2018 Toyota RAV4 Review and Compare | Colorado Springs, CO

2018 Toyota RAV4 Review and Comparison in Colorado Springs, CO

Compact SUVs Have Never Looked So Good

When you think of the most popular vehicles, you might think of models that do one thing really well, but that isn't always the case. When we look at the Toyota RAV4 you might think there is nothing spectacular about it, but that's the point. The fact that there is nothing spectacular means it can focus on doing all kinds of things in a reliable way. While it might not be the best way, it certainly isn't the worst way. The true shining point of the RAV4 is that it can do just about everything moderately well, which is spectacular to some people.

Being in the middle-of-the-road position for affordability, practicality, and just about everything else, the RAV4 has made a name for itself by not being the best at everything, but offering the capabilities that are needed to do almost anything a driver could want it to, within reason. It has become clear that drivers appreciate a vehicle that can do a lot rather than a vehicle that can do one thing really well while sacrificing capabilities in other scenarios.

It May Not be the Best, but it is Certainly Reliable

Toyota has been known to make vehicles that can go well over the average mileage of a vehicle, and the RAV4 certainly follows suit. While the styling hasn't changed in years, it is important to realize this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The design of the RAV4 is strong and rugged, accentuating what Toyota wants you to know about the RAV4. Even the RAV4 Adventure, which features a ride height that is boosted up to 6.5 inches of clearance, isn't flashy or overdone, it offers several new paint options so that it can differentiate itself, but will always maintain practicality over flash.

The RAV4 Adventure follows the cue from the RAV4, being pretty good as an off-road model, but not the best. As the name implies, it offers everything you will need for an adventure, but not much more. The Tacoma TRD Sport or the 4Runner might be better if you are going a distance off of main paths, but the RAV4 Adventure can take you camping for the weekend with the family or similar task.

A Feature that Puts It Near the Top

There might be one area that the RAV4 is decidedly closer to the top than some of its competitors: cargo space. Without the right amount of space, the RAV4 wouldn't be even a fraction as popular as it is, but it provides an ample amount of space for drivers to enjoy. With up to 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space, and the moderate fuel efficiency, the RAV4 is a good choice for any long trip or family vacation that you were looking to take.

Toyota has let you make the most of this space by providing you with 60/40 split seats for your oversized gear, and cargo net hammocks to fit as much as you can into your RAV4.

Performance that you Would Expect

The RAV4 makes the most of its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, making 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Toyota knew this was middle-of-the-road power, which is why they let you choose how to optimize performance in the Drive Select System. You can opt for ECO mode to get better fuel economy, or Sport mode for when you want to add a little bit of spice to your ride. While it might not be "adding hot pepper" spicy, it provides a taste that can accommodate most palates. If you are choosing the RAV4 Hybrid, you will also be able to choose EV mode, letting you use power only from the battery, but that comes with drawbacks too. In EV mode, you will have a really short range - like half mile short - and must be going at low speeds.

The All-Wheel-Drive system that Toyota has paired with the RAV4 is ranked among the best that you will find. It monitors conditions to distribute power in a split-seconds notice. Since it was originally built off of a Front-Wheel-Drive platform, it favors FWD when cruising in good conditions, making it comfortable and fuel efficient.

A Turn to the Hybrid

The RAV4 Hybrid is another standalone trim, like the RAV4 Adventure, which changes the capabilities of the RAV4. Toyota isn't new to adding hybrids to the market, most notably the Prius, which is why it isn't too surprising to see a vehicle with so many capabilities to be the target of hybrid technology. The RAAV4 Hybrids manages to break the mold of middle-of-the-road capabilities, being one of the best hybrid-electric crossover models on the market. While it is more expensive than the RAV4 is, it offers 12 more mpg than the gas equivalent if you are looking at city driving.

The RAV4 Hybrid even offers a bit more power, with the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive System pairing a 2.5-liter engine with an electric motor, alongside the hybrid battery paired to the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), making 194 net horsepower. With a standard electronic on-demand all-wheel-drive system, the RAV4 Hybrid is among the most capable vehicles that you can find.

Middle of the Road Doesn't Sound So Bad

The success of the RAV4 has proven that the different capabilities a vehicle has will outweigh the fact that you aren't the best at one of them. Not being the best, while still not being the worst, has been a beneficial trait of the RAV4, apparently people like when a vehicle can meet all of their needs, no matter how diverse those needs might be.

Compare the Toyota RAV4 vs the Competition

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