The 2018 Toyota RAV4 represents the sixth generation, and possibly the final year of the current generation, as it is completely redesigned. It received refinements here and there and some additional safety features, but this is still largely a vehicle that focuses on utilities. And all of its standard safety features and spacious interiors help it stay relevant even though almost all of its rivals are redesigned.
Test drive the RAV4 and some other popular crossover and you’ll find that the RAV4 feels a bit out of date. The utility-focused interior does not get the refinement, style and quality of the main rivals can feel luxurious. You can not even get genuine leather upholstery in this car. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is also less attractive to drive, with substandard handling and the engine lacks in terms of acceleration and fuel savings. Tech features are also lacking, true it has standard safety technology, but Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and onboard Wi-Fi are not available.
In fact, this problem is most clearly seen at higher trim levels. The cheaper RAV4 like the XLE is able to provide space benefits and standard safety equipment. If you shop at that price range, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 is worth to picks, but also checks for higher value crossovers like Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox and Mazda CX-5.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV. It’s offered in six trim levels: LE, XLE, Adventure, SE, Limited and Platinum. The RAV4 Hybrid is review separately.
Standard features for the base LE includes 17-inch steel wheels, rear privacy glass, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding and reclining second-row seat, a rearview camera, a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, one USB port, and a six-speaker sound system with 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 and automatic emergency braking.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a sunroof, extending sun visors, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded interior trim, more aggressively bolstered front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Heated front seats with a power-adjustable driver adjustment are optional.
The new Adventure trim adds 18-inch black alloy wheels, special styling, fender flares, a lifted suspension (6.5 inches of ground clearance), all-weather floor mats, a leather-wrapped shift knob and a 120-volt outlet in the cargo area. The optional Cold Weather package for the Adventure adds a windshield wiper de-icer, a heated steering wheel, the power driver seat, and heated front seats.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 SE gets the same unique styling and ground clearance hike as the Adventure, but also adds sportier suspension tuning, 18-inch silver alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, automatic LED headlights, LED taillights, steering-wheel shift paddles, an upgraded rearview camera, heated front seats, the power driver seat with lumbar adjustment and SofTex simulated leather upholstery.
Also standard for the SE is Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation package that adds HD radio, satellite radio, and a Scout GPS navigation app. These features are optional on LE, XLE and Adventure.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited gets the XLE styling, suspension tuning and ground clearance, but keeps its equipment upgrades. It also adds chrome exterior trim, keyless ignition and entry, unique 18-inch wheels, a height-adjustable power liftgate, an auto-dimming mirror, driver-seat memory functions, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, the Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite package (optional on XLE and Adventure) that adds Toyota navigation system and a 7-inch higher-resolution touchscreen.
Most of the Limited features can be added to the XLE, Adventure and SE trim levels via Extra Value packages.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Platinum adds fancier exterior trim, front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree parking camera, a hands-free liftgate, a heated steering wheel, and the Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite package (optional on SE and Limited). All of the Platinum features can be added to the SE and Limited through an Advanced Technology package.
Every 2018 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive available as an option. In performance testing, an AWD Toyota RAV4 SE accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, which is an average time for a small crossover with a four-cylinder engine.
The EPA estimates fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive RAV4 at 26 mpg combined (23 city/30 highway) while the all-wheel-drive version returns 25 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway). These numbers are slightly lower than the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 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 has 38.4 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the second row and capacity up to 73.3 cubic feet, which is one of the largest capacities in the class.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 has available on dealership now. Official pricing will start from $24,410 and top out at $36,150. The 2018 RAV4 competition will include the Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, and Honda CR-V.