In-depth reviews

Toyota RAV4 review - Interior, design and technology

The RAV4 looks great and is well-built inside and out, but lags behind on infotainment

The interior quality is hard to fault - the RAV4 feels well built enough to last beyond the natural three-year PCP cycle without any rattles or squeaks. But, as is often the case with Toyota, the finish is functional more than luxurious. There’s a smattering of double-stitching and soft-touch materials in the places that matter, at least. 

The layout is broadly functional, too, albeit with a few extra buttons low down between the steering wheel and the door that are hard to find without taking your eyes off the road. We like the chunky, heating controls, however, with their rubberised finish that makes them easy to grip with cold hands.

Our car had a panoramic rear-view mirror, which takes a feed from a camera just inside the rear hatch glass and shows it on a digital screen integrated into the usual mirror housing. It takes some getting used to, but ultimately shows a wider-angle image so we could see its benefits, in time.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

It’s certainly more helpful than the eight-inch infotainment system, which is probably the single weakest point of the vehicle. In hardware terms the screen looks slightly lower-resolution than what you can get in a VW or even a Ford Kuga. The fonts appear inconsistent from one menu to the next, and even the physical shortcut buttons surrounding the display are small and fiddly.

At its launch this latest RAV4 came without smartphone integration, which was a notable black mark against it when compared with rivals. This has since been addressed, however, and now all models, from entry-level Icon trim upward, come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard.

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