Which 2018 Toyota RAV4 Is Right for You?
The Toyota RAV4 may be a smaller SUV, but it has plenty to offer. The issue lies when you try to decide between the eight RAV4 models that Toyota offers. After this detailed guide, you’ll be able to pick which one is your favorite based on features included.
The Toyota RAV4 LE with has a price comparable to many four-wheel-drive sedans, at a starting MSRP of $24,410. Since the SUV is relatively small, it isn’t equipped with a massive engine like you’d find in a full-size SUV similar to the Escalade. Drivers will find a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, 176hp engine that can get up to 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
The exterior doesn’t have a lot of features that make it stand out from other SUVs on the market. However, it does include an acoustic noise-reducing front windshield, roof rails, and privacy glass on the rear side, quarter, and liftgate windows.
On the inside, the LE is equipped with Entune Audio, including a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, AM/FM radio, hands-free phone capability, Bluetooth connectivity, and six speakers. Finally, the LE also includes cruise control, keyless entry, a backup camera, and three 12-volt outlets.
The safety features for the LE features the Toyota Safety Sense package—which is standard in nearly all their vehicles. It includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alerts with steering assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. You also get a suite of safety features designed to aid braking, traction, and stability.
An all-wheel-drive version is available for $25,810, though it reduces your mileage to 22 city and 28 highway.
The XLE is a step up from the LE, with a starting MSRP of $25,500, and it comes with a lot more than the LE. Immediately exterior differences that drivers may notice are front bumper fog lights, turning signals indicators, power heated outside mirrors, and a powerslide moonroof with sunshade.
Some XLE packages may include Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation, which allows traffic and weather updates in major metro areas and includes all the same features as the Entune Audio found in the LE. You can also control that audio from the leather-trimmed steering wheel. An AWD version is available for $26,900, which reduces MPG.
The XLE also comes as a hybrid with the starting MSRP of $29,030. It doesn’t include many upgrades other than the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, ECVT engine. Since it’s a hybrid, it’s possible to get up to 34 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. That might not sound great compared to a Prius, but it’s impressive for an SUV. Along with the efficient engine, you get an electronic on-demand smart AWD system. What that ultimately means is that your bump in price isn’t just for a hybrid, it’s for AWD.
New for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 lineup is an Adventure trim starting at $27,700. It’s designed to offer more for someone that wants to take their RAV4 traveling. It comes with a towing capacity of 2,900 pounds because of the Tow Prep package—which is a huge step up from 1,500 pounds with the other trims. This trim also comes with a higher ride height, 18-inch alloy wheels, lower bodyguards, black headlight bezels, and fog light surrounds. For more control, you can upgrade to the all-wheel-drive for $28,400.
The SE is a price increase to an MSRP of $28,790. But in this case, you definitely get what you pay for. Features of the exterior include LED daytime running lights in lieu of the standard halogen ones. Drivers will also notice that the outside mirrors add blind spot indicators in addition to turning signals indicators. You also get a power liftgate with jam protection.
The cabin of the SE comes with some nice additions, as well. The biggest change is the power adjustable, heated front seating. The second row gets an upgrade, too, though, with SofTex-trimmed fabric. You also get a 4.2-inch “Multi-Information Display” that communicates a wide range of info right on your dashboard. An AWD version is available for $30,190.
The four-wheel-drive SE Hybrid starts at $32,185 and experiences few changes from the SE beyond the obvious “hybrid” part. It has the same 2.5-liter, four-cylinder hybrid engine and electronic AWD that the XLE Hybrid has. Aside from that, it’s nearly identical to the SE. As you might expect, it gets the same mileage as the XLE Hybrid—up to 34 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
The Limited FWD version has a price of $30,905 and includes a few more standard features compared to the SE. The exterior has front and rear parking sonar that warns you if you get too close to other objects when parking. You also get different tires and chrome outside door handles.
But the interior is where you’ll see the most change. First of all, the Limited includes Entune’s App Suite that allows access to destination search, iHeartRadio, Facebook Places, Yelp, Pandora, and so much more. The sound system also improves with the inclusion of Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation. It has everything the previous Entune Audio has plus HD radio technology, a slightly larger (7-inch) touchscreen, seven speakers, Doppler radar, and predictive traffic. Drivers will also find little niceties like a leather-trimmed shift lever and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. An AWD version is available for $32,305.
Like the other Toyota RAV4 Hybrids, nothing much changes between the Limited and the Limited Hybrid. It’s the same price/mileage tradeoff as the others. The MSRP is $34,030, and the fuel economy is 34 city and 30 highway. Once again, you get the electronic AWD, as well.
The Platinum is the top-tier 2018 Toyota RAV4 trim and has a starting MSRP of $34,750. For this price, the Platinum contains all the features anyone could need in their SUV. Compared to the Limited, it adds an automatic limited-slip differential and a bird’s-eye view camera of the vehicle. You also get a heated steering wheel, platinum doorsill protectors, a Smart Key System, and a hands-free, height-adjustable, foot (or remote)-activated liftgate. The entertainment system is the highest quality with Entune Premium JBL, which beefs up your audio system to a whopping 11 JBL GreenEdge speakers with subwoofer. There isn’t a hybrid version of the Premium, but you get an AWD version for $36,150.
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