2018 Toyota RAV4

2018 Toyota RAV4
Save up to $5,112
2018 Toyota RAV4
Save up to $5,112

What’s new

  • Newly available Adventure trim level
  • Sporty SE trim gets increased ride height (6.1 to 6.5 inches)
  • Part of the fourth RAV4 generation introduced for 2013

Pros

  • One of the largest, most versatile cargo areas in the segment
  • Advanced safety and driver aids come standard
  • Rides smoothly in a variety of conditions

Cons

  • Modest acceleration from the only engine
  • Interior has a utilitarian look and feel
  • Ho-hum driving experience


Which RAV4 does Edmunds recommend?

We would opt for the RAV4's new Adventure trim. Its extra ground clearance and sharper styling are appreciated over the XLE, while its pricing and feature content still land in a sweet spot. Upper trim levels just aren't luxurious enough to warrant their extra price relative to the RAV4's ritzier competitors. We would, however, upgrade the Adventure with the Cold Weather package that adds the greatly desired power driver seat, heated front seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Its fabric upholstery is also preferable to the upper trims' unconvincing SofTex simulated leather.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

6.8 / 10

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 represents the current generation's sixth and likely final year since it was completely redesigned. It's received a nip here, a tuck there, and a few extra safety features over the years, but it's largely the same utility-focused vehicle it always has been. And really, it's those standard safety features and its enormous interior that help keep it relevant despite virtually all of its competitors being redesigned.

Take a test drive of the RAV4 and some other top crossovers and you'll likely notice that the RAV4 looks and feels a bit behind the times. Its utility-focused interior lacks the refinement, quality and style of key rivals that can feel borderline luxurious. You can't even get the RAV4 with real leather upholstery. The RAV4 is also less engaging to drive, with subpar handling and an engine that trails in terms of both acceleration and fuel economy. Tech features can also be lacking — yes, safety tech is standard, but Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and onboard Wi-Fi are not available.

To be fair, these issues are most obvious on the RAV4's upper trim levels. Less expensive RAV4s such as the XLE are better able to showcase their space advantages and standard safety equipment. If you're shopping in that price range, the 2018 RAV4 is certainly worth a look, but we also suggest checking out higher-rated crossovers such as the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5.

2018 Toyota RAV4 configurations

The 2018 RAV4 is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV. There are LE, XLE, Adventure, SE, Limited and Platinum trim levels, all of which come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (176 horsepower, 172 pound-feet of torque) and a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels, and all-wheel drive is optional. Unlike most competitors, the RAV4's various trim levels do more than just vary in terms of feature content — they can have slightly different styling and overall characters. For instance, the SE is sportier while the Adventure is more outdoorsy.

The RAV4 LE comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, rear privacy glass, Toyota Safety Sense P (forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams), a rearview camera, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding and reclining second-row seat, a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface, one USB port, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The XLE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, upgraded interior trim, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, more aggressively bolstered front seats and extending sun visors. Heated front seats with a power-adjustable driver adjustment are optional.

The Adventure adds special styling flourishes, 18-inch black alloy wheels, a slightly raised suspension (6.5 inches of ground clearance versus 6.1), fender flares, all-weather floor mats, a leather-wrapped shift knob and a 120-volt household-style outlet in the cargo area. The Cold Weather package, exclusive to the Adventure, adds heated front seats, the power driver seat, a heated steering wheel, and a windshield wiper de-icer.

The SE gets some of the same styling flourishes as the Adventure and the same ground clearance hike, but from there, they differ. The SE adds automatic LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, 18-inch silver alloy wheels, sportier suspension tuning, an upgraded rearview camera, steering-wheel shift paddles, the power driver seat (plus power lumbar adjustment), heated front seats and SofTex simulated leather upholstery.

On the SE, you also get the Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation package that adds satellite radio, HD radio and a Scout GPS navigation app that works through your smartphone connection. It's optional on LE, XLE and Adventure.

The Limited reverts to the XLE's ground clearance, suspension tuning and styling, but keeps its equipment upgrades. It also adds different 18-inch wheels, chrome exterior trim, a height-adjustable power liftgate, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, keyless ignition and entry, driver-seat memory functions, an auto-dimming mirror, and the Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite package (optional on XLE and Adventure) that adds a 7-inch higher-resolution touchscreen and a Toyota navigation system.

Most of the Limited's other functional upgrades can be added to the XLE, Adventure and SE trim levels through a variety of "extra value" packages.

