A new gray 2018 Toyota Rav4 driving on a gravel road

All of the Boxes that the RAV4 Checks

While there are many vehicles that boast that they are the best-in-class for whatever feature they have, other vehicles have the satisfaction of saying that they offer the widest range of features that they can. In the case of the Toyota RAV4, it is definitely the latter of those two.

Being able to do everything that the RAV4 can do is no small feat, it is never at the top of its class, but it is never near the bottom, always falling in the middle to give you just what you might need. Some people might scoff at the fact that it doesn't have a best-in-class feature, but others will realize the utility in it: by not focusing too hard on one feature, Toyota included many different ones that are equally as capable.

Toyota Durability Stepped Up a Notch

Toyota models are known to be reliable, being on the road for much longer than other manufacturers can last, and the RAV4 is no exception to that. The exterior styling of the RAV4 reflects its performance: rugged, durable, powerful. The squared design stays in classic style with past RAV4 models, not getting too flashy to distract from its array of capabilities.

To add a little more ruggedness, you can choose the RAV4 Adventure trim level that is distinct from the rest of the lineup. With an increase in ride height, you will be able to do just as the name suggests - Adventure. While you can definitely adventure in this RAV4, you might not want to venture too far off on your own, as mentioned, it isn't the best at any one category. It won't handle off-roading as well as a Tacoma TRD sport or anything like that, but it can get you down trails to camp, to the lake to relax, or down those rough gravel roads you might encounter.

Important Choices to Make

While many vehicles have options you can choose, the RAV4 has some important ones. The first of these is to choose if you are going to stick with the standard Front-Wheel Drive or opt for the All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Control. Thanks to the FWD system that that AWD builds off of, you can get pretty good fuel efficiency if you choose to go for the AWD. The "Dynamic Torque Control" part of the AWD means that it will scan the road conditions to decide when it should distribute the power between the front and rear wheels, giving you the best traction that it can. The AWD system of the RAV4 is one of the main reasons it can stay so competitive with the market, it is consistently ranked among the top AWD systems on the market.

The next choice are presented with is if you want your RAV4 to be a hybrid. After the Toyota Prius was such a big hit, they wanted to spread that technology as far as it could go. The RAV4 hybrid is at the top of the hybrid-electric crossover market, providing 12 more mpg than its gasoline counterpart. Thanks to the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system, the RAV4 Hybrid puts out 194 net horsepower. The RAV4 Hybrid, surprisingly, offers a standard electronic on-demand all-wheel-drive system that can still manage up to 34 mpg in the city.

What To Expect on the Inside

Everyone who is choosing an SUV knows that cargo space and passenger volume is important. This is one area that the RAV4 does a particularly good job, it has up to 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space, putting it among the crossovers for packing and hauling gear. Having all that space is wonderful, but the RAV4 goes another step further, implementing systems that help you make the most of the space that you are given. With features like cargo net hammocks and 60/40 split seats that get as close to flat on the floor as they can be, you will never have to worry about letting an inch of the at cargo space go to waste.

The interior is much more than just cargo space though, it also provides entertainment features that you will appreciate. Toyota continues to use the Entune system for connectivity rather than using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. While this comes as a downside to many customers, Toyota has included many infotainment options to compensate.

The standard system for basic models (LE and XLE) comes with Toyota's Entune Audio with Multimedia Bundle that give you everything you would expect - 6.1-inch touchscreen display, CD/MP3/audio jack/USB. If you choose to upgrade further to Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite, you will get a 7-inch screen, navigation from Scout GPS Link App, and much more.

Even though you don't have the most common way to connect your smartphone to your vehicle, it is still possible, just using Toyota's system.

Safety Comes Standard

 It is hard to imagine a vehicle that has some of the most advanced safety features as standard, but the RAV4 does. With Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) coming on every model in the lineup, Toyota has made sure everyone is comfortable driving the RAV4; from teenagers to parents, there is no need to think you have missed an opportunity for safety.

 The features included in TSS-P include brings Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams, but that isn't where the RAV4 stops. You also get a standard backup camera that you can upgrade, an optional Bird's Eye View Camera, and much more for you to choose from. When upgraded with the LED Headlights, the RAV4 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2017, putting in the top tier for safe vehicles.

You Don't Need to Be the Best at One Thing If You Do Much More

Many people will stay away from the RAV4 because it isn't the best at this, or because the other vehicle does that so much better, but it is clear that the RAV4 does so much more than just being the best-in-class for one thing. Being capable of doing just about anything thrown at it, the RAV4 will continue to be one of the top vehicles in its segment.

Compare the Toyota Rav4 vs the Competition