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2018 Toyota RAV4 KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.9 / 10
This Car - 2018 Toyota RAV4
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Consumer Rating 8.3 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor

Among the numerous compact-SUV choices out there, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 remains a standout. As the vehicle that started the compact-crossover-SUV segment, the RAV4 has consistently been a top seller, right alongside the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Subaru Forester. While not as off-road capable as a Jeep Cherokee, the RAV4 is far more reliable and holds exceptionally strong resale values. Its 4-cylinder engine delivers decent power with good fuel economy, and it has enough ground clearance to tackle most snow and light off-road situations. Better still, every RAV4 comes standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense-P suite of driver assists, and there’s even a hybrid model. Unfortunately, Toyota’s 2018 RAV4 still isn’t compatible with either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

You'll Like This Car If...

Toyota’s 2018 RAV4 is the perfect vehicle for those who want a worry-free ownership experience in a compact-crossover SUV that offers a roomy interior, excellent fuel economy and high resale values. Models range from basic to plush and all keep the price well within reason.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re seeking a compact-crossover SUV with real off-road ability, a Subaru Forester or Jeep Cherokee makes a better choice. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 doesn’t offer a V6 engine, so passing and towing abilities are somewhat limited, and unlike the VW Tiguan, there’s no 3rd-row-seat option.

What's New for 2018

A new Adventure trim adds more ground clearance, 18-inch wheels and a 120-volt outlet, plus optional Cold Weather package with heated/power front seats, heated steering wheel and windshield wiper de-icers. A Tow Prep package increases the tow rating to 2,900 pounds with front-wheel drive (FWD) and 3,500 pounds with all-wheel drive (AWD).

Driving It Driving Impressions

While its competitors have grown larger and more powerful, Toyota’s RAV4 SUV for 2018 remains true to its roots. There’s a roomy interior with plenty of cargo space, plus lots of optional features to fit just about any taste. While the Mazda CX-5 offers better handling and a more modern interior, the RAV4 offers a softer, more comfortable ride and a bit more pep under the hood. It’s true the 2018 Toyota RAV4’s 2.5-liter engine isn’t as powerful as some competitors, but its acceleration and fuel economy remain in line with other 4-cylinder compacts like the Jeep Compass, Subaru Forester and Chevrolet Equinox. When it comes to fuel economy, the RAV4 Hybrid pushes 34 mpg, and that’s with the sure-footed traction of standard AWD. The hybrid’s 2-motor setup also makes it a bit quicker to 60 mph than the gasoline-only version.

Favorite Features

The Adventure trim gives the 2018 RAV4 a bit more off-road cred, elevating ride height to 6.5 inches and offering available heated cloth seats, heated steering wheel and front wiper de-icers. While no Subaru Outback, the package does make the RAV4 a better winter warrior.

Toyota’s dedication to safety is apparent in the 2018 RAV4 compact-crossover SUV, with every model featuring collision-mitigation braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and auto high beams as standard equipment.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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