At the top of the RAV4 lineup is the Platinum. It includes front and rear parking sensors, a hands-free liftgate, fancier exterior trim, a 360-degree parking camera, a heated steering wheel, and the Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite package (optional on SE and Limited) that adds an 11-speaker JBL sound system to all the other items featured in the Entune packages. All of the Platinum's extra functional upgrades can be added to the SE and Limited through an Advanced Technology package.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Toyota RAV4 SE (2.5L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, Toyota raised the SE's suspension, which could alter the SE's handling, ride and off-road ratings. Our findings remain broadly applicable, however.

Driving

7.0
The SE's sportier suspension tuning differs from other RAV4 trim levels. It improves its handling ability somewhat, but not enough relative to actually sporty competitors. Every RAV4 feels slow when you flatten the gas pedal, and no upgraded engines are available.

Acceleration

7.0
The RAV4 feels surprisingly punchy around town, and the gas pedal is responsive to your inputs. However, the engine runs out of steam pretty quickly. In Edmunds testing, our test RAV4 needed 9 seconds to accelerate from zero to 60 mph, making it one of the slower vehicles in this class.

Braking

6.0
The brake pedal's action is long and mushy, with very little resistance. You have to press the pedal firmly to bring the RAV4 to a stop. It took 121 feet to halt from 60 mph in our testing, which is an average distance in the compact crossover class.

Steering

7.5
Steering effort is a little heavier than normal for this class. The wheel isn't difficult to turn, however, and it's easy to maneuver into a parking spot. Out on the road, rivals from Ford, Honda and Mazda provide more engaging and confidence-inspiring steering.

Handling

7.0
The RAV4 seems stable around turns, feeling well balanced and predictable. It's easy to drive. But the RAV4 lacks that extra zest offered by competitors that engages the driver. It's a bit of a snooze.

Drivability

7.5
The RAV4 feels just right in its default driving mode. We're not fans of the Eco mode's overly delayed gas-pedal response and eager-to-upshift transmission programming. Even in Sport mode, the transmission doesn't always respond to commands while manually shifting and displays the incorrect gear.

Off-road

A lockable center differential with all-wheel drive, and even the front-wheel drive's limited-slip differential, make the RAV4 a bit more capable than most rivals. However, this is still a light-duty off-roader and its ground clearance (even in the raised SE and Adventure) is nothing special.

Comfort

7.0
The front seats are roomy and shaped well, but only the driver gets lumbar and height adjustment. The seats feel comfortable even on a long road trip, but road noise and wind noise are omnipresent. Ride quality can vary by RAV4 trim level.

Seat comfort

7.0
Front seats are comfy enough, but there's no lumbar adjustment unless you upgrade to the SE (though its imitation leather isn't as comfy as the XLE's cloth). Only the driver seat is height-adjustable. Three-person seating in the back is challenging due to an oddly placed middle seat-belt anchor.

Ride comfort

6.0
The SE's sporty suspension tuning improves handling but not enough to warrant the busier and harsher ride. Perhaps the extra suspension travel for 2018 will change this, but we'd probably stick with any of the other, more comfortable-riding trim levels.

Noise & vibration

6.5
There's not much engine noise at any speed unless you're really pushing the car hard. Levels of wind and tire noise, especially tire smack, are overly intrusive while cruising on the highway. Nowhere as serene as Mazda and Honda rivals.

Climate control

8.0
The dual-zone climate control adeptly cools the interior on a hot day. There are no rear air vents. Toggle switches for the heated seats are hidden depending on viewing angle, so you'll have to remember to switch them off. Even on the low setting, they get nice and toasty.

Interior

7.5
It's easy to enter and exit the RAV4, and most occupants will find the cabin quite roomy. The controls on the upper portion of the center console are easy to reach, but you might have difficulty finding some of the buttons and switches below. Outward visibility is excellent.

Ease of use

7.0
The infotainment system features a nice mix between physical buttons and easy-to-press virtual ones. Eco and Sport buttons are out of the way, as are toggle switches for the heated front seats.

Getting in/getting out

7.5
A low step-in height and tall doors make for easy entry and exit in the front. Steering wheel tilt is limited, and drivers might hit their knees on the column. Entering and exiting the rear are also easy thanks to the seats' lack of contouring.

Driving position

7.5
The driver's seat offers enough range of height adjustment, and the seat bottom angles up nicely. As in many other Toyotas, the steering wheel doesn't offer enough tilt or telescoping adjustment.

Roominess

8.0
There's an abundance of head- and legroom throughout the cabin. Four 6-footers will have no problem on a long road trip. Even the middle seat position has enough headroom for an adult. The side bolsters make the front seats a bit narrow.

