RAV4s are offered with either a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 172 horsepower mated to a four-speed automatic transmission which nets up to 28 mpg on the highway. A larger, more robust 3.5-liter V6 producing 269 horsepower is optional and is coupled with an upgraded 5-speed automatic. That additional gear helps lower the revs of the engine at highway speeds, further bolstering fuel economy.
Check out the rest of this year's best crossovers
Four-wheel drive is optional with either engine. Base models get 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, USB input, Bluetooth, power windows, locks, mirrors and cruise control. Sport models have alloy wheels and body-color accents. Limited models have keyless entry and offer navigation and Toyota's acclaimed Entune Infotainment System.
In comparison, the Honda CR-V is more fuel-efficient and has oodles of space in the rear seat and cargo area. But it doesn't have a V6 option or a third-row. The Ford Escape has powerful EcoBoost turbocharged variants and sportier driving characteristics. The Escape is smaller overall and top Titanium level cars get very expensive. The Chevrolet Equinox is larger than many compact crossovers and has an available V6, but lacks a third row option. The Mazda CX- 5 is the fuel economy leader of the compact crossover class, acheiving up to 35 MPG highway. It also offers a manual transmission, a rarity these days. The Mazda is smaller than some crossovers though, and the four-cylinder is not as powerful as the V6 RAV4.
It's getting old, but the RAV4 offers a lot of choice for crossover shoppers with a package that is not as large as midsize crossovers, yet doesn't leave out popular features like V6 or third-row seating. The Toyota is worth a look for customers who want a solid all-rounder that offers more space and versatility in exchange for best-in-class fuel economy.
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