The Toyota RAV4’s stylish cabin design stands out from the SUV crowd but you still get some scratchy plastic trims
Restrict your prodding to the doors and the dashboard and you’ll find plenty of soft squidgy plastics, nice faux leather and soft suede-like Alcantara trims. Unfortunately, some shiny plastics on the door handles and above the dashboard feel pretty horrible by comparison and really let the side down. If build quality is your main concern, you’ll be much happier behind the wheel of the Honda CR-V.
All RAV4 models come with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard but it sits slightly off-centre in the dashboard and its physical shortcut buttons look and feel rather old fashioned. Its graphics look pretty ancient too and it’s nowhere near as responsive as the eight-inch screen in a Tiguan. To add insult to injury you’ll have to pay an extra £750 if you want satellite navigation on entry-level Active models.
There isn’t much scope to personalise your RAV4 but mid-range Business models come with extra leather on the doors while high-spec Icon cars get plusher leather seats and adjustable lumbar support to make long drives more comfortable.
The RAV4’s interior feels like it was designed by two people – one who liked soft plastics and leather padding and another who was a big fan of cheap, brittle materials
All RAV4s come with a seven-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system. It’s reasonably bright and fairly easy to read but its last-century graphics can’t hold a candle to the slick menus you get in a VW Tiguan.
The screen’s flanked by some physical shortcut buttons that make it easy to switch between key features without taking your eyes off the road. Tweaking the stereo settings still takes a few more clicks than in the Tiguan, however, but at least it’s relatively easy to pair your phone using the RAV4’s standard Bluetooth connection.
Satellite navigation is only standard on Business Edition models and above – if you want it in entry-level Active cars you’ll have to fork out an extra £750. It’s not particularly user friendly and you can’t pinch to zoom to preview your route once you’ve punched in a destination but the maps are fairly easy to read with just a quick glance.
Sadly, you can’t get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring on any model in the RAV4 range. As a result, you can’t use any of your phone’s navigation or music streaming apps through the car’s built-in screen like you can in a VW Tiguan.
Another mark against the RAV4 is its rather weedy stereo. You get DAB digital radio and six speakers as standard but there’s no option to upgrade it to a big-name system like the VW’s optional Dynaudio unit.