Toyota RAV4

There's been some tough talking at Toyota recently. First came the Hilux Invincible, and now here's the RAV4 Granite. So does the high-spec model prove a rock-solid buy, or should it be dropped like a stone?

While many special editions give more kit for less money, apart from a unique look the only valuable addition to this RAV4 is a CD changer. Granite's never been cheap, but at least it's stylish...

There's been some tough talking at Toyota recently. First came the Hilux Invincible, and now here's the RAV4 Granite. So does the high-spec model prove a rock-solid buy, or should it be dropped like a stone?

Based on the mid-range XT3 version of the top-selling SUV, the special edition only comes with a 2.0-litre VVT-i petrol engine. You also get 17-inch alloys, aluminium sidebars, chrome rear light protectors and unique badging.

While the shape of the RAV4 doesn't naturally lend itself to a luxury make-over, the Granite's upgrades will appeal to those who want to stand out.

Move inside, and the Toyota's practical cabin has been left largely un-touched. However, it gains aluminium scuff plates and - more importantly - a six-CD autochanger. At £20,995, the newcomer is £1,250 more than the equivalent XT3. Given that the CD unit is a £305.95 option on other models, buyers are effectively paying £944.05 for the cosmetic tweaks. If you like the look of this Granite's surfaces, that's the price you'll have to pay.

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