The Echo's Emma Kennedy tests out the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

By Emma Kennedy

Safety, self-charging and savings, 3 of my favourite features of the RAV4

The RAV4 is also a keyless entry and push start engine, a trend I see most brands turning to, but one of the biggest highlights for me were the fantastic safety features which included lane change assist, collision control and SOS emergency call button that has a built in sim so that you can be located instantly, very reassuring as a family vehicle and comes as standard in all models.

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The RAV4 parked up at Benbulbin after a wonderful cross country drive (left) and Emma Kennedy with the RAV4 team, Tomas, Eoin, Michael and Dan from Tadg Riordan Motors Tallaght.

We happened to be taking the RAV4 on a family road trip to Sligo which gave us a great chance to do a distance test drive.

There was good acceleration when needed, great road vision and it handled very well on the roads, in particular in our adverse ‘4 seasons’ Irish weather.

It also has great boot space for all our weekend cases but best of all for me was the fantastic fuel economy.

As a self-charging hybrid there is no need to worry about stopping to charge the battery, a full tank of fuel is just over €60 and over the 4 days from Tallaght to Sligo, Donegal and back we used approximately €55.

The Road tax is also only €200 and all Toyota vehicles come with 3 years free servicing as standard.

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Emma took a break from her cross-country trip at Glencar waterfall in Donegal (left), there's is plenty of space in the boot for a weekend road trip (middle) and 90% of The Echo's social media followers would go Hybrid to save on fuel costs (right).

So I think you will definitely see big savings in your first few years behind the wheel. And with 90% of our social media followers saying YES they would consider moving to hybrid to save on fuel costs Toyota are certainly the leaders in this market place.

Other features were the touch screen TV where you could also see how your battery and engine were working side by side, the speed zone notification on the dashboard and the front and rear parking sensors and rear parking camera, making the driving experience that bit more enjoyable.

Of the 3 vehicles I am test driving this is the biggest and by far the most spacious, but also has the highest price tag.

However it is very well priced within its SUV category, and a new full spec, leather interior model is approximately €42k, and worth it if you are shopping for an SUV.

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Touch screen with battery and engine-use display (left), SOS emergency call button as standard in RAV4 models (middle) and the reverse camera feature (right).

10 good reasons to drive away in the Toyota RAV4

TSS Toyota safety sense-pre collision stop sensor 

SOS – Sim chipped direct dial emergency call button

Radar adaptive cruise control 

Lane departure alert and lane trace assist

Road sign alert - recognizes all zone speed limits

Entry level includes reverse camera and front and rear sensors

All RAV4 models are automatic with smart entry and smart start

All models have a tax rate of €200 

3 years FREE servicing as standard 

Excellent Fuel economy with the dual engine/battery

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