2018 Toyota Rav4

Will It Continue To Be The Best Selling Compact SUV?

The Latest Reviews, Pictures, Price and Incentives

by Bill Flitter

Dad, Coffee Lover, Coach, First Car: '79 Camaro

2018 TOYOTA RAV4, THE FIRST REVIEWS.

We last looked at the top selling SUVs in August of 2017. It’s no doubt the Toyota Rav4 outsells compact SUVs in its class. Will the 2018 Toyota Rav4 continue its dominance?

The release of the 2018 Rav4 is receiving a pretty modest reception. In the ever-popular crossover segment, Toyota’s RAV4 delivers the basics, but often comes in middle of the road when compared to its competitors, especially on gas mileage and overall features.

Vintage Toyota Rav4

The Rav4 was the first compact crossover SUV. It first came to market in Japan and Europe in 1994, and in North America in 1995. Although not all RAV4s are four-wheel-drive, RAV4 stands for “Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive.” source: Wikipedia

The 2018 Toyota Rav4, The First Reviews. What Has People Talking?

Tougher Trim Options for the “Adventurer”

The 2018 RAV4’s Adventure model adds a half an inch of clearance to the base model – so maybe less of an addition for actual trail driving and more for getting over those big city curbs – but regardless, it does look a little more rugged than the other traditional RAV4 model options, especially when paired with the all-new Ruby Flare Pearl paint job.

Standard Features of the Adventurer

The Adventure grade RAV4 also comes standard with a roof rack, larger flares around the fenders and wheel wells, as well as panel guards along the bottom for more protection. The “hearty” 18-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels add to the overall sportier look of the Adventure RAV4 but I don’t know how good they would actually be for off-roading.

Optional Features of the Adventurer

The Adventure RAV4 comes optional with four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and both versions feature a standard tow package that includes an upgraded radiator and supplemental engine oil and transmission fluid coolers. When coupled with the optional tow hitch receiver and wiring harness, the FWD Adventure grade RAV4 can tow up to 2,900 pounds and the AWD model can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Includes all-weather floor and cargo mats. Bonus!

Outside of that, the only other distinguishing feature to the Adventure grade RAV4 is the mountain logo you will find on the rear bumper and on the door sill protectors.

2018 Toyota Rav4 Adventurer
2018 Toyota Rav4 Reviews, Pictures and Price

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Practical, and Plenty of Room for Passengers

The RAV4 nails it in functionality, especially when it comes to the basics – like the backseat. But that’s also nothing new. The RAV4 has plenty of leg room, head room and even accounted for things like the actual size of a bottle fitting in the backdoor side compartment. There is also plenty of storage space, which is an obvious but often overlooked design feature that Toyota has not neglected – especially in the RAV4.

Not to mention – and again they are not breaking any glass ceilings with this one, but – the backseats recline and also can be folded forward for more storage space. Several other crossover utility vehicles have built this in as standard as well, including the Subaru Forester, but it’s the practical but vital features like this that get the RAV4 some of its most rave reviews.

2018 Toyota Rav4 Reviews, Pictures and Price

Versatile Functionality, Including Four-Wheel Drive

In true Toyota fashion, there is a lot that can be customized, added, or detracted from its vehicle makes and models. The RAV4 is no exception, and one of its finest features is the fact that consumers can select all-wheel drive – a great option even for northerners – as well as four-wheel drive.

This year in particular, there are even more color combinations and features that can you add to truly build a crossover that makes the most sense for you. Case in point, the Adventurer down to the basic LE model of the RAV4 – with several customizations optional in between.

Add in the fact that the RAV4 has multiple hybrid options and it is easy to see. This crossover can successfully go from campsite to corporate office and fit in in every environment.

Versatile? We think so.

2018 Toyota Rav4 Reviews, Pictures and Prices

2018 Toyota RAV4: Model Features and Safety Specs

All 2018 Toyota RAV4 models come equipped with eight standard airbags, and integrated features like Toyota’s Star Safety System as well as their Safety Sense package.

The Toyota Safety Sense package includes:
• Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
• Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
• Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
• Automatic High Beams

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 comes available in these model options:
• LE, LE Hybrid, XLE, XLE Hybrid, Adventure, SE, SE Hybrid, Limited, Limited Hybrid, Platinum
• Most RAV4 engines are 2.5-liter and 176 horsepower, but there are also 194-horesepower hybrid options as well.

Toyota Rav4 Features and Safety Specs

What Toyota is saying about the Rav4:

  • “The right choice for any adventure.”
  • “Roughing it never felt so good.”
  • “Explore everything. Including your limits.”
  • “A rewarding space where technology meets luxury. Enjoy every trip, from uphill to downtown.”

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Overall Review

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is a member of the fourth generation of the make and model. It most certainly has come a long way since its initial debut in the U.S. in 1995. Remember that boxy, two-door option with the branded spare tire on the back? We do! But the 2018 release has consumers eager to see what the fifth generation will look like. With the RAV4 release of updates happening every 5-7 years, the next major upgrade will roll-out in 2019 or 2020.

In typical Toyota fashion, it has built the RAV4 with practicality as a primary priority. Slowly the RAV4 has modernized, but perhaps one of its best qualities is in its simplistic design.

Our thoughts: go into the 2018 Toyota RAV4 with an open mind and low-ish expectations on being wowed. And for sure give it a test drive if you have not been in one post-2012. There is a lot to see in this model.