Visibility

9.0
The tall and wide windows allow for an expansive view out. There's a sizable window in the three-quarter view that compensates for the wide rear roof pillar. The rear window is also large. Overall, the RAV4 is impressively easy to see out of.

Quality

5.5
The RAV4 looks and feels cheap compared to its top competitors. There's a ton of hard plastic throughout and the utilitarian design doesn't help. SofTex vinyl covers the seats in top four trims, but unlike other faux leathers, it's obviously vinyl. There's no option for real leather.

Utility

7.0
The RAV4 offers one of the largest cargo areas in the class, and its low liftover height means you won't strain your back while loading heavy items. But the liftgate doesn't open very high. Small, haphazardly placed storage cubbies aren't very useful.

Small-item storage

6.5
Two cupholders of different sizes are separated by the shifter. Strange. There are a couple of small, oddly shaped storage areas on the center stack, including a shallow, low-grip smartphone holder that isn't very good at holding smartphones. Not great for this family-friendly segment.

Cargo space

8.5
The cargo area is wide and flat, with a very low liftover height. Its volume of 38.4 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and 73.4 cubes with them folded is about as good as it gets in this segment. Excellent for bulky items, big dogs. The rear seats are split 60/40 with no center pass-through.

Child safety seat accommodation

6.0
The lower LATCH anchors are well-concealed and far from the seatback; you really have to reach in and fish around to find them. The three seatback tethers can be accessed with the cargo cover in place, but these are also hidden under a thin cloth cover.

Towing

Towing capability depends on the trim and drivetrain. Most variants can manage only a meager 1,500 pounds, but the Adventure boasts 2,900 pounds with front-wheel drive and 3,500 pounds with all-wheel drive. That's pretty strong for this segment.

Technology

6.5
The infotainment system is easy to navigate and use, but the graphics look rather dated, and it's impossible to see the screen in direct sunlight. All RAV4 models receive standard safety tech. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and multiple USB ports are not available.

Audio & navigation

6.0
The standard touchscreen is easy to use. It has a relatively simple layout and menu structure, but it's not particularly attractive, the screen is small and resolution is fairly low. The optional 7-inch screen offers nominal improvement. Either washes out in direct sunlight.

Smartphone integration

6.5
There's a single USB port in front and none in the back. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are notably absent. Instead, Toyota uses a smartphone integration system of its own design called Entune. You'll have to download the app, create an account, and pair your phone before it's ready to be used.

Driver aids

7.0
Unique for the segment, the RAV4 comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic braking, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot warning is available on all but the LE. Adaptive cruise doesn't maintain speed downhill, and clarity of the standard rearview camera is poor.

Voice control

6.0
Hitting the voice control button displays a list of phrases, and the recognition software also recognizes natural speech. It's not the best, with a lot of garbled translations before it hits the mark. Best to use Siri Eyes Free if you have an iPhone (accessed by holding the phone disconnect button).

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Toyota RAV4.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Reliable compact SUV
Tom,02/15/2018
Probably the 8th Toyota / Lexus car I have purchased. Purchased for my son who attends college in upstate New York, lots of snow.... The Rav-4 has a comfortable ride with all the safety features standard. For a compact SUV it has plenty of cargo space and a comfortable rear seat. I am 6'3" tall and the front seats give me plenty of leg room. My final decision to purchase the Rav-4 boiled down to three things, Great reliability / Toyota's hold their value and the safety features.
What a great crossover!
Romey,05/17/2018
We came from a Honda CR-V but we really fell in love with the Rav when we drove it! We test drove a Mitsubishi, but weren't happy with the overall feel of the drive and the interior seemed a little on the low-quality side. We love the the immense safety features with the rav and the handling is superb! The car has so many safety features that I doubt we'll ever use all of them [like the radar assist cruise-control] but I guess it's nice to have if you're planning a long trip. Very satisfied with the comfy [heated] seats and the leg/head room is awesome. The biggest selling point for us was the quality of the materials and the outstanding quality and reliability of Toyota vehicles. We liked our Honda but just feel like we're getting more for our dollar with the rav-4.
Great, but some weird quirks
LS,03/02/2018
I have only had the car for 4 days now, so I'm still getting to used to it, but here is what I've noticed so far. Pros: It has more standard features than a Honda HRV EX-L such as the lane departure warning and active lift-gate; Sport Mode makes it feel like you're driving a 6-cylinder engine; it handled great on icy roads; the backup camera picture quality is better than many I have seen so I have confidence using it; there is a lot of information available on the instrument display panel (almost too much) including navigation directions and audio details; the message feature on the Entune Premium sound system gives you 15 different responses that you can change and customize- the HRV only had 5 or 6 and I don't think you could change them. Cons: When driving over some holes or bumps in the road there is a sort of hollow sound coming from the back of the car- I think it's "normal" but odd; the all-weather floor mats are garbage- they are soft rubber and do not anchor to the floor, they slide forward 2 inches every time I get in and out of the car- get WeatherTechs instead; some of the button lay-outs are in really odd places- the auto lift-gate button is mostly hidden by the steering wheel and the traction control button is in the middle of dash above the radio- it seems like those two should have been swapped, also the steering wheel controls for the radio are on the left side- it seems more intuitive for them to be closer to the radio; the speedometer is kind of busy and hard to read- I would have really liked a digital speed display added to all the other features of the instrument display; the steering wheel controls are kind of confusing- the controls for the instrument display have more functionality than those for the entertainment system and I'm still getting used to them; some features are highly customize-able such as the color of the radio's font and display elements, while other things I would like to be able to customize aren't there like disabling some of the Entune apps so they don't show up when I scroll through audio sources, also having more apps available through Entune would be nice- the ones they have aren't all that useful to me.
RAV4 sporty edition
Rick,12/15/2017
Love this vehicle. My back especially loves this vehicle. Perfect for me, stylish (have the blacked out sport edition), mileage is great, cargo area is adequate (golf clubs fit—very important) and the mileage is great mixed. We have 2 in our family and love both.
Write a consumer review of your vehicle for a chance to WIN $100!

