Like any true european, when I see a large mass of people gathering anymore, I go to see what it’s all about. Maybe I get something out of it. A bucket of flour, a free phone, something. But usually, I just get my stuff stolen. Still, I thought I’d see what’s up with the Toyota Rav4 XA50.

This time I said I have to see what’s what, as the previous generation Rav4 has remained something of a mystery for me, on par with finding out Who killed Captain Alex. Instead, the Toyota Rav4 XA50, the current generation gen, is effectively everywhere on the roads of the Europe and beyond. Is it really that good?


Yes and no.

Like everything in life, the Toyota Rav4 XA50 has its advantages and disadvantages.

So let’s start with the pros.


First of all, you have safety. The Toyota Rav4 XA50 is the safest crossover in its class, on the European market at least. So if you’re interested in this kind of stuff and it’s possibly high on your priority list, the new Rav4 is for you.

Secondly, you have the mind boggling fuel economy. Toyota has made a very clever move. The base Rav4 is the one with the 2.0 naturally aspirate petrol engine and it costs 32000 euros. The hybrid instead costs 35000 euro but if you take into account goverment incentives for hybrids and EVS, you end up at about the same price as the simple petrol in the base trim level. But with the hybrid, you get 70 extra horsepower and a few more optional extras and that’s what made people run to the hybrid. And Toyota hybrids are legendary for their fuel economy. The C-HR hybrid for example can reach as much as 70 mpg in urban driving.

Right, and the downsides? We’ll talk about them under general issues.



Toyota Rav4 XA50 Engines


2.0 NA of 150 and 175 horsepower – As I mentioned above, this engine isn’t really worth it. If you take the goverment incentives for hybrids and EVs into account, this engine is slightly cheaper but also lower on power, worse fuel consumption and doesn’t pack enough of a punch. 


2.5 Hybrid of 200, 220 and 302 horsepower – Let’s talk more about this hybrid. It was available on the previous generation but was best known for it’s work on the Lexus NX because it was pretty much the only engine available. It’s not a fast engine but it’s a frugal and reliable engine, but then again no one buys their Rav4 with the thought of burnouts in the parking lot or drag races. So the fuel economy part is taken care of. Technically this engine can’t be repaired, but it should last for many years in theory. Then you have the batteries, which also tend to last. 


Toyota Rav4 XA50 General Issues

  • The main issue with the current Rav4 is the price. Sure, it might be priced below the competition in most continents of the world, however in Europe it beats the competition due to the additional taxes. And Toyota is also very expensive on the used market, sometimes being more expensive than buying new. Thank you automotive crisis and delayed delivery terms on new cars for inflating the used car market prices.
  • Soundproofing has always been a concern at Toyota, and this time they promised to straighten things out and get to work. Except they’ve only half done the job, literally. They only went with the soundproofing at the front of the car, up to the front seats, the back seats remaining barebones and any sort of conversation will be inaudible at high speeds. Basically, if you have an annoying mother-in-law you don’t want to hear while driving, get a Toyota Rav4 XA50 and put her in the back. I guarantee you won’t hear her.
  • There have been plenty of cases in the US where the fuel tank didn’t fill up completely so the low fuel warning started very early when you had about 100 km range or whatever range the computer felt like displaying.
  • The infotainment system still needs higher education to use, and the Apple/Android Carplay system is still as efficient as an employee on minimum wage being called to work on Sundays, obviously without pay.
  • Cheap interior plastics seem to be a recurring theme in new Toyotas and the Rav4 doesn’t escape that image.
  • I’m not a big fan of the CVT gearboxes and Toyota keeps on using them. Why?
  • The Rav4 has 2 batteries. One for the hybrid and one for the starter. However the starter batter is the size of a chewing gum pack and will die at the slightest irresponsible energy consumption. And it will die out and you will be left stranded. So make sure that when you turn off the car, switch off the interior lights, the cigarette lighter and any possible energy gobbler.


Toyota Rav4 XA50 Verdict

If you ignore the price which is abit steep, then the Rav4 is an excellent car. It’s fuel-efficient, reliable and very safe. And to some, it looks very, very good, and to others, it looks like an damn good and efficient appliance on wheels. To me, the Rav4 XA50 is a very good car, but far, far too expensive. But only if you’re from Europe.


What engines do you recommend? 2.5 hybrid is the only answer. No doubt. In fact, they should repeat the scheme with the NX and only sell that engine.