2018 Toyota RAV4 Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

On certain days, I’ll hop on the subway to avoid navigating  Washington DC’s congested urbanscape of traffic circles, cyclists, pedestrians, and buses. However, today I needed the roominess and stability the 2018 Toyota Rav4 offers. Since becoming a fan of buying items online and picking them up at the store for free, I had a number of things I needed to haul home. The Rav4 is the ideal mode of transportation for a number of reasons.

 

Given all of the construction the District is undergoing, the RAV4 handled unexpected driving obstacles like a champ. It did so well in fact, I may have to retire my subway card for the time being. During my city shopping jaunt there was an unforeseen road closure. A construction worker motioned for me to make a tight u-turn. I wasn’t sure the RAV4 could complete it—but it did so with no problem.

I headed for a detour which meant darting down a narrow alleyway. Mind you, a larger SUV would have had trouble handling these cumbersome situations, but not the nimble yet steady Toyota. The RAV4 had me whizzing right down the dirt and gravel alley. Easy to steer and smooth on its feet, I dodged trash cans and potholes with ease.

Even better, this small Toyota SUV has a super-sized cabin. After picking up a new air fryer and an all-in-one printer, I still had room for additional items like an upright vacuum and step ladder. That’s because behind the rear seat, there’s 38.4 cubic feet of space.  Flattening the 60/40-split back seats down gave me a whopping 73.4-cubic-foot of cargo hold to play with. The Limited’s standard remote trunk release made it that much easier to slide my items inside. A hands-free liftgate with an adjustable height is also available.

While the functionality of the RAV4 is on point, the interior is not. It skews more plastic than plush. Even in the upper trims like the Limited that I tested, there unfortunately isn’t a genuine leather option available. I would have also preferred more storage compartments inside the cabin to place small items.

The Limited grade gets a bigger touchscreen and wheels. You’ll enjoy auto-dimming mirrors, 18-inch chrome wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen, various Entune smartphone apps and an integrated Toyota navigation system. What’s sorely lacking on this list are more USB ports, as there’s only one in the entire SUV.

Whether you’re driving solo or have a small family you’re ferrying around in Toyota’s two-row, five-seater, the RAV4’s safety tech should give you considerable peace of mind considering most of it is standard equipment.

On the base RAV4 models, you’ll find a backup camera, adaptive cruise control, automatic steering, forward-collision warning, automatic braking, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning and keeping, plus a slew of airbags and curtain airbags for you and your passengers. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems are standard on the Limited.

 

This 176-horsepower SUV generously afforded me the pep I needed to scurry around the city running errands.  It’s powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission—the only powertrain available. Front-wheel drive is standard in every model, but you can upgrade to all-wheel drive on most.

The RAV4 is in line with other SUV’s in its segment when it comes to the fuel rating. We saw about 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

 

Starting price for the 2018 RAV4 is $24,660.

 

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