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The Top Gear car review:Toyota RAV4
Running costs and reliability
It’s the economy, stupid. Even on WLTP it hovers around 50mpg, and you might well do that. Hybrids also have the odd quality of making better economy in town than on the motorway.
By a strange wrinkle of the tax system, manufacturers are still back-calculating the WLTP economy into NEDC CO2 outputs, and by that measure the RAV4 is between 102g/km and 105g/km depending on wheel size and number of driven wheels.
That, and the fact it runs on petrol, pays colossal tax dividends. No other mainstream crossover comes close, so you’d have to get to the premium-brand PHEVs to match it. BIK is under £3,000 a year, where it’d be over £4,500 for a diesel 4x4 Tiguan.
The RAV4’s hybrid fuel economy is real, too, whereas plug-in hybrids only do their magic numbers in short commutes with regular mains connection.
No-one ever accused Toyotas of unreliability, and the complicated hybrids suffer not at all. So residuals are also class-leading.
Oh and finally, Toyota as a company can can borrow money at favourable bond rates, so the in-house bank can lend to you cheaply. In fact, they’ll do a zero-percent-interest PCP deal for launch. Combine that with the strong residuals and you have, with only a 24 percent deposit, most versions falling under £300 a month over just two years.
Spec is pretty strong. The sub-£30k lead-in car has the central touch-screen and active cruise with frontal safety radar, and a rear camera. But you’ll probably want to move up to the mid-spec (Design) for sat nav, given there’s no phone mirroring, and also because it brings bigger wheels and the chance to buy 4WD.