2015 Toyota RAV4 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy interior for people and cargo
  • strikes a good balance between ride comfort and sure-footed handling.
  • No engine upgrade option
  • usefulness of available Entune smartphone features is diminished by cumbersome setup process.
List Price Range
$12,490 - $19,831

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Although the 2015 Toyota RAV4 isn't a standout in any one area, its combination of features, passenger space and everyday utility warrant a closer look if you're shopping for a small crossover.

Vehicle overview

With their up-for-anything personality, easy-to-park size and sensible appetite for fuel, compact crossovers are some of the most popular vehicles on the road. Versatility is their greatest asset, as you can easily fill them with car seats, groceries, sports equipment or the latest spoils from an antiquing trip and be on your merry way. Among these practical SUVs, the Toyota RAV4 has long been a favorite of savvy shoppers of all ages and tastes.

Thanks to increasingly more competent rivals, the 2015 Toyota RAV4 isn't quite the no-brainer pick anymore. Still, you'll likely find that it checks off most of the boxes on your "must-have" list. The "compact" classification is almost unjust, given the Toyota RAV4's roomy passenger and cargo compartments. The latter is especially noteworthy not only for its capacity (which at 73.3 cubic feet is among the most generous in its class) but its laudable usability. Whether you're loading it up with a couple of dogs or a couple of bags of heavy top soil, you'll appreciate the cargo bay's low load floor and, on upper trims, the availability of an adjustable-height power liftgate.

A pleasant demeanor on the road makes the RAV4 especially likable. In particular, good outward visibility, a composed attitude around corners and a smooth, quiet ride are character traits anybody can appreciate. But unlike most competitors, this Toyota offers just one engine choice. There's no engine upgrade if you'd like more oomph than the average performance. Also, the RAV4's fuel economy numbers are good, but not class-leading.

Given the quality of the competition in the small crossover class, it's worth checking out a few alternatives. When it comes to all-around versatility, the 2015 Honda CR-V dominates the class thanks to its roomy cabin, abundance of storage compartments, strong fuel economy and quiet, comfortable ride. Those who truly enjoy driving should consider the engaging and athletic 2015 Mazda CX-5, though its interior isn't quite as functional as the others. There's also the well-regarded 2015 Ford Escape, which boasts a choice of three engines and a well-trimmed cabin. Finally, if you plan on taking any off-road excursions, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee is tops in that area, and it's also one of the few models available with a V6 engine.

All things considered, the 2015 Toyota RAV4 is not overwhelmingly strong in any one area, but it shines as a solid, well-rounded entry in a very competitive segment. As such, the RAV4 should easily meet the needs of most shoppers.

2015 Toyota RAV4 models

The 2015 Toyota RAV4 is a five-passenger compact crossover offered in three main trim levels: LE, XLE and Limited.

The LE comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, power-folding mirrors, keyless entry, rear privacy glass, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split and reclining second-row seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The XLE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, roof rails, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, sportier front seats, a cargo cover and extendable sun visors. The audio system is upgraded on the XLE to include satellite radio, HD radio, traffic and weather. Options for the XLE include a height-adjustable power liftgate, a navigation system and Toyota's Entune smartphone app integration.

The top-level Limited comes with all of the above plus 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory settings, heated front seats and premium synthetic leather upholstery.

Options on the Limited include a navigation system bundled with a premium 11-speaker JBL audio system. The Technology package adds a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts, a lane-departure warning system and automatic high-beam control for the headlights. There's also the Blizzard Pearl Premium Package, which features Blizzard Pearl paint along with 18-inch machine-finished wheels with black accents.

2015 Highlights

For 2015, the Toyota RAV4 is essentially unchanged save for a couple of new options and features. Specifically, there is a new Blizzard Pearl appearance package for the Limited, while the XLE picks up new wheels and the option of a power liftgate. Toyota has also revised the RAV4's frontal structure this year to improve the vehicle's score in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety small-overlap frontal-offset crash test.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all versions of the RAV4 are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive Toyota RAV4 took 9.2 seconds to hit 60 mph, an average time for a small crossover with a base four-cylinder engine.

The front-drive RAV4 is EPA-rated at 26 mpg combined (23 city/31 highway) in LE and XLE trim (with a slightly lower 30 mpg highway rating on the Limited); these are good, but not class-leading numbers for a small crossover. All AWD models are rated at 25 mpg combined (22 city/29 highway).

