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Toyota RAV4 Edge: Hands-on review

Edging ahead of the competition.

Back in May we had the opportunity to test drive the new range of RAV4s in Adelaide. We were able to get hands-on with the RAV4 hybrid models and they were pretty impressive – a huge improvement on the outgoing RAV4 – and since their launch they have been selling like hot cakes.

Unfortunately we weren't able to get hold of the RAV4 Edge. The range-topper RAV4 in the current model line-up is the one meant for proper recreation. But finally, we have been able to track one down and get our hands on it.

The vehicle we tested was $47,140 plus on-roads.

How can you tell it is a RAV4 Edge?

The RAV4 Edge comes with a number of bespoke visual upgrades including the rather different, but highly appealing, "Jungle Khaki" colour option. I'm not sure why anyone would get the Edge in any other colour to be honest – I'm a fan.

It also benefits from unique front and rear bumpers, wheel arches, grille and fog lamps to help differentiate it from the rest of the models. The 19-inch alloy rims are specific to the Edge as well, which complement the rugged aesthetic of the vehicle.

Toyota RAV4 Edge Front Bumper

On the road

The RAV4 Edge comes with a four-cylinder petrol engine. There is no hybrid option when it comes to the kitted out Edge. As a standalone unit, the lump under the bonnet produces 152Kw and 243 Nm.

The power plant is matched to an eight-speed gearbox, which for the most part did a great job; however, on the odd occasion it did make some weird decisions and took its time when travelling at lower speeds.

Incorporating the new Toyota global architecture, the ride of the RAV4 Edge is well sorted and comfortable, a great outcome for the family car. Torque vectoring has been used to give more confidence when cornering.

Sound deadening in the cabin is quite good too and with the nine-speaker JBL premium sound system, you won't be left wanting when it comes to timbre and tone.

We can't speak to the off-road credentials of the Edge, but it is worth noting that the vehicle comes with a multi-terrain system to help you navigate mud, sand, rock, dirt and snow. There is also hill descent control for added measure.

What's different about the Toyota RAV4 Edge interior?

The RAV4 Edge separates itself from the rest of the RAV4 range with a rugged, but still premium, vegan leather and rubber interior. The "SofTex" synthetic leather upholstered seats with orange stitching allow the driver and passengers to sit in comfort. Meanwhile, durable rubber accents and storage spots are scattered through the interior, giving the Edge even more of a recreational feel.

A godsend on those cold winter mornings, there are also heated and ventilated seats. The driver's seat is a 10-way adjustable power seat.

You get the same seven-inch infotainment unit that is used in the Cruiser and while there is no Apple CarPlay or Android auto, Toyota does have plans to retrofit this for customers starting in late 2019.

Further to this, you can option a panoramic roof.

Toyota RAV4 Edge Interior

Is it practical?

You get the same 580 litres of boot space that expands to 1,690 when you fold the seats down that you do with other models. These numbers are class leading and on the Edge, as with the Cruiser, it is easier to access these through the powered tailgate.

If the plan is to be towing something behind your RAV4 Edge, it has a 1,500kg braked towing capacity, so it may be worth doing your sums to see if your boat, caravan or trailer can be legally towed. For more information on this, see our guide to calculating your towing limits.

The turning circle on the new RAV4 range has increased to 11 metres, so if you are living in the inner city, it might be worth taking that into consideration, but you will find that doesn't deviate too far from the standard for the segment.

You do get reversing cameras though, which will help with your three-point turns and reverse parallel parking in those narrow streets.

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Safety technology

Along with seven airbags, the range comes with a comprehensive safety suite; however, you will find some features diluted slightly for manual models. Highlights include:

  • Auto emergency braking with day/night pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go for auto models)
  • Auto high beam lights
  • Road sign recognition and alerts
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • A reversing camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors

The verdict

We were thoroughly impressed when we tested the hybrid models earlier this year and the Edge hasn't changed that. The whole range consists of properly sorted vehicles.

If you are in the market for a medium-sized SUV, it would be worth checking out the new Toyota RAV4 range. The Edge model would be the choice if you are looking to head offroad more often due to its multi-terrain system, or stand out with its unique looks and paint.

Not quite sure if the RAV4 is for you? Check out our car reviews section which includes a comparison of current medium suv models.

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    Alex Jeffs is the senior publisher for personal, car and business finance at Finder. He has been building websites since he was 14 years old and has tested cars everywhere from race tracks to Oodnadatta. See full bio

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