2018 Toyota RAV4 video

[MUSIC PLAYING] MARK TAKAHASHI: Small crossover SUVs have been wildly popular, outselling the less versatile sedans for quite some time. JOSH SADLIER: Mark and I brought our two current favorites in this segment, and Will over here brought the RAV4, the current top seller. WILL KAUFMAN: We're going to take a closer look at each of these vehicles to let you know what their strengths and weaknesses are. We've put hundreds of miles on each of these movies on the road, but we thought we'd spare you 12 minutes of us going to buy groceries. Instead, we took our three red people movers to our test track where we could make those disclaimers at the bottom of every ad about closed roads and professional drivers come alive. You may never drive your compact crossover like this, but at least you can rest easy knowing someone has. JOSH SADLIER: We've got the latest Honda CR-V here with the 1.5-liter turbo charged four cylinder engine that you get on almost every version you'll find at a dealer lot. There's the 2.4 that comes in the base LX. I don't know if I've ever seen one of those on the road. It doesn't really seem like something people are going to be interested in because you want the turbo motor, it gets better fuel economy and more power. How are you guys enjoying it so far? WILL KAUFMAN: This back seat is cavernous. There's a lot of room for me to flop around back here. JOSH SADLIER: I've been watching that, yeah. WILL KAUFMAN: But-- I mean, it's huge back here. There's just a ton of room in this car. JOSH SADLIER: Yeah, it is very spacious. This is effectively a mid-sized SUV I would say in terms of usability. MARK TAKAHASHI: I'm not getting a sense of that space, though. I feel like the headliner and the windshields are actually a little close to me. [ENGINE REVVING] WILL KAUFMAN: That's interesting. Oof. Oh wow, there's that noise. Ah, it just sounds like the engine wants to leap out of the engine bay. [LAUGHTER] The CVT just does not do it any favors in the sound department. MARK TAKAHASHI: In its defense, though, no one in their right mind is going to be driving a CR-V this-- JOSH SADLIER: Well, MARK TAKAHASHI: --hard. JOSH SADLIER: That's fair. WILL KAUFMAN: And it does provide a good boost and good fuel economy. I mean-- JOSH SADLIER: It does. WILL KAUFMAN: With the gas motor-- JOSH SADLIER: Well, not right now. WILL KAUFMAN: But with a gas motor, this is the most efficient of the three if you don't want the hybrid. JOSH SADLIER: Now this is the front wheel drive one, which means we're going to be getting under ideal circumstances, 34 MPG highway, which is easily the best of any of these competitors. The others are I think 31 and 30 at the top end. So the fuel economy is definitely a strong suit, at least according to the EPA. Now in the real world, if you're in a boost like I've been here, your results may vary. MARK TAKAHASHI: Here's the thing, though. It's making a lot of tire noise, but it doesn't feel sloppy. JOSH SADLIER: Yeah, I wouldn't call it sloppy. I mean, it clearly does not have much tire for this purpose, but in the real world, having driven this around, I didn't feel like it needed more tire like on a country road or something. So I think this is an extreme situation we're in right now, but I do like the way it responds. The steering, there's no slop in it and it goes where you point it. The thing for me about this car is the transmission. I think if people are not used to a CVT, this can be kind of a rude awakening in that it just doesn't always respond as promptly or as predictively as you might expect if you're used to driving like a traditional automatic transmission. MARK TAKAHASHI: And they don't offer any kind of automatic, do they? JOSH SADLIER: CVTs beauties across the board, yeah. Even with the 2.4, it's still CVT. That's the one thing, I think if people take a test drive and-- again, transmission's fine, what's he talking about? Cool, and then you'll probably like the rest of the car. For me it's a deal breaker. MARK TAKAHASHI: Wow, all right. WILL KAUFMAN: See, I didn't-- in normal driving, I haven't felt that way about this vehicle, because of the CVT, when you're just, you know, cruising in traffic, when you're driving on the freeway, when you're driving around town, the response that I expect from a car, the CVT isn't falling short of that. MARK TAKAHASHI: It's not until you start getting onto a highway, you know, on an on-ramp or something and you really want to get up to speed, does it feel like it's at a disadvantage? JOSH SADLIER: Yeah, and the engine gets really frantic. MARK TAKAHASHI: I think this is better suited to someone who has one or two kids. It's comfortable. It just kind of checks all the boxes. JOSH SADLIER: There's still some road noise there I noticed on a longer drive over the weekend. WILL KAUFMAN: It does