We've had a lot of positive things to say about the Toyota RAV4 in our own tests. It's a stylish, comfortable, and capable crossover SUV in a class crowded with multiple good alternatives. But it isn't perfect, and the infamous "Moose Test" makes it clear that the RAV4 isn't properly equipped to handle aggressive evasive maneuvers.
The Toyota RAV4 reached a top speed of 42 miles per hour (68 kilometers per hour) in Teknikens Varld's test. The testers note "dangerous behavior" by the SUV on the twisty cone course, and say "the electronic stability control system engaged very late." Both the pure gas-powered RAV4 and the Hybrid model, when tested (loaded to the manufacturer's maximum limit), hopped up onto the outer two wheels multiple times.
"Toyota RAV4 has quick front end reactions when we turn left into the lane," says Teknikens Varld. "When we turn right it cuts in and the car goes up on two wheels…. Toyota has once again released a product on the market that fails to perform safely through the moose test."
This isn't the first failed Moose Test for a Toyota product, either. In 2007, the Hilux pickup without stability control only managed 35 mph (57 kmh) and came close to flipping. The test resulted in a stop-sale for the Hilux, Toyota then equipping the truck's 16-inch wheels with wider tires to improve grip. In the case of the RAV4 test, Toyota has more confidence in its own testing procedures.
Gallery: 2019 Toyota RAV4: First Drive
Here's what Toyota has to say:
"At Toyota, the safety of our customers is our number one priority, and to ensure their security, we apply strict safety tests during the development of all our products. Our internal tests fully meet the global standards for obstacle avoidance, and since 2016, we have updated our processes to also reflect the procedures used by Teknikens Varld.
During its development stage, RAV4 successfully passed all internal tests, including the ISO 3888-2 and the Teknikens Varld Elk test. We give our assurance to all Toyota customers that they can be confident in the safety of their vehicles."