SANTA MONICA, CA — December 4, 2018 — The car shopping experts at Edmunds are putting America's best-selling SUV through the ultimate test drive, attempting to drive through all 48 contiguous U.S. states in seven days. Five teams of three drivers will get behind the wheel of the all-new 2019 Toyota RAV4 to test the vehicle's endurance as they evaluate how it stands up to the rigors of an extended road trip.
"We wanted to carry out the ultimate review of the new Toyota RAV4, tackling everything from snow to sand as we drive over 7000 miles in a week. It's an example of the lengths we'll go to deliver an expert verdict on a new vehicle," said Alistair Weaver, Edmunds editor-in-chief and vice president of editorial.
The adventure kicks off on Wednesday, December 5, in Kittery, Maine, with the goal of arriving in in Needles, California, a week later on Wednesday, December 12. The trip is broken into five legs of roughly 1,500 miles each, with teams swapping out in Greenville, South Carolina; Springfield, Illinois; Hot Springs, South Dakota; and Boise, Idaho. The teams will limit stops to brief fuel and meal breaks but will rotate driving responsibilities frequently.
"During the journey each team will have some fun engaging with online audiences and experiencing as much of the local culture as they can along the way, but at the end of the day we're treating this as a legitimate Edmunds vehicle evaluation test," Weaver said. "While this doesn't follow the same convention as our usual testing process, we expect to learn a great deal along the way about the RAV4 that will give helpful insights for car shoppers."
Edmunds has one of the most robust long-term vehicle testing programs in the automotive industry. At any given time, the Edmunds editorial staff has between 16-20 vehicles in its long term test fleet, with the goal of driving at least 20,000 miles in a year. During that time, different members of the editorial team drive the vehicle in their everyday lives, providing feedback on how the vehicle performs in real-world driving situations. Each vehicle is also driven on the Edmunds 120-mile test loop, taken to the Edmunds lab for static testing and put through its paces at the Edmunds test track. In addition to its long-term program, Edmunds tests and reviews more than 200 new cars, trucks and SUVs annually.
For real-time updates from the road, follow the #RAV48States hashtag on Instagram and Twitter. Edmunds editors will also be posting regular dispatches from the road on the Edmunds Road Noise page on Edmunds.com.
Edmunds guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence. Regarded as one of America's best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work, Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.