Skip advert
Advertisement

Toyota RAV4 SUV (2013-2019) - Engines, drive & performance

The Toyota RAV4 is a comfortable cruiser, but there are sportier SUVs available

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Engines, drive & performance Rating

2.5 out of 5

Unlike the original RAV4, which was said to be as fun to drive as a sporty hatchback, the latest model is best suited to relaxed cruising. Even with its 'Sport' mode selected to firm up the vague steering, the Toyota RAV4 isn’t as satisfying to drive as a Ford Kuga or Mazda CX-5. Instead, it’s best considered as a comfortable family car. There are two engines to choose from in the RAV4: a petrol and a petrol-electric hybrid, both of which are automatic-only.

Toyota RAV4 petrol engine

There's only one pure petrol engine in the range and it's the slower of the two. The official figures have this RAV4 going from 0-62mph in 10.7 seconds and it also feels less urgent than the hybrid in day-to-day driving. This is partly due to the fact it's only available with Toyota's MDS Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic gearbox.

Hybrid engine

The RAV4 hybrid is the only engine where you have a choice of front or four-wheel drive. While the former is slightly more fuel-efficient, there's no difference in performance: both get the car from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds (the fastest in the range) and top out at 112mph. Be aware that the hybrid model has by far and away the worst handling of the pair – the extra 175kg mass of the hybrid system makes the car cumbersome in corners and grip runs out much more quickly. The CVT gearbox is noisy and makes acceleration feel sluggish.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Top 10 best used SUVs 2024
Top 10 best used SUVs
Best cars
5 Feb 2024

Top 10 best used SUVs 2024

Toyota RAV4 SUV review
Toyota RAV4 front cornering
In-depth reviews
25 Sep 2023

Toyota RAV4 SUV review

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
17 Apr 2024

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
19 Apr 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body
Citroen C3 Aircross front quarter
News
18 Apr 2024

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
best electric cars
Best cars
28 Mar 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024