2018 Toyota RAV4 Review Murray

How the Toyota RAV4 Works to Meet your Needs               

To have control over its segment, a vehicle either needs to be a whole lot better than the rest, or needs to offer more than the rest. The Toyota RAV4 chooses to offer more than the rest, and it does it in spectacular fashion; it lands in the middle of almost every metric. It makes sure that it can check every box that you will need, making it the pinnacle of practicality.               

There are more and more vehicles entering the compact SUV segment, all with impressive selling points, but the selling point of the RAV4 is that there are no other vehicles that can accomplish as many different tasks. The RAV4 maintains its spot at the top of the market, outselling competitors like the CR-V and Rogue to solidify its position. A moderate price tag and a long list of capabilities, the RAV4 is in a good position to hold onto its title.

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Consistency is Key with the RAV4               

Being a Toyota model is an intrinsic benefit of the RAV4. Toyota is known to make vehicles that can go well beyond the 200,000-mile mark, continuing to offer high levels of capability and reliability. This consistent performance instills confidence in customers, making them more willing to choose a RAV4 over its competitors.

The style of the RAV4 hasn't changed much over the years, but that sticks to the idea of being consistent. Strong and rugged feelings are evoked from the style, which is appropriate because the RAV4 is exactly that. The biggest updates the RAV4 has seen are with some stand-alone trims that can bring even more capabilities.

RAV4 Adventure               

The RAV4 Adventure increases ground clearance, making it a more off-road capable vehicle. While it might not be as savvy as the 4Runner or Tacoma TRD Sport, it will do everything that a family who likes some adventure in their life needs it to. The 6.5 inches of ground clearance and 18-inch wheels make it perfect to take the hard ride through gravel paths or uneven terrain. The RAV4 looks to further diversify what it can do by offering package options.                 

The Cold Weather Package comes with heated fabric front seats, a heated leather steering wheel, and a wiper de-icer; all items that will make a cold morning much more bearable. The all-weather floor liners, cargo mats, and standard Tow Prep Package make it a formidable choice.              

The Tow Prep Package increases the towing capacity to 3,500 pounds, making it as capable as some light-duty trucks and other full-size SUVs. With capabilities like this, it is possible to speculate a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) model in the future.

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RAV4 Hybrid               

Toyota has become a leader in the electric-vehicle market, and the RAV4 was the obvious contender for a hybrid crossover. The RAV4 Hybrid includes all of the most innovative designs from Toyota, making the RAV4 Hybrid one of the most capable hybrid crossovers on the market. There are several trim levels for the RAV4 Hybrid, all offering slightly more features than the one listed before it: LE Hybrid, XLE Hybrid, SE Hybrid, and Limited Hybrid. While it is priced a little higher than the gas-powered equivalent, electric-vehicle enthusiasts will see the savings when it comes to fuel efficiency, which will put you at 34 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway.               

Using the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive System, the RAV4 Hybrid can put out 194 net horsepower from a 2.5-liter engine and electric motor, and hybrid battery paired, all running off the CVT (Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission). It does not lose the allure of the RAV4, it can still handle everything that you will need, even offering the standard on-demand all-wheel-drive system.

Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P)               

It might surprise you to hear that all Toyota RAV4 models come with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). The idea was to make this vehicle appeal to the widest audience as possible, and the best way to make families love a vehicle is to make it safe. Moving past the idea of adding it in as an expensive package, Toyota wants everyone to enjoy the maximum safety features.               

The features that come with TSS-P include Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams. These features use the most advanced sensors and cameras to make sure that you don't get too close to a person, vehicle, or any other objects. If that isn't enough, the backup camera comes as a standard feature with an available upgrade to the Bird's Eye Camera that lets you see a live view of everything around your vehicle on one screen. The IIHS rated it as a Top Safety Pick+ for 2017, as long as it is equipped with LED Headlights, giving you yet another reason to love the RAV4.

All-Wheel Drive Availability              

The RAV4 makes good use of Toyota's All-Wheel Drive (AWD) System with Dynamic Torque Control. AWD is always a good idea for areas that have harsh conditions, but every driver can benefit from the extra control provided by the system, especially the Toyota AWD system. This system is rather unique because it monitors road conditions through each tire, changing power output between front and rear tires every fraction of a second. Being able to adapt that quickly has allowed Toyota to bring their AWD system to one of the highest rankings among other comparable systems on the market.

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Plenty of Reasons that the RAV4 Sits at the Top              

It really isn't surprising to see the RAV4 sit at the top, even though it doesn't have one particular thing that it does really well. People want a vehicle that can do everything, and the RAV4 certainly fits that description. It is an example of how practicality is really one of the most important things for a vehicle.

Compare Toyota RAV4 vs Competition:

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