Safety

Standard safety equipment on every 2015 Toyota RAV4 includes antilock disc brakes, a rearview camera, stability control, traction control, whiplash-reducing front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A driver knee airbag is also standard. A rearview camera is standard across the board, while the optional Technology package on the Limited provides blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and lane departure warnings.

In Edmunds brake testing, the RAV4 stopped from 60 mph in 128 feet, which is about 5 feet longer than average.

In government crash tests, the Toyota RAV4 received four out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars awarded for frontal protection and five stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the 2015 RAV4 earned a top score of "Good" for its protection of occupants in the moderate-overlap and small-overlap frontal-offset impact tests. It also earned a "Good" score for the side-impact, roof strength and seats and head restraints tests.

Driving

Most small crossover shoppers will find this Toyota's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine adequate for most tasks and sufficiently fuel-efficient. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but if you tend to drive assertively, you'll find it slow to downshift in passing situations. Additionally, when climbing steady mountain grades, we've noticed that the transmission has a tendency to hunt between gears (rather than picking one gear and sticking with it). Both of these characteristics are likely a consequence of the powertrain being tuned for maximum gas mileage.

The 2015 Toyota RAV4 handles well and feels refined and comfortable when cruising down the highway. A potential exception is the Limited model, which can get a little jittery on rough pavement due to its big 18-inch wheels. In spite of that, the cabin remains very quiet, making Toyota's crossover a good option for families with young children who tend to sleep in the car.

Overall, the RAV4 is similar in personality to Honda's CR-V, and more demanding drivers might find it less enjoyable to drive than sportier crossovers like the CX-5 and Escape, which have more responsive steering and sharper acceleration. If comfort is your overriding priority, though, the Toyota should do right by you. Additionally, if you ever need to venture off the beaten path, the RAV4's available AWD system quickly applies power where it's needed for optimum traction, giving it a decent amount of off-road ability.

Interior

The 2015 Toyota RAV4 features an interior design with pronounced angles and lines that form a streamlined and modern-looking dash. Overall, though, the RAV's design and materials are average for the compact crossover class, and a few of the audio and climate controls feel slightly flimsy. The cupholder count is adequate, but there aren't as many useful storage cubbies as you'll find in the CR-V.

Although all of the RAV4's audio systems have Toyota's Entune branding, only XLE and Limited models with the navigation system include the Entune suite of smartphone-connected services, among these the Bing search engine, Pandora streaming radio and traffic, sports and stock information. There's quite a bit of functionality here, but getting started with Entune can be a hassle: You have to install an app on your phone and register for an account, plus you always need an active data connection to use its features. The touchscreen interface has straightforward menus, but it's sometimes unresponsive to user touch (curiously, we've found the more basic touchscreen in the LE better in this regard). On the upside, all the conventional controls in the 2015 RAV4 are easy to use.

Rear seat passenger comfort is hampered slightly by a low-mounted backseat, but space is nevertheless abundant enough even for taller adults. We also like how the seat provides a large amount of recline adjustment.

