Toyota RAV4 vs Renault Kadjar vs Hyundai Tucson
New Toyota RAV4 meets class of crossover field from Renault and Hyundai
The compact crossover class is fit to burst, with nearly every manufacturer offering one of these fashionable family cars. Yet that hasn't stopped the flow of new arrivals, like Toyota's new RAV4.
It's essentially a mid-life refresh, but has moved away from its rugged SUV roots with more kit, stronger fuel efficiency and sleeker looks. Yet the RAV4's core appeal remains undimmed. Spacious, practical and well-built, the high-riding Toyota still has substance to match its new-found style.
It faces some very stiff competition in the shape of the Renault Kadjar and Hyundai Tucson. The Renault is our remaining class champ, with its blend of slick design, top-notch quality, a spacious interior and impeccable refinement. It also represents great value for money and costs no more to run than a compact family hatchback.
Equally desirable is the Hyundai Tucson, which replaces the ungainly ix35. Featuring shrunken Santa Fe looks, a roomy interior and a class-leading aftersales package, it's very desirable. But which crossover is king of the hill?
There's not much between our contenders for outright space, but the Toyota has some neat touches to boost rear comfort. For starters, the seatbacks have a reclining function that's operated by well placed levers on the sides of the bases. Plus, as the floor is almost flat in the rear, middle seat occupants have more than enough foot room.
All three of these cars fall into the compact crossover class, but each takes a different approach to styling. While the Renault has flowing curves, the Hyundai gets sharply defined creases. The Toyota looks utilitarian in this company, but gets a lift from its new LED light signatures.
The RAV4 AWD is available only with 2.0-litre petrol or 2.5 hybrid power; prices start at £28,295. You'll need at least £26,175 for a Tucson 4WD, with the 2.0 CRDi diesel. The cheapest 4WD option is the Kadjar; a 1.6 dCi Dynamique Nav 4x4 weighs in at £24,295.
First place: Renault Kadjar
It's a third road test victory on the trot for the Renault Kadjar. Handsome, well made, practical and refined, this is a genuinely desirable family car. It also represents good value for money, as it comes crammed with equipment as standard, plus it's a cost-effective company car choice. Only the weak predicted residual values count against it in this test.
Second place: Hyundai Tucson
The Hyundai narrowly misses out here, but it's still a hugely capable choice. Smart styling, an upmarket interior and generous kit count are highlights, while the 1.7 CRDI engine won't cost the earth to run. However, the diesel is outgunned for performance in this encounter, plus the ride quality on the 19-inch alloy wheels can be uncomfortable around town.
Third place: Toyota RAV4
If you're looking for a solid, dependable and spacious crossover, then the new RAV4 certainly deserves consideration. It's also good to drive and delivers punchy real-world performance. But in this crowded sector, the dowdy looks and dated cabin limit the Toyota's showroom appeal, while it can't quite match the competition for low running costs.
Other options in this category...
Car group tests
- New Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid 2021 review
- New Toyota RAV4 2019 UK review
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 2WD 2016 review
- Toyota RAV4 diesel 2016 review
Used car tests
The Nissan Qashqai underpins the Kadjar, and delivers the same refinement and composure. An identical 1.6 diesel offers fine pace and efficiency, too. But the Qashqai doesn't feel as upmarket, plus it's pricier and not as well equipped.
Agile CX-5 still sets the crossover standard for driving fun, while the 2.2-litre diesel delivers an unrivalled blend of performance and economy. SE-L Nav trim provides all the essentials, but four-wheel-drive is an expensive £2,000 option.
|Renault Kadjar 1.6 dCi Signature Nav||Hyundai Tucson 1.7 CRDi Premium||Toyota RAV4 2.0 D4-D Business Edition|
|On the road price/total as tested||£24,795/£27,470||£25,395/£26,015||£24,595/£25,089|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£9,893/39.9%||£12,621/49.7%||£11,707/47.6%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£1,039/£2,078||£1,064/£2,129||£1,080/£2,160|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,299/£2,166||£1,224/£2,041||£1,367/£2,279|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||18/£548/C/£30||13/£558/C/£30||29/£630/D/£110|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£299 (3yrs/30k)||£499 (3yrs/30k)||£149/£239/£149|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,598cc||4cyl in-line/1,685cc||4cyl in-line/1,995cc|
|Peak power/revs||128/4,000 bhp/rpm||114/4,000 bhp/rpm||141/4,000 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||320/1,750 Nm/rpm||280/1,250 Nm/rpm||320/1,750 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||55 litres/sealant||62 litres/full-size||60 litres/space saver|
|Boot capacity||527/1,478 litres||488/1,478 litres||547/1,735 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||10.7 metres/N/A||10.6 metres/N/A||10.6 metres/0.36Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||4yrs (100,000)/4yrs||5yrs (unlimited)/5yrs||5yrs (100,000)/1yr|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||1yr (18,000)/153||10,000 miles (1yr)/162||10,000 miles (1yr)/181|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||7th/12th||21st/17th||8th/2nd|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||89/81/74/5||86/85/71 5||89/82/66/5|
|0-60/30-70mph||10.5/10.8 secs||11.5/12.0 secs||9.6/9.3 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||3.4/4.6 secs||4.4/5.9 secs||4.1/6.3 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th||7.3/9.4 secs||9.6/14.8 secs||8.7/10.7 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||118mph/2,100rpm||109mph/1,950rpm||121mph/1,900rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||42.4/9.3/513 miles||45.0/9.9/614 miles||40.3/8.9/532 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||179/117g/km/21%||168/119g/km/21%||188/123g/km/22%|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise control||No/yes/yes||No/yes/yes||No/yes/yes|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Y/£1,250*/£1,250*||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/no/no|
|Metallic paint/LED lights/keyless go||£525/yes/yes||£620/no/no||£495/no/no|