seem like for this vehicle, they looked at the old RAV4 and they said, OK, it's going to be just better in every measure. Not necessarily tremendously better, but it's going to be better. It's also the only one that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is the 2018 RAV4, and it's the RAV4 that really started the compact crossover craze way back when. And it's still the bestselling of any compact crossover. In fact, it's the bestselling vehicle in the US next to the pickup trucks that everybody loves to buy so much. But I think part of the appeal of this is that there's nothing complicated about it. There's no other reason you buy it, you don't have to think, oh, I want the one that handles well. You just think, I want the one that will carry all of my people and stuff and I don't want to worry about it. MARK TAKAHASHI: It's not something that I don't think you really aspire to? There's nothing that kind of gets me excited about this car. It's the safe choice. JOSH SADLIER: Yeah. There's actually decent bolstering in these seats. A little more than I expected. Thanks for helping me to feel that with that turn. WILL KAUFMAN: I mean, it is-- it's just a perfectly fine place to spend time. I mean, I agree, there's nothing that stands out here, but that's sort of part of the point of this car, is it just does what it does without any pretension to anything else, and you can get a hybrid power train so you get better fuel economy than any of the others if that's what you're looking for. It's also not a very thrilling engine. The transmission will, even though it's only a six-speed transmission, it will sort of jump around if you're in normal mode and you start asking for a little bit of acceleration. JOSH SADLIER: There's something kind of honest, though, about this power train that I'm drawn to. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah, it's basically the same power train as the Mazda. MARK TAKAHASHI: Even to be competitive nowadays, you have to overdeliver on a number of fronts-- refinement and comfort and performance. Everything has now gotten to the point where everybody is expecting more. This doesn't really overdeliver, it's adequate in almost every way. JOSH SADLIER: It's an aging product that's kind of hanging in there, but you're right, it's not really going the extra mile. WILL KAUFMAN: The ride and handling isn't bad. It is a little rough around the road than that CX-5, you definitely feel the bumps a little bit more. I mean, it's not sloppy around these turns. MARK TAKAHASHI: It was that little boaty coming out of that last turn, though. I felt a little bit of residual bounces as you set it into the turn. JOSH SADLIER: Yeah, you wouldn't call this the driver's choice. MARK TAKAHASHI: No, no. JOSH SADLIER: But at the same time, I feel like if someone told me, hey, I just bought a 2018 RAV4, it would be hard to argue against that. MARK TAKAHASHI: Oh no, no, no. JOSH SADLIER: Well maybe-- MARK TAKAHASHI: He would say, why didn't you get the 2019 and just wait nine months? JOSH SADLIER: Well, it's an all-new model, you want to give it a year or two to sort things out. MARK TAKAHASHI: Do ya? WILL KAUFMAN: The other thing is, you'll be able to get a really good deal on one of these-- when it's on dealer lots and a few months when the new one's out. JOSH SADLIER: That's a great point. WILL KAUFMAN: This is going to get cheaper. You don't always see sales on Toyotas. MARK TAKAHASHI: Welcome to the best small crossover you can buy today, the Mazda CX-5. It's a little sporty, it's a little more reactive and responsive. Sure it's an SUV, it's a little tippy, but there's only so much you can do in regards to physics, right? WILL KAUFMAN: One of the things that impresses me in this car is the body roll is really well-controlled. JOSH SADLIER: You should try sitting in the middle back here, but I take your point. MARK TAKAHASHI: Well, in addition to better driving dynamics, I think it's also the best-looking in the bunch. JOSH SADLIER: I would agree with that. MARK TAKAHASHI: I mean, it's better to look good than feel good, but this does both. JOSH SADLIER: If you look around at the competition, there's not really another crossover at this price point that actually makes a style statement. Not one that I can think of, at least. MARK TAKAHASHI: It's not over-styled either. I mean, it just-- like the overall shape is really pleasing. JOSH SADLIER: Yep. WILL KAUFMAN: It's also definitely the nicest interior of any of the ones we have here today. MARK TAKAHASHI: Some of these materials we wouldn't have expected to see except for maybe a luxury car last generation. JOSH SADLIER: Yep. MARK TAKAHASHI: And it's got this great infotainment controller here that's kind of the same as you'd expect from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. And I love that. It's