Tthe best way to judge a car is to ask previous owners what they thought it and Toyota have always been honest in publishing reports on their vehicles.

Take the RAV4 hybrid for an example this splendid SUV has been winning hearts and minds ever since it was first arrived on the British roads.

People have switched to the RAV4 because there’s plenty of room, its economical and the fact that it is a great car to drive.

But don’t take my word for it just have a look at what the owner/drivers have to say and look at the Toyota website.

But surely that’s doctored you might say. Not Toyota. They pride themselves on their honesty, not like certain other manufacturers who have been in the headlines of late for fiddling the books.

The latest RAV4 is number four on the production line and is one if the best SUVs around in quite a crowded market.

It is the most powerful RAV4 to date with a combined system output of 194bhp.

For this year hybrid power is available across all new RAV-4 models but the line-up continues to feature 2.0 D-4D diesel front-wheel drive models and 2.0-litre Valvematic petrol power with CVT automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive.

The new entry-level Icon grade is equipped with the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system with seven-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio, Bluetooth, DAB reception and reversing camera. It also comes with Toyota Safety Sense active safety and driver assistance features, Smart Entry and push-button start, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, dusk-sensing headlights, rain-sensing wipers and a power tailgate with a height memory setting – ideal when the backdoor is regularly opened in a confined area, such as a domestic garage or multi-storey car park. The Icon Tech models additionally feature navigation and connectivity functions with the Toyota Touch 2 package.

At the top of the range, the Excel grade adds high-gloss black 18-inch 10-spoke alloys and matching black door mirror casings and underruns The multimedia system has additional functions, such as voice recognition, text-to-speech and 3D maps. Safety provisions are enhanced with the addition of a Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The Panoramic View Monitor is new for RAV4, helping make it easier to park. This combines images from four external cameras which give you an almost 360-degree, 3D view of the car’s surroundings.

Toyota hand out five year guarantees with their vehicles or 100,000 miles and rarely do they have to call them in such is their reliability.

The RAV4 is not a cumbersome SUV and has a bit of class about it all in all, for less than 30k.

The latest one is a little bigger than the last one with a warm and cosy cabin but perhaps just a little bit basic.

There is a new grade structure for the 2018 model at Icon, Icon Tech, Design and Excel.

The entry-level models have 17in alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, heated wing mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning, a reversing camera, DAB radio and a 7.0in infotainment system as standard. That’s quite a reasonable package.

The hybrid, which is the best model to have, has an improved 2.5 litre engine but there is also a two litre diesel as well.

The hybrid is available with both front and all wheel drive in all grades with CO2 emissions of 115g/km.

I had the model which was close to the top of the range which came in at more than £34,000, but it was worth every penny.

It’s quite a pokey engine which gives you a top speed of 112mph and 0-62mph in just over eight seconds. The miles per gallon is 50 plus.

There are a couple of things you need to know. There is an efficient hill start assist which holds the car on a hill just by pushing the brake pedal. And I like the follow me home headlamps which stay on for 30 seconds when you switch the engine off.