This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Toyota RAV4 (13-19) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Both the VVTi units - the 1.8 and 2.0 - are willing and work well, the 123bhp 1.8 in the front-wheel-drive NV is based on the MR2 and Celica unit. It's reasonably economical, returning a Combined fuel consumption figure of 38.2mpg. It's quick for a 4x4 too - with a 0-60mph time of 12.2 seconds. But the main petrol unit is the 147bhp two-litre. It's swift (0-60mph in 10.9 seconds), but less refined than the 1.8 and fuel consumption is 32.1mpg.

Diesel buyers can opt for the 2.0 D-4D, it's lively enough for most people, is quite refined and gives 39.8mpg.

Despite its height and chunky tyres, RAV-4 corners with confidence. The power-assisted steering is light, making it easy to park, but on the road it feels over-assisted and lacks feel. Well-spaced ratios make for slick gearchanges, but it’s hampered by a notchy gearbox.