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.
2018 Toyota RAV4 OVERVIEW
Faced with stiff competition within its own segment, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 soldiers on as a reliable, comfortable, and well-equipped alternative to entries from Honda, Nissan, Ford, and Chevrolet. And with a a new set of safety equipment and a sporty trim for 2018, the RAV4 has two more arrows in its quiver.
What's New for 2018
The 2018 RAV4 gains an all-new Adventure trim, available with both front- and all-wheel drive models. Toyota’s suite of driver-assist safety features, called Toyota Safety Sense Plus (lane departure warning with a steering assistant, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection), is now standard across the RAV4 line.
Choosing Your Toyota RAV4
Toyota offers the RAV4 in six grades: LE, XLE, Adventure, SE, Limited, and Platinum. Seating for five is standard with 38.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seat and 73.4 cubes with that seat folded.
All models come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, which works alongside with a six-speed automatic transmission (a hybrid is available and is listed separately). All-wheel drive is available across the RAV4 product line, adding $1,400 to the base price across the board.
Going with all-wheel drive isn't the most efficient option, of course. The front-drive RAV4 returns 23 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. Adding all-wheel drive drops those figures to 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined.
The RAV4 SE is our pick, as it offers a sport-tuned suspension along with many of the amenities customers desire in a small SUV. We'd suggest adding all-wheel drive, naturally, and then grabbing the Entune Premium JBL Package. Out the door, you'd be looking at a handsomely equipped crossover SUV for $33,200.
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