The fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 has struggled to complete Swedish motoring magazine Teknikens Värld’s dreaded “Moose Test”, although the Japanese firm says it is “confident in the safety” of all its vehicles.

The Moose Test is one of the toughest handling evaluations out there, designed to simulate the avoidance manoeuvre a driver would have to take when an animal suddenly runs into the road.

It’s worth pointing out the two models evaluated by the Swedish publication were both all-wheel-drive hybrid variants, which aren’t offered here in South Africa. The addition of a battery, of course, would likely change the vehicle’s centre of gravity.

Interestingly, the RAV4 hybrid was also handed a “poor” rating after a similar test was published by Spanish publication km77 earlier in 2019. Teknikens Värld, though, performs the evaluation with the vehicle filled “to [its] maximum load according to the car’s specification”, while km77 generally has just one person in the vehicle.

The highest entry speed achieved by Teknikens Värld’s testers during a successful run was 68 km/h, two units under what the publication considers the lowest acceptable speed. For the record, km77 achieved a speed of 71 km/h, although that was a front-driven derivative.

When approached for comment by Teknikens Värld, the Japanese firm said: “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 Värld. 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,” Toyota said.

Watch the latest Moose Test below…