the ignition key - my right knee clicks as I walk as a tendom has been knocked out of position, (think wires on a crane pulley, if one's twisted the operation is not as smooth!)

In conclusion needed a 4x4 for my self-employment, but not one that handled like a tractor, was more Gti! Its green too as no spare tyre wasted, it will do 38mpg tank to tank manually calculated (computers lie), as will freewheel longer than any city car on many roads.