2018 Toyota RAV4 Review
Which RAV4 does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
- 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
- Modest acceleration from the only engine
- Interior has a utilitarian look and feel
- Ho-hum driving experience
- 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
Overall rating6.8 / 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 models
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.
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.
|Overall||6.8 / 10|
Noise & vibration6.5
Ease of use7.0
Getting in/getting out7.5
Child safety seat accommodation6.0
Audio & navigation6.0
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the RAV4 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.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover17.4%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 Overview
The Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 is offered in the following submodels: RAV4 SUV. Available styles include XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), XLE 4dr SUV AWD (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), Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), SE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Adventure 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Platinum 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), and SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A). Pre-owned Toyota RAV4 models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 176 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2018 Toyota RAV4?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 trim styles:
- The Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE is priced between $20,998 and$29,999 with odometer readings between 4413 and78098 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE is priced between $22,500 and$31,500 with odometer readings between 7128 and107572 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited is priced between $26,590 and$35,900 with odometer readings between 10602 and81115 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 SE is priced between $20,998 and$34,491 with odometer readings between 10204 and101801 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure is priced between $27,065 and$32,499 with odometer readings between 38265 and52961 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 Platinum is priced between $27,999 and$31,998 with odometer readings between 18500 and42636 miles.
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Which used 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 207 used and CPO 2018 RAV4s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $20,998 and mileage as low as 4413 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 2018 Toyota RAV4.
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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.