What do owners think about the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

It’s said the only way to truly get to know somebody is to live with them. Similarly, it’s only by living with a new car on a day-to-day basis that you can make an accurate, objective assessment of how good – or bad – it is.

From that perspective, how does the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid fare?

We took a look through a customer survey prepared by an independent company to discover the unbiased thoughts of new owners.

You can read the reviews in full on Toyota.co.uk.

The following is an unedited collection of their assessments regarding the model.

2016 RAV4 Hybrid 02

Owner: ‘kjcj’ from Nottingham
Review title: Most versatile car I’ve ever owned
We upgraded to the RAV4 Hybrid from an Auris Sports Tourer just over a month ago. Having just returned from a family holiday, the RAV has been brilliant. It is such a lovely car to drive and has plenty of room for dogs, children and luggage. It is economical and has helped me overcome my (slight) guilt at becoming an SUV driver!

Owner: ‘maly’ from Barnsley
Review title: A pleasure to drive
We bought the RAV4 in February. This is the first automatic car we have driven, and what a pleasure it is to drive. It virtually drives itself. The hybrid does what it says on the tin; it’s a strange feeling when you first get in to drive and it sets off in silence, but you always have a smile on your face when driving the car. Out of all the Toyota cars we have had, this one is the crowning glory.

2016 RAV4 Hybrid 03

Owner: ‘Solo’ from Dorset
Review title: Brilliant car
Couldn’t be happier: a smooth ride and economical, with all of the features we require. Excellent customer service from knowledgeable staff. What more do you need?

Owner: ‘Susi’ from Nottingham
Review title: Great to drive
I bought this a month ago and am so pleased I did. It has the comfort, the get-up-and-go, and ample room for my requirements, including two large dogs and holiday luggage. Being a hybrid, for its size it is extremely economical.

Owner: ‘AlmondburyPaul’ from Huddersfield
Review title: A pleasure to drive
I replaced my diesel RAV4 with the new petrol hybrid with trepidation but I have been pleasantly surprised. The performance is still there, as well as an improvement in comfort. The ride is so smooth and quiet; it is a joy to drive.

2016 RAV4 Hybrid 01

Owner: ‘Mezzy’ from West Sussex
Review title: Delighted with the vehicle
I have had the RAV4 Hybrid for a month and am very pleased that I upgraded from a RAV4 2.2 diesel. It’s very quick with plenty of power and good economy.

Owner: ‘nige’ from the North West
Review title: Nice smooth hybrid
Really pleased we chose a hybrid RAV4. Amazing.

Owner: ‘Rupert’ from Aldershot
Review title: Smooth RAV4
We purchased our RAV4 almost a month ago now and I can safely say it’s the best decision we made. It is a dream to drive and handles well, with enough room for our grandchildren and room to spare.

2016 RAV4 Hybrid 04

Anything else?

So far so good. But did the new owners have any criticisms of the RAV4 Hybrid? In the interest of balance, the following quotes are also unedited.

Owner: ‘PeteAnne’ from Scotland
Review title: Very smooth
I have been driving this for six weeks now and so far I am very pleased. There are some things that could have been done better in the cabin, which for me would have made everything perfect.

Owner: ‘Elizabeth’ from Belfast
Review title: Great features
I bought my RAV4 Hybrid in March of this year. I have been very pleased with it until recently. I have had a problem with the back door. I had difficulty getting the door to close, but I’m now waiting for a part to arrive so that it can be fixed.

2016 RAV4 Hybrid 05

Owner: ‘Stuart 1’ from Uckfield
Review title: Overall driving experience
A good smooth cruiser on motorways. Suspension is harsh on normal roads. Had an intermittent problem with the sat nav. Occasionally on cold mornings it says navigation is not available on this model. This is Business Edition Plus.

2016 RAV4 Hybrid 06

Your turn…

Aside from a couple of minor issues, we are delighted to discover that the overall response from new RAV4 Hybrid owners is extremely positive.

You can read the reviews in full on Toyota.co.uk.

What would your assessment be? Why not begin to find out by requesting a test drive from your local Toyota centre. Click this link to make an appointment.

Read more: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid review
Read more: How does the RAV4 Hybrid E-Four system work?


  1. Hi Colin,

    Thanks for getting in touch and we are sorry to hear that you feel this way. We will pass your comments on.


