The Toyota RAV4 has space for four adults, large doors that give brilliant access and a big boot that’s great for families, but alternatives’ back seats are better suited to carrying three
Thankfully, the Toyota RAV4 claws back some points when it comes to cabin space. Its front doors are nice and tall so it’s easy to climb in and the seats come with plenty of adjustment to help you get comfy.
You’ll want to pick an Icon model or above to make lengthy journeys even more relaxing. They come with electrically adjustable seats with additional lumbar support that’ll help prevent back ache. Top-spec Excel versions even get a handy memory function for the front seats that’ll return them to a preset position if someone’s fiddled about with your settings.
The Toyota RAV4 is streets ahead of the Honda CR-V and VW Tiguan when it comes to carrying two passengers in the back. There’s absolutely loads of head and leg room and you can recline the seatbacks slightly to make long journeys even more relaxing.
If you regularly carry three adults in the back, however, you might still want to consider the Honda CR-V. The Toyota RAV4’s flat floor and fairly soft central seat means it’s by no means uncomfortable, but the Honda’s wider cabin means your passengers won’t be left arguing over elbow room on long drives.
It’s much easier to fit a child seat in the RAV4 than in either the CR-V or Tiguan. The Toyota RAV4’s tall doors make it dead easy to lift in a bulky front-facing child seat and there aren’t any annoying, easy-to-lose covers for the clearly marked Isofix anchor points. The Toyota’s raised roofline means there’s loads of headroom to lean in and strap in a child, too – even if you’re very tall.
The Toyota RAV4’s packed full of handy storage bins to help you keep its interior looking neat and tidy. The front door bins can hold a 1.5-litre bottle each and the glovebox is absolutely enormous. There’s even a handy storage slot in the dashboard for keeping a few items close to hand and a shallow tray under the dashboard for your phone.
You get a pair of large cupholders in the centre console and a deep storage bin under the standard folding armrest. Rather annoyingly, the storage tray in front of the gear lever has been split into two awkward triangular cubbies instead of a more practical single square item.
In the back you get a folding rear armrest with two small cupholders and a pair of fairly large door bins. They’re not quite as generous as those in the front but there’s still space for a litre bottle and a small drinks can on each side.
The RAV4’s back seats have limo-like levels of head and leg room but try to squeeze three adults side-by-side and there’ll be very little elbow room to go round
The Toyota RAV4’s 547-litre boot isn’t quite as spacious as in the 589-litre Honda CR-V or 625-litre VW Tiguan, but it’s still easily big enough to carry a large baby buggy and a selection of bulky soft bags. There’s no annoying load lip to heave things over and the boot opening is nice and low to the ground so it’s easy to slide in heavy luggage.
The Toyota RAV4’s protruding wheel arches can get in the way slightly if you’re packing its boot with cardboard boxes but there’s plenty of space under the boot floor for a few smaller items or to store the load cover out of the way. You also get a range of tether points, a pair of shopping hooks and even a luggage net for securing smaller items, but no 12V socket.
If you need to carry some large luggage and a passenger in the back at once you can fold the rear seats down in a two-way (60:40) split. Unfortunately, you don’t get any handy levers in the boot to help you fold the seats like in the Honda CR-V. Instead you’ll have to lean in through the back doors to reach the catches beside the headrests and push them flat yourself.
The Toyota RAV4’s boot grows to a capacious 1,735 litres with all three rear seats folded – that’s significantly more than the 1,655-litre VW Tiguan and 1,627-litre Honda CR-V. It’s easily big enough to carry a bike with its wheels attached and the floor’s almost completely flat so it’s a breeze to slide heavy boxes right up behind the front seats.