just well-managed, you know? It's easy to drive, it's fun to drive. WILL KAUFMAN: It raises the question, why do you buy a compact SUV? It is because it handles nicely? MARK TAKAHASHI: You know, there are certain people left in the world who appreciate cars that handle well and are sporty. WILL KAUFMAN: But if you're buying one of these, what you need is practicality, right? What you need is to be able to fit stuff and people and just carry things around. I mean, what are the tricks of this car other than it's nice to put around a turn, which, let's face it, most of the only chance you get to do that is a freeway on-ramp. Not every road is our test track. MARK TAKAHASHI: Well, you don't think that this has enough cargo space? WILL KAUFMAN: You've got two kids, especially if they're small, you've got two strollers you gotta throw in the trunk. That's a lot of space right there. This is definitely going to be the worst at moving stuff. MARK TAKAHASHI: Worst? WILL KAUFMAN: There's no other power train option in this car. This is the only one here today-- MARK TAKAHASHI: I don't think it needs more power. WILL KAUFMAN: Well, the power is only part of it, right? The other thing that-- the other thing that the other power train options on the other vehicles offer is not just more power, but more fuel efficiency. You've got a hybrid motor in the RAV4 and you've got the 1.5 liter turbo in the CR-V, both of which are more efficient than what you get in this car. JOSH SADLIER: But I think the point about cargo capacity for me in this segment is I doubt that many buyers are actually folding down the seats and maximizing every last cubic foot that's available. I feel like what they're looking for is a high seating position. Yeah, a convenient hatchback trunk, sure, you can fold down the seats if you need to, but I think it's the style that really pushes this one over the top compared to other cars in the class for the price. Like, you want to look good driving a crossover, I feel like that's part of the appeal. WILL KAUFMAN: This is also the best seating position of any of the ones we have here today for sure. I mean, you feel a little bit more ensconced in the vehicle, you've got armrests that at least for me actually work on both sides. And that's-- I mean, just that, just the feel of sitting down and in this vehicle, there is a little bit of that sportiness to it. And I also think it's just the most comfortable-- these seats to me are the most comfortable of the three we have. JOSH SADLIER: Starting with acceleration, the CR-V turns out to have a pretty significant advantage. We're talking about a second-and-a-half to 60-- seven-and-a-half for the CR-V, nine seconds-plus for the CX-5 and RAV4. What do we think about that? MARK TAKAHASHI: It's crazy. I mean, the CX-5 feels so much faster and livelier, but numbers don't lie. JOSH SADLIER: Braking distance we go from 60 to zero, full panic stop. Once again the CR-V has a significant advantage-- 121 feet in that panic stop versus 130 for the other two cars. When it comes to cargo space, the CR-V has a class-leading 39.2 cubic feet of it behind the second row. That's on par with some mid-size SUVs. MARK TAKAHASHI: Cargo capacity is one of the main reasons people gravitate towards crossovers like these. WILL KAUFMAN: That is really impressive, but on paper, it's within a cubic foot of the RAV4. In the real world, that makes a difference, though. You can see, after the most unexpected game of Tetris ever, JOSH SADLIER: We are down one golf bag, but only one golf bag, so they're pretty much the same. The CX-5, though, I feel like it's a little smaller. Is that-- Mark? Is it smaller? MARK TAKAHASHI: It's smaller. That is what didn't fit in the RAV4, and all of this is what doesn't fit in the CX-5. At 30.9 cubic feet, it's the smallest capacity of the bunch, but that's still a lot of stuff. WILL KAUFMAN: I know the force is the bestselling vehicle in this segment, but it's really starting to show its age. Compared to these other two, it just can't really hold up. We're going after you run this test again and we get the new model in because I think it's going to be a big improvement. MARK TAKAHASHI: And I realize that the CX-5 doesn't have the greatest cargo capacity, but it really appeals to my left brain. I mean, it looks great, and drives even better. JOSH SADLIER: But here's what the right brain says. The CR-V's got the best fuel economy, best cargo capacity, best braking, and best acceleration in the whole test. Case closed. MARK TAKAHASHI: Let us know what you think. Leave a comment below, and if you like what you see, hit Subscribe. And check out Edmonds.com for full ratings and reviews of each of these SUVs. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Mazda CX-5 vs. Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4 Comparison Test

