In-depth reviews

Toyota RAV4 SUV - MPG, running costs & CO2

Low emissions will win the Toyota RAV4 friends

Unlike the vast majority of its rivals, Toyota has taken the bold decision to offer the latest RAV4 with hybrid powertrains only. The entry-level version is described by Toyota as a 'self-charging hybrid', because it harvests the energy normally lost as you drive from deceleration and braking into a small battery. It doesn't have enough capacity to propel the RAV4 alone for any considerable distance but it means you’ll never need to charge it up by plugging it in.

It’s still impressively efficient for an SUV, which is all the more surprising given its large 2.5-litre petrol engine. Thanks to the boost from its electric motor, fuel-efficiency is rated at up to 50mpg for the front-wheel drive model, with the all-wheel drive car capable of around 48mpg. Both models are company-car tax friendly thanks to CO2 emissions of 126-133g/km. This results in a medium Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rating.

During our test with the front-wheel drive RAV4 Hybrid, we achieved just over 47mpg from a mixture of town and motorway driving. When driving in town traffic, we found that careful use of the accelerator makes it easy to maximise the cars pure-electric running, achieving around 40mpg when the petrol engine was used too.

The PHEV is equipped with a much larger 18.1kWh battery, which means it can be driven for up to 46 miles without the petrol engine. During our test drive, we managed 35 miles of electric range without eking out the battery charge. Recharging takes around 7.5 hours using a three-pin plug, which reduces to 2.5 hours when a 7kW home wallbox is available. Its electric range helps it achieve official figures of up to 282.5mpg and 22g/km of CO2, making it cheaper to run for company-car drivers thanks to its low BiK band. 

Every RAV4 will cost £140 a year in road tax, unless you really go to town with the optional extras and push it over the £40,000 mark, in which case there's a £325 surcharge the first five times you have to pay tax.

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