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Toyota RAV4

Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Toyota RAV4


On the inside

Layout, finish and space

The progressive outside styling meets a reasonably distinctive cabin – big blocky shapes conveying the sort of robust mental terrain that SUV drivers are presumably inhabiting. It’s nicely finished too. The dash and door tops are skinned in a stitched padding, and several of the knobs and door pulls have a tactile striped rubber wrap. Pity the cast-aluminium-effect parts are so transparently fake.

The front seats feel like a homely place to sink into. They’re heated and cooled in some versions, and the driver’s electrically moves.

As a family SUV it ought to be roomy, and is. In the back grown-ups have plenty of room in every direction, and the boot too is bigger than you get in most members of the mid-size crossover crowd. Only, does the powered tailgate have to be so excruciatingly slow?

There are five USB ports around the cabin, and a big inductive charge pad. It’s 2019. By the same token Toyota makes a song and dance about the connected services and apps on the screen.

No-one else would be very proud of them. Hi-res traffic info doesn’t come automatically; you have to tether your phone each time. And that’s tethering via the car’s own internal wifi. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t available. Not this year, possibly not next. They’re working on it, they say. If they can do an SUV vastly more fuel-efficient than anyone else’s, why can’t they do phone mirroring like everyone else does?

While we’re on the subject the graphics of the main touchscreen are pretty ugly, and ditto the driver’s display. You can opt for a small digital speedo or a big half-round one.

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