Edmunds editors Mark Takahashi, Josh Sadlier and Will Kaufman do a back-to-back-to-back comparison of the two highest-rated small crossovers: the 2017 Honda CR-V and the 2018 Mazda CX-5. Also added into the mix is the best-selling 2018 Toyota RAV4, which is due to be replaced by an all-new model later this year. We put these versatile vehicles through their paces to see which one might be the best fit for you.

Features & Specs

MSRP
$27,150
MPG
22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
176 hp @ 6000 rpm
MSRP
$25,750
MPG
23 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
176 hp @ 6000 rpm
MSRP
$24,660
MPG
23 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
176 hp @ 6000 rpm
MSRP
$26,060
MPG
22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
176 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all 2018 Toyota RAV4 features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite RAV4 safety features:

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.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 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
    Good
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

Toyota RAV4 vs. the competition

2018 Toyota RAV4

2018 Toyota RAV4

2018 Honda CR-V

2018 Honda CR-V

Toyota RAV4 vs. Honda CR-V

The RAV4's primary competitor is the class-leading Honda CR-V. The CR-V is spacious and enjoyable to drive. The optional 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is noteworthy for its impressive fuel economy along with quick acceleration. The CR-V's upper trim levels also offer a wealth of high-tech optional equipment, some of which isn't available in the RAV4 at all.

Compare Toyota RAV4 & Honda CR-V features

Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester shares many of the RAV4's strengths and weaknesses, so between these two, it may come down to personal preference. The Forester, like the RAV4, has abundant rear cargo space and lots of legroom and headroom for passengers. Also like the RAV4, though, the Forester won't really wow you. Its handling and cabin materials are midpack.

Compare Toyota RAV4 & Subaru Forester features

Toyota RAV4 vs. Ford Escape

The Ford Escape clearly outshines the RAV4 in two ways: driving dynamics and infotainment. From behind the wheel, the Escape feels more carlike than the RAV4 thanks to its impressive handling capabilities and steering feedback. Inside the cabin, the Escape's Sync 3 interface is more appealing that the RAV4's Entune system. That said, the RAV4 counters with more cargo room and more standard safety equipment.

Compare Toyota RAV4 & Ford Escape features

2018 Toyota RAV4 for Sale

Toyota RAV4 2018 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
New 2018
Toyota RAV4
Limited
(3)
AutoNation Toyota Leesburg
5.5 mi away
MSRP$36,174
Est.Loan: $628/mo
Fair Deal!Fair Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PACKAGE,Sun/Moonroof,Navigation System,HANDS FREE POWER BACK DOOR,ALL WEATHER LINER PACKAGE,TONNEAU COVER,Lane Keeping Assist,Keyless Start,Bluetooth Connection,Rear Spoiler,Chrome Wheels,All Wheel Drive,50 STATE EMISSIONS,ASH; SOFTEX SEAT TRIM,SILVER SKY METALLIC
Toyota RAV4 2018 XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
28,317 miles
Used 2018
Toyota RAV4
XLE
KADS Auto Group
8 mi away
List$19,999
Est.Loan: $364/mo
Good Deal!Good Deal!
View Details
Toyota RAV4 2018 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
6,078 miles
Used 2018
Toyota RAV4
LE
E Trade Auto Sales
8.8 mi away
List$20,950
Est.Loan: $382/mo
Good Deal!Good Deal!
View Details

Get more for your trade-in

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.

Receive offers from our dealer partners fast.

See your car's value
More about the 2018 Toyota RAV4

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 keeps up the model's tradition as an uber-practical choice for consumers shopping in the highly competitive compact SUV market segment. As always, there is the choice of front- or all-wheel drive, seating for five, one of the largest cargo areas around, and Toyota's reputation for reliability.

