Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
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.
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:
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.
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