The cargo bay measures 38.4 cubic feet and opens up to a generous 73.3 cubes when the second row is folded. That's one of the largest capacities in the class. There's also a payoff for that low-mounted rear seat: a very flat load floor and low load-in height, both of which help minimize the strain of loading heavy items or even a couple of large dogs. The power-operated and height-adjustable liftgate is especially convenient.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Toyota RAV4.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Most reliable crossover on the market
MtnGirl,08/28/2016
XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
This car is SUPER reliable. I have had zero issues with this vehicle and expect to drive it for many years to come. The quality on the interior certainly leaves a bit to be desired, but after trading in my 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee (w 28k miles), I know better than anyone that all the fancy features and cabin comfort in the world do not make up for a mechanically unreliable vehicle. The Jeep was one problem after another, despite having very low miles. In comparison, the Rav4 has needed nothing since the day I drove it off the lot. If some cheap details in the cabin are the worst thing about this SUV, then you know it's a good vehicle. Toyota did not cut corners where it truly counts with this vehicle (i.e. under the hood), except I guess people are upset about the v6 option dissolving. However, the 4 cyl is just fine for me. Do NOT buy this car expecting a luxury ride--buy this car because you want a vehicle that will get you where you need to go no matter what, and will last you 10+ years with minimal problems. Who cares if people think it's "boring" to drive? After my Jeep nightmare, I can tell you that it is WAY more boring to sit at a dealership for hours waiting for repairs!! When you start up the Rav you know you will get to your destination no matter what. At the end of the day, that's all I care about. If you're a buyer with similar priorities, you'll love the 2015 Rav4
Best Compact SUV Lease Choise for Us
gb philly burbs,03/31/2016
LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
We are leasing the 2015 RAV4 AWD 6A LE, replacing a comparable 2012 RAV4. We do a lot of long distance highway driving and find it very comfortable. Overall it is a step improvement over the previous model and we are happy with it, though it is no luxury vehicle. Of the other SUV's we considered, it was the best manufacturer's lease deal. We've been leasing to wait for better SUV fuel economy breakthroughs. Now that a RAV4 Hybrid is available, that is our top purchase candidate. We considered Honda CRV, Subaru Forester, and Subaru Outback. The much more expensive Outback was the best riding, best MPG, most luxurious , and much quieter, but we preferred the upright seating and compacter wheelbase of a true SUV. Of the 3 true SUVs the Toyota was the quietest (both Honda and Subaru still have unacceptable highway wind noise after all these years) and smoothest handling at highway speeds. Like its 2012 predecessor, our RAV4 was flawlessly constructed. The engine purrs and acceleration is very smooth. Handling is good considering the higher center of gravity and weight of an SUV (Forrester wins in this category with it's boxer engine). In strong wind at highway speed handling is jittery due to the high profile and short wheelbase- a lot of micro steering adjustments may be required. Mileage is decent, but not exceptional, and little better than the previous model despite the addition of an extra gear. If I keep it under 65 mph I can handily beat the EPA highway 29 MPG rating. However, on a recent 1200 mile highway drive at 80+/- mph, with some frantic stop and going around metro Washington DC, we averaged 27.6 mpg. Overall I have averaged 26.1 mpg in normal driving mode, lighting up the green ECO LED most of the way. 2017 UPDATE: Just drove 1150 miles from FL to PA with several half hour traffic crawl delays, otherwise averaging 70-80 mph with average mpg of 29.5 in eco mode. I have no problem with the electronic displays and controls. Find them useful, easy to read, and intuitive. Backup camera with guidelines is a great feature. Basic stereo sound is nothing special; works well with USB or music player, easy to set up blue tooth connections. It pisses me off that Toyota doesn't include a driver lumbar support in anything but the XLE model. Seats are fairly comfortable though better for me if I use a Back Joy Sit Smart. Some other areas where you now get less than in the previous model: no overhead sun glass holder, only one in-dash storage box and a useless shelf above it, less console storage, glove box does not lock, no cross bars (but a cheap after market purchase if you need it, and at least you get roof rails on the basic models unlike the CRV), no back seat fold down lever in the storage area, no VARIABLE control for intermittent wiper, no full size spare, plastic wheel covers instead of finished steel wheels. The extra charge floor mats are very cheap, better to get something after market. Some pluses versus 2012, ours included a rear storage cover, backup camera, the rear seat headrests can be easily folded down to improve rear view visibility, in car spare storage and upswing rear door makes rear access much easier, better MPG feedback tools, quieter ride. Rear visibility is excellent (much better than CRV). However, the forward descending body side lines throw you off when trying to align the car in a parking space. Cannot see speedometer when driver seat position is elevated.
All the things you need in a vehicle for today
DelaRAV4,12/04/2015
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Shopped for a variety of vehicles that could be an answer to a variety of situations. The RAV4 checks all the boxes. Oil consumption issues deleted the Subaru Forester from my list; the Crosstrek was a strong contender but the lack of room deleted it from my list as well. Vibration issues with the new Honda CR-V crossed itself off my list. The Subaru Outback had a strong lead, but something in my gut said no. The RAV4 meets most of my criteria. It's a sharp vehicle and Toyota has done its homework in tweaking aerodynamic features to maximize efficiency (vortex generators, anyone?). I came out of a Nissan XTerra, which I loved but was killing me on ergonomics, and was a poor carpooling choice. The RAV4 has a huge rear seat, room to drop the seats and sleep in this vehicle, good cargo carrying capacity, an AWD button that turns all four wheels up to 25mph on demand, a traditional 6spd transmission, great fuel economy (averaging 27mpg mixed, but I did replace the standard air filter with a K&N filter), revised IIHS crash test scoring, expected resale value, and (let's hope) Toyota reliability made me land on the RAV4. The Limited is a rough rider, but 18" wheels and a taut suspension are the reason. The sport button adds life to this machine, and the eco button drains any pep - nice to know those features are there, though. The navigation screen is dismal (best in class for navigation goes to Ford and its SYNC system - miss my C-Max, too!) Stop griping about the lack of a place to store your sunglasses - if that's all you have to complain about, life is pretty good.
