Some pundits argue that the Toyota RAV4 is the car that began the current crossover craze back in 1994. It was the first compact 4×4 to offer reasonable on-road manners, and it so became a huge hit with buyers. Competition is this part of the car market is now incredibly fierce, and the excellent Mazda CX-5 and Ford Kuga are close rivals to the Toyota.
The latest RAV4 is a heavily updated version of the previous model rather than an all-new car. What is new, however, is the option of a hybrid powertrain – a first for Toyota’s crossover contender. Do the latest model’s changes make a difference to the car’s size and interior space though? Let’s find out.
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Toyota RAV4 external dimensions
At 4,605mm long, the RAV4 is one of the longer cars in its class – it’s 81mm longer than the Ford Kuga and 155mm lengthier than the Renault Kadjar. It’s worth bearing both of these figures in mind if you frequently rely on on-street parking, or have a fairly short garage.
In terms of height and width there are mere millimetres separating the Toyota from the Ford, so it doesn’t feel any more or less difficult to place on the road in everyday driving.
|Width excluding wing mirrors||1,845mm|
Toyota RAV4 interior dimensions
The Toyota offers great visibility thanks to a cabin that has plenty of glass all round. The driver gets good views in every direction so it never feels intimidating to drive.
Measuring 1,505mm across the cabin allows respectable elbow room meaning that, combined with plenty of rear legroom, even tall passengers can get comfy. The only slight drawback is that taller people might find headroom a little tight. The seat backs can recline though, which can help matters slightly.
Toyota RAV4 boot space
With all five seats in place, the RAV4 can swallow 547 litres of luggage. That places it somewhere in the middle of its class – the Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V are larger (564 and 587 litres respectively) while the Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai are smaller (442 and 430 litres). RAV4 models equipped with the hybrid system lose a little boot space thanks to the battery pack – overall volume reduces to 501 litres.
The 60:40 split rear seats don’t fold completely flat, slightly compromising its ability to carry larger items. There is, however, no load lip to speak of in the boot opening, so heavier items aren’t too much hassle to load up.
|Seats up||547 litres (Hybrid 501 litres)|
|Seats folded||1,735 litres|
Toyota RAV4 turning circle and fuel tank capacity
The RAV4 is quite manoeuvrable compared to its rivals. It can perform a U-turn 50cm tighter than a Ford Kuga – already an agile car for the segment. This means the Toyota should be among the easiest cars in its class to park.
Hybrid models sacrifice four litres relative to the regular model’s 60-litre fuel tank. The most frugal the model, the 2.0-litre diesel, can achieve a theoretical range of 793 miles should you match its official fuel economy figure of 60.1mpg.
|Turning circle||10.6 metres|
|Fuel tank||60 litres (Hybrid 56 litres)|
Toyota RAV4 weight
There are two main factors which explain the 255kg disparity between the lightest and heaviest models in the RAV4 range. First, the entry level model relies on a lightweight petrol engine alone, while the heftier top-spec hybrid’s electric motor and battery adds plenty of extra mass. Second, the hybrid variant features an all-wheel drive system, which again adds further mechanical complication (and therefore weight).
Both of these figures, however, aren’t unusually high for the class, helping the RAV4 tip the scales at a similar level to the Volkswagen Tiguan and Mazda CX-5 – neither of which offer hybrid power.
|1,520kg (2.0 2WD CVT)||1,775kg (AWD Hybrid)|