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All-wheel drive and ample cargo space at a great value.

Toyota RAV4 Review | CarMax

For families who are on the verge of outgrowing their sedans, upgrading to a midsized crossover may be a logical solution. And when it comes to midsized crossovers, the Toyota RAV4 is a great choice.

Since its launch back in 1994, the RAV4 has seen a number of upgrades and redesigns, but it has more-or-less stayed true to its original intent: to provide families with a comfortable, spacious, and enjoyable ride.

This Toyota RAV4 review will cover some of the top reasons to purchase a RAV4, with a focus on the 2016-2017 RAV4. Check out the following sections below for more information.

10 Reasons to buy the Toyota RAV4

1. Impressive performance

Toyota RAV4 Review: Impressive Performance | CarMax

All recent releases of the Toyota RAV4 (2014-present) come equipped with adjustable steering for more control behind the wheel. The 2016 base LE trim is equipped with a surprisingly powerful four-cylinder that generates 176 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. This allows for zippy acceleration from zero to 60 in just over nine seconds.

2. Plenty of trim levels

Toyota RAV4 Review: Trim Levels - Platinum | CarMax

Both the 2016 and 2017 RAV4 are available in a number of trim options, including the LE, XLE, and SE, so you should have no trouble finding the configuration that best suits their needs. The 2017 RAV4 even comes in an optional Platinum edition for those who desire additional, luxurious features.

3. Smart body design

The five-door wagon design of the RAV4 is very smart, with all trim options on the 2017 edition featuring roof-hinged doors for easy loading and unloading from the rear of the vehicle. All 2017 model years of the RAV4 are also equipped with bright, auxiliary LED lights to help increase visibility both day and night.

4. Well-equipped interior

Toyota RAV4 Review: Well Equipped Interior | CarMax

Drivers and passengers alike will enjoy the well-equipped interior on the RAV4. You might have a hard time believing that you aren't sitting in a full-size SUV rather than a midsized crossover. The 2017 RAV4 comes standard with 38.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in use and 73.4 with the rear seats folded.

5. Comfortable seating

Toyota RAV4 Review: Comfortable Seating | CarMax

On daily commutes and long road trips alike, comfortable seating for everyone is important. The RAV4 features plenty of seating space for up to five adults, and drivers will enjoy the unique positioning of the driver's seat found in all trim levels of the 2017 RAV4; the seat sits about an inch lower than that of many SUVs, allowing for a comfortable and intuitive driving experience.

6. Plenty of standard features

In 2017, Toyota did a bit of a revamp on the RAV4 to include more standard features on each of its trim levels. Today, it offers innovative standard features including adaptive cruise control, a forward collision avoidance system, a rear-view camera, and parking sensors.

7. Designed with excellent traction in mind

Those living in rainier or even snowier parts of the country will enjoy the Toyota RAV4, designed with excellent traction in mind. If you opt for a trim level with AWD, the 2017 model offers added features to improve handling in slick road conditions, such as the ability to detect a spinning wheel.

8. Competitive fuel economy

Many are surprised to learn that the 2017 base-level RAV4 offers good fuel economy at an estimated 25 mpg combined (23 city and 29 highway) with its AWD, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine.2 This is great for budget-conscious drivers.

9. Whisper-quiet ride

Toyota RAV4 Review: Quiet Ride | CarMax

The 2017 RAV4 boasts an extremely quiet cabin while traversing through just about any terrain. This is likely due to the revamped suspension system that was implemented by Toyota during the 2016 redesign.

10. Affordable pricing

At CarMax, the average selling price for a 2014-2016 RAV4 is under $22,000 (as of December 2017).1 The 2017 RAV4 has an average selling price at CarMax of under $25,000 (as of December 2017).1 This midsized crossover is one of the more affordable options on the market—especially with the many standard features included in the base trim.


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What trim options are available?

In the 2016 RAV4, you'll find four trim options available. With the 2017 model year, however, you'll find an additional option: the new "Platinum" trim.

