2019 Medium SUV Comparison – Toyota RAV4 Hybrid v the rest | carsales


[Andrea] Medium SUVs keep Australian families
moving and here are four of the best sellers. [Nadine] In fact they’re so good you could
call them the best of the best. [Andrea]And the arrival of the all new Toyota
RAV 4 has given us a greater excuse to line them up to find our favourite medium SUV for
2019. Up against the new Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid,
over here the Hyundai Tucson Highlander, Kia Sportage GT Line, and Mazda CX5 Akera. So, Nadine, there are all great examples of
their type, it could be a close call. [Nadine] Absolutely, Andrea, but I’m really
keen to see how this RAV4 stacks up because these three have so much going for them. [Andrea]Let’s take a closer look. [Nadine] Toyota has given the RAV4 a more
upmarket feel in its design, and as a result it slots in with the rest of the SUV pack. It doesn’t have the polished feel of the Mazda
CX5, but it’s larger inside and that translates to a cabin with plenty of room to move. It’s also the only SUV on our test that’s
powered by a petrol electric hybrid engine, so that powertrain’s advanced and frugal
too. The other three are petrol powered, and all
four are all wheel drive with automatic transmissions. All well specified vehicles, these medium
SUVs include a bevy of gadgets that buyers want. Reversing cameras are standard, then there’s
in car infotainment tech, driver assistance features, and plenty of creature comforts. [Andrea] But all the technology in the world
won’t save an impractical SUV, so let’s check out some vital statistics
[Nadine] Tape measure at the ready. [Andrea] At Car Sales we don’t always show
you the more mundane parts of our comparisons, but measuring up is an important part of our
deliberations, whether with the tape or with bums on seats. And in the case of this quartet it’s the Toyota
RAV4 that offers the most boot space. For flexibility of use the CX5 has a couple
of unique features over the other three. It has a 40-20-40 split fold rear seat and
latches is the boot for easy operation. All four have a powered tailgate, which is
a handy feature for busy families. Features and practicality assessed, it’s now
time to get behind the wheel to see how our parents’ taxis perform on road. Up first it’s the Mazda CX5. This Akera model has a 2.5 litre turbo petrol
engine under the bonnet, with a 6 speed automatic transmission. [Nadine] Mazda’s got the puntiest engine
here and massive amounts of torque compared to the others and you can feel it behind the
wheel, it feels great. [Andrea] It’s nice to have all that torque
on tap as well and particularly for overtaking, you want that confidence, don’t you? [Nadine] In terms of the cabin finish it has
been around a little while in this kind of style, but I really like it. It feels like a nice plush place to be. It’s not quite as spacious as the RAV4, and
it misses out on that panoramic sunroof that we’ve got in the Tucson and the Sportage,
however heated seats through the back, it might be one of those things that gets people
over the line. Onto the Kia Sportage, which usually wins
the value section when it comes to comparisons, but has been pipped on price by the new Toyota
RAV4. The Kia is the only SUV here supported by
a standard 7 year warranty, with the others all offering 5. It’s the only one of our four SUVs to offer
auto parking, a clever feature for city drivers. But its futuristic feel isn’t expedited to
the engine. The Kia’s 2.4 litre naturally aspirated
engine is harsh and slow to build power, and as a result it feels a generation behind its
competitors. What of the Sportage’s twin, the Hyundai
Tucson? A prior winner of previous comparisons and
general all-round good thing. [Andrea] Like the CX5, the Tucson Highlander’s
powered by a turbo charged petrol engine, but is a much smaller unit so you really miss
that grunt that you get in the Mazda. [Nadine] That said we found the dual clutch
transmission sharp shifting, and steering a lively match, resulting in a car that’s
enjoyable to drive. It’s time to put the new Toyota RAV4 to the
test. It’s done well on practicality and represents
good value, but how does it drive? [Andrea] Stepping out of the Mazda, it’s a
really different feel. It’s certainly a bit more supple, the ride,
the Mazda was pretty stiff. This is a much more supple ride, but as a
result you do get a little bit of body roll, just a little bit, but there’s that noticeable,
whereas in the Mazda you’re really snug in those seats. The other thing about the RAV4 is it feels
like such a substantial car. [Nadine] It really does. [Andrea] Particularly you look at the Kia
Sportage, its tiny compared to this. This is one big piece of car. [Nadine] Well, as suspected this is a tightly
fought battle, but each one of these four vehicles is here on very strong merits. In fact, choose any one of these for your
next family car and you wouldn’t be disappointed. [Andrea] But it is Medium SUV of the Year
time and there is a crown at stake, so we’ve chosen our winner. [Nadine] And it is, drum roll please. The Toyota RAV4 takes the win for our 2019
Carsales Medium SUV Comparison. Offering all round capability, cabin comfort
and space, as well as value for money and a high level of technology, it’s proved itself
to be the best of the best.