David Motton

See other tow car reviews written by David Motton

Practical Caravan's expert team reviews the Toyota RAV4 2.2 D-4D XTR, to see how well it performs in the magazine’s comprehensive tow car test

Overview

Few 4x4s are more fun to drive than the Toyota RAV4. Light but accurate steering, plenty of grip and firmly controlled suspension make the Toyota more entertaining than any tall, heavy off-roader should be.

Towing

With a caravan in tow, we found that the RAV4 still handles well, with a reasonably secure performance through the lane-change manoeuvre, although the ATC unit picked up high peak G-force readings.

A little more bite from the brakes would have been nice, but a 30-0mph stop of 13.35 metres in wet weather shows the power is there when you need it.

Space

When it comes to cabin space, legroom in the RAV4's rear seats is not as generous as in a VW Tiguan. And while the 586-litre boot sounds large, a couple of items of luggage wouldn’t fit and the side-hinged tailgate doesn’t open wide enough.

Running costs

We are pleased to report that with an official combined economy figure of 42.8mpg, the Toyota RAV4 2.2 D-4D XTR is one of the least thirsty 4x4s around – and CO2 emissions of 173g/km will keep road tax bills to manageable levels. A 55% resale value in three years isn’t bad, either.

Technical specs

Kerbweight1715 kg
85% KW1458 kg
Towball limit75 kg
Maximum towing limit2000 kg

Verdict

Overall, although we're full of praise for how green the Toyota RAV4 2.2 D-4D XTR is (for a 4x4), on the other hand it is not as spacious or as practical as its rivals.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It grips well and the steering is precise
  • It felt quite secure when towing

Cons

  • The boot wasn't too accommodating
  • We wanted more bite in the brakes
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