Inside the Toyota Rav4

The new Rav4 from Toyota hit the scene and impressed enthusiasts with high-tech features and improvements. It boasts a spacious cabin, user-friendly infotainment system and unique styling that make it attractive to a wide variety of consumers. It's loaded with entertainment choices, safety features, and added benefits and it's ranked as one of the safest vehicles in its class. The 2017 RAV4 also saves at the pump, but that's not the only thing that has consumers so happy. There are five trim options, and each has their own perks and pitfalls, so read on to get the dirt on the new Toyota RAV4.


How does the RAV4 compare to others in its class?

One of the biggest concerns for consumers is fuel economy. When shopping for an SUV, this can be an exceptionally daunting hunt that frustrates shoppers. Though, the 2017 RAV4 finishes above average in its class for fuel economy. It does lack some acceleration when compared to other like vehicles, but depending on a driver's priorities, this may not be an issue. The engine in the RAV4 is slightly smaller than others in its class as well (like the Subaru Forester), which contributes to this issue. The RAV4 is also completely packed with technology and safety features that outshine other vehicles in its class. It also receives rave reviews for its intuitive driving platform and overall comfort.


What are some of the cons?

The 2017 RAV4 is ideal for those with an active lifestyle, but where it falls short is in its rugged abilities. It's not an ideal vehicle for traveling off-road due to the chassis and tires (which are made for asphalt conditions). In addition to that, it has low-level towing abilities and wouldn't make a great companion for consumers who are looking to bring a heavy trailer along for the ride. The RAV4 can only tow up to 1,500 pounds, which would accommodate a small trailer and dirt bike, but nothing substantial. If it were being used for all-weather driving as a daily driver, the RAV4 would perform exceptionally well. If it's not expected to keep up with off-road demands, it'll leave happy owners in its path. Additional consumer complaints have been in regards to the interior of the vehicle, stating that it contains too much plastic. Though, if Toyota were looking to cut costs in one area, it's nice to see that the interior is what took the hit. Many manufacturers skimp on entertainment features and safety add-ons. With the option to upgrade the interior to the SofTex material, this is one complaint that can be easily overlooked.


What are the safety features of the 2017 RAV4?

The RAV4 has one of the highest safety ratings in its class. It contains eight airbags, a forward collision warning system, automatic high beams, radar-based cruise control, pedestrian pre-collision technology, lane departure alerts and a pre-collision braking system. In addition to all of those stock features, there is a four-camera, 360-degree visual system that gives full exterior views to the driver. Toyota blew industry standards out of the water and certainly raised the bar with all of their included safety features. It's no wonder that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the vehicle the highest safety rating possible, awarding it five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gave the 2017 RAV4 stellar reviews, where it earned the elite "Top Safety Pick+" award.


What's great about the rest of the interior?

Without addressing the entertainment system and EnTune technology, the RAV4 comes stocked with features. It caters to active consumers on the go and houses a 12-volt outlet, a USB port and LED lighting. To keep the driver comfortable, the RAV4 contains air conditioning, tilt/telescoping on the steering wheel, cruise control and electronic heating for the steering wheel. When consumers choose the XLE trim package, they're greeted with a sunroof, fog lights and automatic climate control. For the SE, Platinum and Limited models, the RAV4 sports SofTex upholstery. SofTex is a leather alternative with a luxurious, high-end feel but added durability. The Limited also includes an automatically dimming rearview mirror and 18-inch alloy wheels.


What are the entertainment features within the RAV4?

The most impressive addition to the 2017 RAV4 is the 7.0-inch touchscreen with four different settings options. The two elite levels combine the Entune technology with iHeartRadio, App Suite, Pandora, and Bing with additional app features. Drivers can enable, Open Table and Yelp. This allows consumers to head out to a fun date night and coordinate everything from the passenger seat of their RAV4. Additional options include satellite radio and an upgraded sound system. The JBL Sound System option includes 11 speakers and 576 watts of crisp entertainment.


What is the cost of the 2017 Toyota Rav4?

The base trim packages start at an MSRP of $24,910. Given the RAV4's loaded features, reliable drivetrain and size, it's an attractive price to consumers who are looking for the "full package." All-wheel-drive is an option that will cost consumers an additional $1,400, but the price for the feature is standard for the industry. When drivers take into account the fuel economy and comfort of the RAV4, the base price is extremely appealing for its class.


How does it measure up for gas mileage and fuel economy?

Given the 2017 RAV4's size, it does an amazing job at the pump. The hybrid model is the most economical, with an EPA estimated 32 miles per gallon (combined). The LE and XLE trim packages are outfitted with front-wheel-drive and have an estimated 26 combined miles per gallon. Broken down, these models are estimated at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The four-wheel-drive models will achieve 25 miles per gallon, combined. Broken down, this equates to 22 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. For drivers who are interested in the higher trim packages (Platinum and Limited), they'll be looking at 25 miles per gallon, combined. The higher trim packages come in all-wheel-drive and net drivers an EPA estimates 23 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway.


What's under the hood of the new Toyota RAV4?

Toyota offers two different powertrain options for the 2017 RAV4, which comes in five trim packages (LE, XLE, SE, Platinum and Limited). It is also available in a hybrid. The base engine is a four-cylinder that pushes out 176 horsepower, with 2.5-liters and a six-speed automatic transmission. The base model has a "sport shift mode" that drivers can choose to enable, which allows the vehicle to corner effortlessly at high speeds. The grip and balance of the added mode are remarkable for a base-model package. In addition to that, the base model can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just under nine seconds. It's not the quickest dragster in the world, but it's quite impressive for a vehicle of its size. The hybrid is surprisingly efficient, as well. It pushes out 67 horsepower from its electric unit and has an all-wheel-drive platform that uses a separate motor with 50kw to get the job done.

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