In 2005, the Toyota RAV4 changed forever.
It grew bigger and became more of an MPV mash-up as the three-door version disappeared. No longer funky cool, just practical.
Apparently it gained 25% more luggage room, as the rear seats fold flat at the pull of a lever very quickly to give you 1469 litres. Those seats can also be slid around to balance passenger comfort and cargo space.
It’s possible to have a pop at the side-hinged tailgate, which can be awkward sometimes, especially when the spare wheel is fitted, unless there’s a hinge upgrade. Otherwise, the boot is a decent size and shape, plus rear-seat accommodation is good enough for you to properly carry a couple of adults.
The 2.2 D-4D diesel was the most popular choice, so there are loads more of those on the market. Bear in mind that when the RAV4 was facelifted in 2009, its output went up from 124bhp to 147bhp and economy rose to 48mpg, bringing with it lower taxable emissions. There was a 177bhp version of it as well.
However, the 2.0-litre petrol remains the longer-term option in an increasingly ULEZ world, despite the fact that it will just about manage 32mpg.
Front-wheel drive wasn’t a popular choice, so you might struggle to find one. Standard kit is very decent, including alloy wheels, air-con and a CD player. XT5 trim has the sort of comprehensive spec you might appreciate: leather, climate control and sat-nav.
Check the electricals and plug it into a diagnostics kit if you can. Some get warped brake discs and sticky clutches during heavy use; also possibly water ingress via some dodgy seals. The EGR valve can get bunged up to spoil your day, too. But that’s as bad as it gets, because this is, after all, a Toyota.
Ones we found