I bought my new 2017 RAV4 SE the end of December 2016. I sold my 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 4 Matic and wanted an SUV because I retired and want to play in a band and neeed room for my drums. I chose Toyota because they are so reliable. I love this SUV but I'm sorry that I didn't get the Hybrid because the gas mileage is NOT good (very disappointed). The ride and comfort is excellent and the visability is great. The blind spot alert could have been better, it lights up yellow rather than bright Red and doesn't beep when a car is in the blind spot and you have the blinker on. All in all it's a great SUV except for the gas mileage.
If you are in the market for a small SUV it will be worth your time to seriously consider the Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 has made astonishing improvements to the RAV4 since the early 2000s when my brother-in-law owned one. Stylish, modern, high tech and smooth ride. The 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine mated to a 6 speed transmission provides good performance. It's good on fuel and with Toyota offering 0% APR for 60 months what a deal. It was too good to pass up. This is my fourth Toyota and Toyota has consistently proved to be reliable vehicles.
We previously drove a 2010 version of this car, same Limited Trim/ All wheel drive. Live in a Northern state so we need All Wheel Drive and Leather seats with seat heaters. The drivability of the car is great due to it's 6 speed transmission. It is not a race car but drives reasonably well. It's driven by myself and my wife. If driven gently mpg are in the 30s. Very pleased overall. One odd thing we found is the rear seat warning lights were on some days and off on others upon start up. It turns out the lights are triggered by the opening of the back doors so if the doors are opened between having been driven the warning lights come on upon start-up. If the doors had not been opened the lights do not come on. I had to call Toyota, the dealer had no idea how they worked.
We compared both the new 2017 Mazda CX-5 and the RAV4 and while both are excellent compact SUVs, my wife preferred the lower dashboard and simpler console of the RAV4, so that's how we went. The new XLE version is so much quieter than our older 2011 RAV4 and has a much improved ride. The Entune sound system is likewise deserving of high marks, and even though it doesn't have Apple Car Play, it works seamlessly with both Bluetooth and the lightning/USB connection for music, calls, etc. Very impressive. On the mechanical side, the RAV has real good pickup and has kept us in the 30-31 mpg range on our two highway trips thus far. For an AWD vehicle that's not too shabby! Overall we are extremely pleased with our purchase. Given Toyota's legendary reliability, we expect to enjoy the RAV4 for quite some time. Lastly, the only improvements I would recommend for the XLE level would be: an additional USB port either in the console or in the rear of the console, the option for heated seats, and a wider choice of cloth seat and dash colors.
I had my vehicle, 2004 4Runner, in the dealer shop and had to rent a car. The Toyo dealer rented cars and I decide on the RAV4 AWD LE. First thing I did was reduce the tire pressure to the vehicles door jam specification. Here is my take. Its not as quiet as my 2004 4Runner, especially on rough roads. On the Freeway it is quiet, so long as the road surface is good. Seats are comfy but the hip bolstering can make it difficult to get out of the vehicle. Stereo sounded pretty good at a stop or stop light, but the sound quality goes down hill as the speed increases. Its nimble and the short wheel base takes all of the credit. The MPG was around 24 with lots of city driving, I'm not a lead foot or a grandpa driver. So would I consider this for purchase? No, the deal breaker is the amount of noise that makes into the car. I'd like to add that on the previous day I had a 2017 Ford Fusion hybrid and that thing was luxury quiet, on any road surface. I use to have a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and that thing was quieter and more fun to drive than the RAV4. So there is my take, good luck with your decision.