2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review
Pros & Cons
- Great fuel economy for a compact crossover
- Small price premium over standard RAV4
- One of the biggest, more useful cargo areas of any compact crossover
- Advanced safety and driver aids come standard
- Interior more utilitarian in look and feel than those of competitors
- Less useful interior storage as well
- Noticeable shudder when gas engine kicks in
- Real leather seating is not available
Which RAV4 Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating7.2 / 10
If you're having trouble picking a compact crossover, we don't blame you. There's a ton of them. They're all pretty good, and they often even look alike. Among this group, the regular Toyota RAV4 doesn't stand out much. In general, we've found rivals such as the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 to be more refined, engaging and even luxurious. But the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has something even those models lack: exceptional fuel economy.
The higher fuel economy of the RAV4 Hybrid allows it to exit the shadows and draw attention to itself. That would be, perhaps not surprisingly, its fuel economy of 32 mpg combined. None of its conventionally powered competitors can match that and it doesn't come with an overly prohibitive price premium.
When you consider that along with its standard safety tech, huge interior, surprising acceleration and, yes, Toyota's reliability reputation, the RAV4 Hybrid becomes one of the must-drive vehicles in the segment.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid as one of Edmunds' Best Hybrid SUVs for this year.
2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid models
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain. It consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and three motor generators — one that powers various vehicle systems, one that powers the front wheels and one that powers the rear wheels, effectively creating a standard all-wheel-drive system. Total system output is 194 horsepower. There are four trim levels: LE, XLE, SE and Limited. The regular RAV4's Adventure and Platinum trims are not available.
The new-for-2018 LE base trim comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, integrated blind-spot mirrors, rear privacy glass, roof rails, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, and a 60/40-split folding and reclining second-row seat.
Also standard is Toyota Safety Sense P (forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams), a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, one USB port, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, a media player interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
The XLE adds foglights, a sunroof, an upgraded rearview camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation package that includes satellite radio, HD radio, Siri Eyes Free and a Scout GPS smartphone-based navigation system. Heated front seats with eight-way power adjustment for the driver is optional.
The SE adds sportier suspension tuning, 18-inch wheels, special exterior styling, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems (optional on XLE), automatic LED headlights, LED running lights and taillights, a height-adjustable power liftgate, an eight-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, heated front seats and SofTex vinyl upholstery.
The Limited reverts to the XLE's styling and suspension tuning, but includes the SE's other upgrades. It further adds front and rear parking sensors, chrome exterior trim, driver-seat memory functions, an auto-dimming mirror, and the Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite (optional on the XLE and SE) that includes a 7-inch higher-resolution touchscreen, a variety of smartphone apps and an integrated hard-drive-based Toyota navigation system. A hands-free liftgate is a stand-alone option.
An 11-speaker JBL audio system can be added to the SE and Limited trim levels as either a stand-alone item or within an Advanced Technology package that also includes a bird's-eye view parking camera, and on the SE, the parking sensors and auto-dimming mirror. The XLE's Hybrid Convenience package adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, the power liftgate, and the Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App suite.
|Overall||7.2 / 10|
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the RAV4 Hybrid models:
- Pre-Collision System
- Warns the driver of a possible impact with other cars or pedestrians. Can automatically apply the brakes if necessary.
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Matches the speed of vehicles ahead when cruise control is in use on the highway. Generically known as adaptive cruise control.
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Warns you when drifting out of your lane and intervenes with steering input if needed. Generically known as lane keeping assist.