94: Toyota RAV4 – Better than you think but overtaken by more stylish sibling

Top 100 cars for 2018: A smart crossover with SUV ability but C-HR has stolen all its limelight


If there’s anything holding the RAV4 back a bit, it’s its styling. Certainly compared to the rather more appealing (if much less practical) C-HR, the RAV looks over-styled and under-pretty, even tending towards looking a bit tall and narrow.

It also lacks the gorgeous Lexus-like cabin of the C-HR, with a more Auris-like inside that’s functional, but isn’t visually appealing. What the RAV4 does right, very right indeed, is practicality. The boot is well-sized and properly square, and the back seats have lots of legroom (if rather less shoulder room than the rival VW Tiguan).

Quality levels are, of course, excellent (well, it is a Toyota) and the handling and ride are much, much better than you’d think. Only the Hybrid model is a let-down - it’s fine around town, but suffers from the old hybrid issue of being too thirsty on longer runs, and there’s no great benefit in Co2 terms compared to the diesel.

Best model: 2.0 D4D Luna Sport

Prices start from: €31,950

Finance package from: POA

Co2 emissions: 118-124g/km

Sum-up: Smaller C-HR shows it up for style and sophistication, but the RAV4 is big, useful, practical, and decent to drive