If you have trouble choosing a compact crossover, you are not alone. Because there are many of them. They are all pretty good, and often look the same. In this segment, Toyota RAV4 does not stand out. In general, rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V to be more apeal, smooth and even luxurious. But the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has something that those models don’t have: impresive fuel economy.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid high fuel economy allows it to get out of the shadows and attract buyers attention. It will, since it has a fuel economy of 32 mpg combined. No conventional opponent can compete against it and does not come with an overpriced premium price.
If you consider it, plus with its standard safety technology, excellent interiors, fast acceleration and Toyota reliability reputation, the RAV4 Hybrid becomes one of the vehicles you must test in this segment.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV. There are four trim levels available: LE, XLE, SE and Limited. The regular RAV4 review separately.
The new base LE trim comes standard with keyless ignition and entry, automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, roof rails, rear privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding and reclining second-row seat, integrated blind-spot mirrors, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface, one USB port, and a six-speaker sound system with a media player interface, a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
Also standard is the Toyota Safety Sense P, which includes automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE adds a sunroof, foglights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an upgraded rearview camera, and the Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation package that includes a Scout GPS smartphone-based navigation system, Siri Eyes Free, HD radio, and satellite radio. Heated front seats with eight-power driver adjustment is optional.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SE adds special exterior styling, 18-inch wheels, sportier suspension tuning, LED running lights and taillights, automatic LED headlights, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems (optional on XLE), a height-adjustable power liftgate, SofTex vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, and an eight-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited are build on XLE trim, but includes the SE features except the styling and suspension tuning. It also adds chrome exterior trim, front and rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming mirror, driver-seat memory functions, and the Entune Premium Audio with Integrated App Suite and Navigation (optional on the XLE and SE) which includes a 7-inch touchscreen, an integrated hard-drive-based Toyota navigation system and a variety of smartphone apps. A hands-free liftgate is a stand-alone option.
The Advanced Technology package for Limited adds a bird’s eye view parking camera, an 11-speaker JBL audio system and on the SE its also adds parking sensors and an auto-dimming mirror. The XLE Convenience package adds the power liftgate, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and Entune Premium Audio with Integrated App suite and Navigation.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain system. It combines 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with three motor generators and continuously variable transmission. One that powers various vehicle systems, one that powers the front wheels and one that powers the rear wheels, it’s effectively creating a standard all-wheel-drive system. Together they produce total output is 194 horsepower.
In performance testing, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid accelerates from 0 to 60 7.8 seconds and hit quarter-mile in 16 flat, which are fairly impressive time. The EPA rates the RAV4 Hybrid fuel consumption at 32 mpg combined (34 city/30 highway), making it one of the most efficient compact crossovers available.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid interior is a mixture style of silver-plastic and soft surface that has been around for several years but ages well. Some climate and audio controls feel a bit fragile, but cupholders are sufficient, not many handy storage spaces like those found on the Honda CR-V. Even so, the cabin feels roomy and works well. You will not find genuine leather seats, since the RAV4 Hybrid only comes with cloth or leatherette.
The rear passenger has a low mounted cushion, but headroom is abundant even for the taller adults. The 60/40-split seatbacks is also very good since it provides a large amount of recline adjustment.
At the rear, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has 35.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which is quite a lot, but smaller than a non-hybrid model, because of its large battery pack. Fold the second row and capacity up to 70.6 cubic feet, which is still on top with the largest in its class.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has available on dealership now. Official pricing will start from $27,135 and top out at $34,030. The 2018 RAV4 Hybrid competition will include the Kia Niro, Nissan Rogue, and Honda CR-V.