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John Diether
Automotive Editor - December 31, 2015

2016 Toyota RAV4 OVERVIEW

A longtime staple of the compact crossover class, the RAV4 continues to rack up sales with its sheer practicality and sterling reliability record. Like other successful Toyota models, the RAV4 delivers exactly what the majority of buyers want in its segment.

What's New for 2016

All models receive updated front-end styling this year. A new Safety Sense package offers a host of high-tech safety features. The sporty SE trim level debuts.

Toyota RAV4

Choosing Your Toyota RAV4

RAV4 once again shines on the inside with legitimate room for five passengers and 38.4 cubic feet of cargo. With the rear seat folded, you're looking at 73.3 cubic feet of virtually flat load space, a figure that's unsurpassed in this class.

All models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 176 horsepower, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. As expected, the RAV4 is a front-driver with all-wheel drive optional. You can expect about 26 mpg in combined city and highway driving, or 25 mpg with all-wheel drive. (The new hybrid model is reviewed separately.)

The RAV4 now comes in four trim levels:


Comes well equipped for family life with a rearview camera, rear privacy glass, roof rails, a split-folding and reclining rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio, and a six-speaker sound system with Toyota's Entune touchscreen interface. The LE rolls in 17-inch steel wheels. The available Entune Audio Plus package adds a smartphone navigation app, traffic and weather data, and satellite and HD radio.


Gets the LE's audio upgrades as standard, plus a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, alloy wheels, foglamps, heated mirrors, and a height-adjustable tailgate. You also get more supportive seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The XLE is eligible for the Entune Premium Audio package, which adds an integrated navigation system, a full suite of smartphone apps, and a larger touchscreen. Those upgrades are included when you step up to the Convenience package, which also gets you keyless ignition and access, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and the sophisticated new Safety Sense package. Safety Sense features include forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane keeping assist, and automatic high-beam control.


Builds on the XLE with a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver seat with memory, and exterior LED lighting and styling tweaks. Safety Sense remains optional as part of the Advanced Technology package, which also includes a surround-view camera system and adaptive cruise control. An 11-speaker JBL sound system is a standalone option.


Comes standard with all of the SE's options (except the JBL system), plus an auto-dimming rearview mirror and chrome wheels and exterior trim.

CarsDirect Tip

All-wheel drive adds only $1,400 to the price of any RAV4, so it's a smart choice even if you don't live in the snowbelt. The most compelling reason for upgrading to the SE or Limited is the sportier suspension, which makes the RAV4 much more satisfying to drive in our view. We should point out that genuine leather upholstery isn't available at any price, which could be a deal killer for some.

Get your price on a Toyota RAV4 »

Read our review on the Toyota RAV4 »

Toyota Rav4 Rear

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