The 2018 Toyota RAV4 has a lot going for it, including a hybrid model, but you’d be wise to cross-shop its rivals as well.
If you’re in the market for a five-seat compact crossover SUV, or at least some combination of those attributes, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 is almost certainly on your list. After all, it’s one of the best-selling cars on the road, a crossover as likely to be seen in Portland, Oregon, as it is Portland, Maine.
It deserves its popularity, at least for the most part. We’ve rated the 2018 RAV4 at 7.1 out of 10 points because of its roominess, its ride quality, and its high level of standard safety equipment. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The 2018 RAV4 is offered in LE, SE, Adventure, XLE, Limited, and Platinum trim levels with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
This year, the RAV4 can look a little tougher if the right options are selected. The new RAV4 Adventure trim level adds a modest suspension lift to both front- and all-wheel-drive versions. It’s not actually any more buff than before, but the roughly half inch of extra clearance should help it tackle trails—and maybe curbs—a little better than before. It’s joined by newly optional heated seats on the XLE trim level. Additionally, a Ruby Flame Pearl paint color has been added to the palette.
All versions of the RAV4 come standard with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed automatic, while the sporty SE and swanky Limited are available with a more powerful and efficient hybrid powertrain that pairs to a continuously variable transmission. Gas-only RAV4s are offered in front- and all-wheel drive, while all hybrids are fitted with a sophisticated electronic all-wheel-drive system to send power to each wheel.
The RAV4 rides comfortably and muffles out most road and wind roar, but non-hybrid models can feel pokey compared to rivals’ turbocharged engines.
RAV4s are available in a wide array of trim levels to fit any budget, but a fully loaded model can top $35,000. No matter how much you spend, you’ll net some important safety tech as standard like automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.