Toyota RAV4 LE

Toyota RAV4 Review: LE Trim | CarMax

In the 2016 RAV4 LE, you'll find a number of standard features, including 17-inch wheels, a blind spot monitoring system, and rear privacy glass. Also, 60/40 split seating and a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface come standard in the 2016 model, with additional packages (such as the Entune® Audio Plus package) available with satellite navigation, HD radio, and other useful features.

Toyota RAV4 XLE

With the 2016 Toyota RAV4 XLE, drivers will enjoy the aforementioned Entune Audio Plus package already included, along with all the standard features of the LE. However, this slightly upgraded trim also sees some extra features, such as heated mirrors, a sunroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control for added comfort throughout the entire cabin.

Toyota RAV4 SE

Toyota RAV4 Review: SE Trim | CarMax

Upgrade to the 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE and you'll enjoy being bumped up to larger, 18-inch alloy wheels for an even more comfortable and quiet ride. Additional upgrades include keyless ignition/entry, heated front seats, synthetic leather upholstery throughout, and an eight-way power driver's seat with memory function for multiple drivers.

Toyota RAV4 Limited

Toyota RAV4 Review: Limited Trim | CarMax

In the 2016 model year, the RAV4 Limited is the top tier trim available. This trim has a number of upgrades, including an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a larger touchscreen interface with more connectivity features, and an included navigation system.

Toyota RAV4 Platinum (New for 2017)

The RAV4 Platinum trim is available only in the 2017 model year, and comes with a number of additional technology features, such as a premium sound system, smart device integration, and HD radio. These upgrades are probably worth the added cost for anyone who has a long daily commute or embarks on road trips throughout the year.

Toyota RAV4 Review: Aerial View | CarMax
One incredible feature that is probably going to be in high demand in the coming years is the 360-degree camera. The 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum offers drivers a “Birds Eye View” and perimeter scan. Drivers can get an aerial view of the vehicle in order to see the immediate surroundings in every direction.

What are some of the best Toyota RAV4 features?

There are numerous features in the 2016 and 2017 RAV4 model years, conveniently available on all trim levels.

Easy-to-use infotainment system

Toyota RAV4 Review: Infotainment | CarMax

The standard 6.1-inch touchscreen interface available on 2016 and 2017 RAV4s has plenty of intuitive and easy-to-use features, including the ability to connect via Bluetooth® to a cell phone for hands-free calling.

Standard roof rails included

In addition to offering plenty of cargo space inside the vehicle, all models and trims of the 2016-2017 RAV4 boast standard roof rails for added cargo storage. This is great for those who are looking for a midsized crossover SUV that will suit a more outgoing and rugged lifestyle.

Toyota RAV4 NHTSA Safety Ratings

Both the 2016 and 2017 RAV4 boast five-star overall safety ratings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Some vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Some standard safety features of the 2017 RAV4 include:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • a rearview camera
  • antilock brakes

Used Toyota RAV4 2014-2017 pricing at CarMax

As one of the more affordably priced midsized crossovers on the market, the Toyota RAV4 can be a great option for those who are on a budget but don't want to sacrifice on features or performance in the process. At CarMax, the average selling price for 2014-2016 model years of the RAV4 is under $22,000 (as of December 2017).1 The average price for a 2017 Toyota RAV4 as of December 2017 is under $25,000.1

Fuel economy: What can you expect?

The Toyota RAV4 has good fuel economy compared to many vehicles in its class. The 2016 and 2017 RAV4 base trim (AWD, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder automatic) gets an estimated, combined average of 25 mpg (23 city and 29 highway).2 The 2016 RAV4 is available in a hybrid, which features a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that can get an estimated 32 mpg (34 city, 30 highway).2

Which makes and models compare to the Toyota RAV4?

The bottom line

A Toyota RAV4 can make an excellent choice for anybody in the market for a midsized crossover SUV.

Looking for more information?

1Based on prices on carmax.com in November, 2017. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
2Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.