As Europe’s best-selling 4×4 SUV since 2001, the Toyota RAV4 clearly isn’t short on customer appeal. That hasn’t stopped Toyota from making the range even more attractive with a new special edition model that offers an impressive collection of extra styling, handling and luxury features at a budget-beating price.

The RAV4 XT-R, on sale now, is a cool summer choice with its climate controlled air conditioning, cruise control, rear privacy glass, rear luggage net (5 door only) and auto-dimming electrochromic rear view mirror, plus the option of metallic paint at no extra cost. These features are usually reserved for the range-topping RAV4 XT4 and XT5 models, but have been added to the regular XT3 specification at a fraction of their combined value. Furthermore, the rear privacy glass is exclusive to the XT-R.

In total, the five-door RAV4 XT-R benefits from enhancements worth an additional £1,500 (including metallic paint), yet its on-the-road prices are just £245 higher than the cost of the equivalent XT3 models. When specified with optional leather upholstery, the XT-R costs £1,055 less than the equivalent XT4, yet offers £900 of additional specification.

As well as the items highlighted above, the XT-R is equipped with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and Brake Assist (BA) for improved handling performance in all driving conditions. The vehicle also carries special XT-R badging on the bodywork. In common with XT3 grade, the XT-R comes with driver and front passenger front and side airbags, curtain airbags, electric windows, remote central locking, four-speaker sound system with CD player, alarm, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and an electric tilt/slide sunroof (previously only available on the five-door model).

The XT-R is offered with Toyota’s 2.0-litre VVT-i petrol engine and 2.0-litre D-4D diesel in three and five-door body styles. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard, with automatic transmission available as a £1,000 option with the petrol engine. Four paint finishes are available: Argenta Silver and Carbon Quartz metallic, Lagoon Blue mica and Astral Black with no extra charge for the metallic or mica shades.

Prices start at £17,995 for XT-R 2.0 VVT-i 3dr, rising to £19,995 for the 2.0 D-4D 5dr.