Good mountain car
Madeleine,12/11/2015
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I have had this car about a month. I live in the mountains and wanted a car with decent acceleration that would be good in winter weather. The 2.5 engine has been fine even on steep hills at altitude. I've driven it in snowy, icy conditions (with snow tires) and it handles well and feels smooth. The automatic transmission can slide over to manual and a nudge of the shift lever up or down changes the gear. This gives the car the clutch breaking of a standard transmission and I have used it on icy, snowy downhills when I don't want to brake a lot. At first, I used the sport setting on hills, but I've found it climbs as well on the normal setting. I got the Limited because I love the push button start (I'm a key loser) and the automatic headlights. I also like the vinyl seats which are easy to wipe clean. The technology features are helpful. For example, a yellow light appears on the side mirrors when a car is in your blindspot and, when you're in reverse there is a warning if something is about to pass behind. Update- have the car 8 months- 10,000 miles No mechanical problems. Driving this winter, it was really handy to be able to push a button and go into 4 wheel drive. Twice during snowy, icy weather, I used it on an uphill highway ramp. The second time, a light on the dash flashed "4 wheel drive not on" or something like that--hint, hint. It gave me instant traction and shuts off around 25 mpg. The all wheel drive was really excellent the rest of the time. Pros Roomy. Decent back seats and plenty of storage area. Headlights and fog lights great on dark roads Smooth ride with good feel of the road Two memory settings for the drivers seat! I am 5'2" and everyone has to move my seat. My 6'2" husband is comfortable as a passenger. Cons Radio with Sirius is a touch screen- It takes a lot of attention off the road to change stations or settings and it's impossible to see if the sun is hitting it. Also there are no preset buttons for the radio. I can change preset stations (on the touch screen) from the steering wheel but I still have to look down too much to see what is on. Short back window so the rear wiper only cleans a small area. Overall I'm happy with the car. I haven't had problems with it so far. 12/17 I ended up trading this car because I found the controls unsafe. I do mostly highway driving. The Rav4 had a large busy touch screen that took a lot of attention while driving; not just because of the reflection from sun, but listings of radio stations (I have SiriusXM), for example were small, and I needed to look down at the screen, even with the steering adjustment. The heat mode control was in the center and low, with small stick pictures of the heat/def selected. Also the on/off switch for the blind spot monitor is low on the right of the steering wheel and I accidentally shut it off once getting in with snow pants. I tried to remember to check that the light was on when I started driving. There are no dashboard warnings when it and other features, except for traction control, are off or on. I wanted a car with all wheel drive and I like all the techie features. I got a 2017 Impreza Limited with Eyesight because it had a simple touch screen plus a screen on top of the dashboard, in the middle of the windshield, that shows radio info, heat/AC settings, etc. without looking down. Also dashboard warnings when something is turned off or not working because of weather, etc. It also has CarPlay, an app you can use with an iPhone and use voice commands (Siri) for navigation, etc.

Features & Specs

MPG
22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
176 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
176 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
176 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
24 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
176 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2015 Toyota RAV4 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2015 Toyota RAV4

Used 2015 Toyota RAV4 Overview

The Used 2015 Toyota RAV4 is offered in the following submodels: RAV4 SUV. Available styles include XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), and Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Toyota RAV4?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Toyota RAV4 trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Toyota RAV4 XLE is priced between $12,985 and$19,831 with odometer readings between 25249 and121345 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Toyota RAV4 LE is priced between $12,490 and$19,350 with odometer readings between 25601 and113677 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Toyota RAV4 Limited is priced between $14,500 and$19,300 with odometer readings between 28610 and125827 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2015 Toyota RAV4s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Toyota RAV4 for sale near. There are currently 71 used and CPO 2015 RAV4s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,490 and mileage as low as 25249 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Toyota RAV4.

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Find a used Toyota RAV4 for sale - 12 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $10,741.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $24,783.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota RAV4 for sale - 7 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $13,943.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 8 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $24,921.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 Toyota RAV4?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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