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BabyDrive Verdict

The all-new Toyota Rav4 is hot off the production line and I am super keen to take it for a drive and put it through our testing to see how it compares to the previous Rav4 and see how it fares as a BabyDrive! So I headed down to Sunshine Toyota on the Sunshine Coast to give it a review…

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The Rav4's new chiselled features make it look rugged and give it that capable off-road appearance.

I tested the GX Hybrid model and also had a drive of the Edge top spec model too. The top spec model only comes with a petrol engine whereas the other models are available as a hybrid.

The interior of the new Rav4 is a little more modern, with a slightly larger media screen, digital aircon display and cordless phone charging well.

Gone is the previous model Rav4's cup holder complete with handle space for your mug! It's replaced by two more conventional shaped ones. The Rav4 has kept its shelf in the dash on the passenger side, which is perfect for collecting toddlers' trinkets or anything passed forward from the back while you drive along!

Storage throughout the Rav4 was minimal but functional, with small door bins in the front and back that will hold a large refillable water bottle.

Interior space is good in the new RAV4. In the back, there are two sets of ISOFix points and three top tether anchorages. Good news: I could fit three child seats in the rear seats. It was a bit tight but I could fit either three forward-facing child seats or two forward-facing and one rear-facing. I found the rear quite spacious when I was installing the three child seats and the legroom inside was good enough for a 180cm driver in front of a rear-facing child seat.

The boot is a good size in here too and Toyota has done away with its previous awful roller blind, which is good to see! I could get fourteen shopping bags in the boot from empty, which is one less than the previous model RAV4, one less than the Subaru Forester and two more than the Kia Sportage. All sizes of strollers fitted in the boot with good amounts of shopping bags around them too.

The boot floor of the new Rav4 has a removable panel that can be dropped down a couple of inches, which I found useful for the tandem stroller because the extra depth meant I could fit all the components into the boot all on top of each other and still be able to pull the roller blind across. It's rare for a boot to be deep enough for this task, so well done Toyota! You can also turn the boot floor panel over to reveal a plastic-coated side, which is perfect for when your stroller wheels are dirty or you are coming back from a muddy walk or the beach. It's as simple as flipping the floor over and then washing it off when you get home!

The media system in the Rav4 lets it down for me. This is an all-new car with the same old-fashioned media system as before. It is easy to navigate but does not have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. YET. I m told that later this year the new Rav4 will be the first Toyota to have these systems available, and like Mazda will make them available as a retrofit upgrade.

The reversing camera fills the whole screen so is slightly bigger and not a bad quality image, but I was expecting better.

The parking sensor sound can be turned on and off easily by pressing the OK button on the steering wheel and this shows up in the display in front of the steering wheel too.

Driving the New Toyota Rav4 Hybrid, I enjoyed the quiet start and the ride was smooth around town. I found the transition to petrol engine a bit revvy, especially when going up hills.

The New Toyota Rav4 has been given a five-star ANCAP safety rating and has seven airbags as standard.

BabyDrive Indepth

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  1. HI Babydrive, Another great review. Can you please advise which cars seats you used in your review. We are expecting our third and have three slimline seats which are 42cm at their widest. We are in the process of working out which cars will best suit our needs. Did you use the same seats in the Tucson and Sportage reviews as well?

    • Hi Warren, I tested two combinations- The Britax Graphene, Kid Guard Pro and Platinum Pro child seats. I also tested the forward facing Britax Maxi Guard Pro, Kid Guard Pro and Platinum Pro child seats and all three fitted across the rear seats. 🙂

      • Hi, when you tested the Britax Graphene, Kid Guard Pro and the Platinum Pro combination were you able to use ISOFIX or did you have to use the seatbelts? Thanks 🙂

  2. Hi, do you think a safe n sound platinum and a baby love ezy grow would fit in the back with enough space for an adult passenger in the third seat? Thanks.

    • Should be okay. We used really chunky forward-facing and rear-facing seats in the test. You might find a bit less flexibility positioning the outer seats using ISOFIX

  3. Hello just wondering what car seats you recommend for a new born and a 6 year old and a 3 year old that would fit in this rav 4 thanks

  4. What car seats are featured in this photo please? Trying to see if a maxi Cosi capsule, maxi guard Britax and Britax Graphene will fit! Would like to add the width of your examples here and see if it adds up to the three above! Many many thanks!

  5. Hey! Thanks for the great review.

    You said there are two sets of isofix points and three top tether anchorages.

    Does it mean that the seat in the middle uses the isofix points from the left and right seats?

    Or is it possible to fit 3 isofix chairs using the isofix points and the top tether anchors?


    • You’d have to attach the central child seat using the seatbelt and top tether and the outer two using ISOFIX

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