Another key advantage shouldn't be overlooked. Every RAV4 comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense P suite, which includes a host of advanced safety equipment such as lane departure warning and forward collision warning with automatic braking. You have to pay extra for this content on its rivals, and often, it can't be added to every trim level.

Power for all RAV4 models, except the Hybrid reviewed separately, is provided by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters standard on the SE trim level. Performance, although adequate for most family needs, trails that of most rivals.

One of the RAV4's other strong suits is interior space. There's a generous amount of room for front passengers, and the cargo area — easily expandable and configurable with a 60/40-split rear seatback — makes it easy to load and transport as much or more stuff than its competitors. The back seats, though not as roomy as those in front, do recline to increase comfort.

As with previous versions of the RAV4, the 2018 model is capable and easy to drive, with a well-tuned, compliant suspension and smooth, quiet highway manners. However, handling and the overall driving experience aren't as engaging or as confidence-inspiring as that of most rivals. That includes the supposedly sportier SE, which just doesn't boost handling enough to counter its rougher ride.

New for 2018 is the Adventure trim level, which adds a bit of extra ground clearance. This pairs well with the RAV4's available all-wheel drive, which is one of the more off-road-capable systems in the segments. Having said that, its ground clearance isn't that great, and every RAV4 remains better suited to the paved world. Better capability in wet or snowy conditions is really what it provides, which is what most people are seeking any way.

The front-wheel-drive RAV4 LE and XLE trim levels achieve an EPA fuel economy rating of 26 mpg in combined driving (23 city/30 highway), while all other front-wheel-drive trims do a bit worse at 25 mpg combined (23 city/29 highway). Most all-wheel-drive models are rated at 25 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway), but the Limited and SE get a lower 24 mpg combined. These ratings, although respectable, place the RAV4 behind its major competitors.

The RAV4's six trim levels offer more than just an increasing amount of equipment. The more rugged Adventure, sportier SE and more luxurious Platinum provide different styling and overall character. The LE, XLE and Limited would be the more straightforward trim levels that represent different rungs on an equipment ladder. To figure out which of these might work better for you, Edmunds has pricing information, inventory and our expert review to help.

2018 Toyota RAV4 Overview

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is offered in the following submodels: RAV4 SUV. Available styles include XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), SE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Adventure 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), and Platinum 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A).

What do people think of the 2018 Toyota RAV4?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 RAV4 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 RAV4.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 RAV4 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall6.8 / 10

Driving

7.0 / 10

Acceleration7.0 / 10
Braking6.0 / 10
Steering7.5 / 10
Handling7.0 / 10
Drivability7.5 / 10

Comfort

7.0 / 10

Seat comfort7.0 / 10
Ride comfort6.0 / 10
Noise & vibration6.5 / 10
Climate control8.0 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use7.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.5 / 10
Driving position7.5 / 10
Roominess8.0 / 10
Visibility9.0 / 10
Quality5.5 / 10

Utility

7.0 / 10

Small-item storage6.5 / 10
Cargo space8.5 / 10

Technology

6.5 / 10

Audio & navigation6.0 / 10
Smartphone integration6.5 / 10
Driver aids7.0 / 10
Voice control6.0 / 10
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Toyota RAV4?
2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $33,939. The average price paid for a new 2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $4,744 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,744 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$29,195.

The average savings for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is14% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 101 2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $29,334. The average price paid for a new 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $4,379 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,379 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$24,955.

The average savings for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is14.9% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 339 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $27,657. The average price paid for a new 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $5,112 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $5,112 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$22,545.

The average savings for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is18.5% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 309 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $26,326. The average price paid for a new 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $4,261 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,261 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$22,065.

The average savings for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is16.2% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 49 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $31,710. The average price paid for a new 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $4,544 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,544 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$27,166.

The average savings for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is14.3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 22 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Toyota RAV4 SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $32,903. The average price paid for a new 2018 Toyota RAV4 SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $4,760 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,760 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$28,143.

The average savings for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is14.5% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 15 2018 Toyota RAV4 SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $28,003. The average price paid for a new 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $4,398 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,398 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$23,605.

The average savings for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is15.7% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 12 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Which 2018 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) 2018 Toyota RAV4 for sale near. There are currently 1492 new 2018 RAV4s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $25,723 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Toyota RAV4. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $6,522 on a used or CPO 2018 RAV4 available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2018 Toyota RAV4s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Toyota RAV4 for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $11,033.

Find a new Toyota for sale - 6 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $9,359.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.

Check out Toyota lease specials