Toyota RAV4 SR

Nip and tuck brings 4x4 bang up to date

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

The tweaks to the design and step up in equipment have breathed new life into the ageing RAV4. But with newer and more distinctive competitors like the MINI Countryman on the horizon, the compact SUV class is set to become more congested than ever. And as Toyota can no longer really sell on its bulletproof reliability record, it’s difficult to see what the new car offers that rivals don’t.

The elder statesman of the compact SUV segment has received some nip and tuck! The revised RAV4 features Toyota’s latest family face, with the same wide grille as the Avensis and Verso, as well as fresh headlights, bonnet, bumper and front wing.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Toyota RAV4

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_narrow","fid":"69264","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image"}}]] 

As a result, the car looks muscular and aggressive, and more modern. To complement the styling, Toyota has added 17-inch alloys and two new colours to the options list: our car’s Deep Titanium metallic and White Pearl pearlescent.

On the inside, lower-spec XT-R models now get leather and Alcantara upholstery and heated front seats as standard, while flagship SRs have sat-nav and 18-inch alloys. The cabin feels solid and is logically laid out, even if it doesn’t carry over the exterior’s visual appeal.

The driving position is as commanding as SUV fans demand, and with the torquey diesel delivering power to all four wheels, the car feels sure-footed and nimble on the road. If only the light steering inspired more confidence in corners.

The styling update has definitely upped the RAV4’s game, while the extra kit only adds to the appeal.

Rival: Nissan Qashqai With its unique styling, the Nissan crossover appeals to SUV and family hatchback fans alike. Add a very practical, high-quality interior, and it’s no surprise that the Qashqai has proved such a big UK hit.

Most Popular

New Toyota GR86 2022 review
Toyota GR86
Toyota GR86

New Toyota GR86 2022 review

The GT86 has evolved into the GR86, gaining a bigger engine, a stiffer shell and chassis tweaks. Is it now affordable sports car perfection?
26 May 2022
New Smart #1 ride review
Smart #1 - front
Smart

New Smart #1 ride review

We get an early taste of the new all-electric Smart #1 from the passenger seat ahead of it going on sale at the end of this year
27 May 2022
New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k
Ora Cat 01 - front
Electric cars

New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k

The high-spec Ora Funky Cat First Edition lands with plenty of kit, but cheaper versions and long-range model also planned
27 May 2022