  2. We’ve had our RAV for a month now. Turned the sat nav off as it was just annoying. My only other grumble is the lack of a CD player. A smooth, quiet, comfortable car that takes a bit of getting use to, (it’s eerily quiet) . Fuel economy around 45-50 mpg.

    1. 45-50 mpg I am getting more than that out of my diesel RAV 4 Business edition which has a BMW engine. On a decent run I get 50-60 mpg. One occasion I got 70mpg. I don’t believe Hybrids are all they are made out to be.

  3. Without a shadow of a doubt the most annoying car I’ve owned and the biggest disappointment. First the fuel efficiency is poor at best considering it is a hybrid rarely achieving 45mpg. The electronic tailgate often fails to open first time and when it does it invariably spews your cargo out onto the floor. The infotainment system feels ten years out of date. The system for MP3 lists is incredibly fussy and will not play lossless files which I find essential as no cd player is present. No voice activation either, pretty standard elsewhere. The DAB reception is the worst I’ve come across. Stations picked up flawlessly in my ASX barely register in the RAV4. Oh , and unless the satnav is actually speaking there is no way to change the volume of the announcements, how crazy is that? There are lots of other slightly petty annoyances that spoil the car and make it frustrating. On the plus side it is automatic, but the CVT box is dismal, often giving massive lag just when you need the power. The sport mode makes the car tighter and nicely quick, but activate it and watch the petrol needle move down faster than a lead balloon. The seats are comfortable and interior space is ok. It is a car I desperately wanted to bond with, but has been a real let down.

  4. I bought my RAV4 AWDi new in October 2020. While at the dealers I turned the internal air control to ‘automatic’. I also turned the automatic gearbox to EV mode.

    Some 2,500 miles later I was not pleased to be returning an average of 40.2 mpg. I then realised that the AC had been running all this time and that unlike in my previous vehicle (not a Toyota) you could not have the ‘auto’ mode set without AC. I turned the AC off (keeping auto mode on) and reset the MPG. I am now getting 50.3 mpg.

    Also after reading a review I have also reset the gearbox to ‘standard’ letting the internal computer decide how to use the engine and battery.

    Much improved. Love the car now that I tweaked the above. Mostly town driving so 50.3 mpg is great.

  5. We have owned our 2018 Rav 4 hybrid for 18 months and like the car …but , if we don’t drive it for a few days it wont start. Absolutely dead
    Our dealer checked the car several times but can find no fault with the 12v battery but has offered to go halves with a new one ! It will start with jump leads. How can we leave the car at say an airport for a week or two ?

    1. Hi Joe,
      Thanks for your comment. We’re sorry to hear about the issues you have been experiencing with your battery.
      In some cases, infrequent usage and short journeys can mean that the 12 volt battery doesn’t fully charge – which could be the case in your current situation. If you were to make more frequent, longer journeys, this shouldn’t be an issue. Alternatively, following the advice listed in this blog post may also help: https://mag.toyota.co.uk/coronavirus-toyota-hybrid-car-maintenance/.
      On your drive to the airport the READY light will have been on and carrying out the necessary charging process on the way. Combining this with regular maintenance by following your service schedule should mean your car will be okay to leave for a few weeks at a time.
      However, if you are concerned about leaving it unattended for a longer period of time you could consider using a solar powered intelligent charger. Trickle chargers can be purchased from your nearest Toyota Centre.
      Alternatively, another suggestion can be to take your vehicle to your Toyota Centre before you drive to the airport and have the battery tested and charged overnight to ensure it has been adequately charged, and then have the Toyota Centre test the condition again the following day.

  6. Purchased a new rav4 design September 2020. Excellent car with a few niggles one being the miniscule data displays on the dash. Why are they so small? Also the automatic boot opening button doesn’t always connect first time. Last car was a Prius with a great dash display why do they change things?

    1. Hi Len,
      Thanks for your comment, and congratulations on your new RAV4! We hope you’re loving it so far.
      The Prius and RAV4 are very different cars, so there are likely to be differences in design. We’re sorry that this doesn’t suit your ideal needs.
      If there is an issue with your boot, we would recommend taking your vehicle to your nearest Toyota Centre to have it assessed so that any potential problems can be identified.
      We wish you many more happy miles!

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