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This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Toyota RAV4 (13-19) review.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
Toyota RAV4 (06-12) - rated 4 out of 5
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PROS

Well equipped, superb build quality and reliability, neat cabin layout, good to drive, available with two or four-wheel drive

CONS

Limited off road capability, limited engine choice

At a glance

New price £16,975 - £29,296
Used price £1,455 - £9,680
Fuel economy 31 - 48 mpg
Road tax cost £160 - £325
Insurance group 20 - 27 How much is it to insure?

PROS

Well equipped, superb build quality and reliability, neat cabin layout, good to drive, available with two or four-wheel drive

CONS

Limited off road capability, limited engine choice

Toyota RAV4 rivals

Ford
Kuga
4 out of 5 4.0
Honda
CR-V
4 out of 5 4.0

The RAV4 has become one of the most successful small 4x4s since it was originally launched in 1994. So much so in fact, that it has inspired plenty of offroaders from other carmakers. With ever more competition, it has had to constantly improve and as a result it's now one of the best 4x4s on the market, helped by an excellent reputation for reliability. Inside there's a neatly styled and good quality cabin, while on the road it's refined and comfortable. Minor updates were carried out in 2009, which consisted primarily of improvements in engine performance and slight cosmetic changes.

A variety of trim levels

A multitude of Toyota RAV4 models are available. Even the entry level versions are well equipped and tend to come with features such as power steering, electric windows, air-con, heated electric mirrors and alloy wheels. Range-topping models are remarkably well equipped, with modern features like Bluetooth connectivity, automatic lights, paddle shifts for automatic versions and a reversing camera. After all, just because you might be looking for a durable and capable vehicle doesn't mean you should have to compromise on specification.

Limited range of engines

The engine choice is limited to one diesel and one petrol. Buyers can pick from automatic or manual transmissions on both, however, although it does vary from trim to trim. Automatic versions can prove beneficial to those who have to commute in heavy traffic or around town. Both petrol and diesel RAV4s are reliable and the diesel engines are particularly efficient. The D-4D 150 four-wheel drive version, for example, is claimed to average 47.1mpg. CO2 emissions are reasonable for this model too, helping keep running costs relatively low.

A reliable and sensible option

Newer off-roaders may be more stylish, but the RAV4 remains a great choice and one that's guaranteed to never let you down. Toyotas are well regarded for their reliability and the RAV4 is no exception in that respect. It feels well built and reported issues are few and far between. The RAV4 also holds its value well, meaning that a new or used one always makes a sensible purchase if you're worried about depreciation. So, does the Toyota RAV4 prove a viable alternative to cars like the Volkswagen Tiguan and Ford Kuga? Find out in the full Parkers review.

Toyota RAV4 rivals

Ford
Kuga
4 out of 5 4.0
Honda
CR-V
4 out of 5 4.0