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Toyota RAV4: “More spacious, for a wide audience”

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Larger, more spacious and greener: the new Toyota RAV4 is not only a stylish and smooth SUV, but also comes with a hybrid motor as standard. Is this new vehicle worth its high price tag? Athlon puts it to the test.

Toyota’s sales of hybrid cars reached their highest level in the past year. During the first quarter of 2019, Toyota even sold more hybrids than petrol and diesel cars in Europe. This is not totally surprising, since the Japanese brand is currently focusing very strongly on cars with hybrid engines. The new Toyota RAV4 is also only available as a hybrid. Our employee Wenda Vanderbist spent a whole weekend driving around in this new SUV.

Wow factor

The Toyota RAV4 was a pleasant surprise from the off. Wenda Vanderbist: “As soon as I saw it, I immediately thought 'wow!' This SUV not only looks big from the outside, but it is also very spacious inside. And nothing's been compromised on, because there's both a lot of legroom and a large boot. Another nice touch: if you put your smartphone in the smartphone slot and connect wirelessly to the dashboard computer, it charges automatically.”

All weather conditions

The Toyota RAV4 also charmed Wenda Vanderbist while on the road: “Come rain or shine, the Toyota RAV4 is a smooth ride. I enjoyed sitting somewhat higher and having a good view when driving. A negative point? For me personally, the switch from the battery to the petrol engine took a bit too long. And being a tyre specialist I was disappointed that the vehicle had all-season tyres, as this increases fuel consumption. But at Athlon we can easily deal with this by including summer and winter tyres in the leasing contract.”

Larger budgets

Which Athlon customers will soon be driving round in the RAV4? “In terms of look and feel, the vehicle is suitable for a wide audience, but of course not everyone can afford one”, concludes Wenda Vanderbist. “Depending on the specific model, you have to pay between 31,000 and 46,000 euros, although as a hybrid it is fiscally advantageous in Flanders. If the Toyota RAV4 was within my budget, I would definitely get one.”

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