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Used 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE SUV Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE SUV.

Most helpful consumer reviews

2 out of 5 stars
Continual frustrations
Amaro,01/21/2020
XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
If your key fob dies to your keyless enters. Be prepared. It will cost you about $400 to replace and reprogram. The metal key will only open the door. There is no place to put that particular key into an ignition. In addition, there is no longer a GPS in the car. You must use an ap called SPORT through your phone to project on the car's screen. The graphics are horrible, and the directions are often wrong. Toyota is going to lose customers. I feel like I've been duped. Before you purchase a Toyota, make sure that you know about the built in high cost items like key fobs and reprograming, and horrible Scout GPS system.
5 out of 5 stars
3 New RAVs in a Row in the 2010s
Tim,03/31/2018
XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Three RAVs and two Highlanders in a row and no reliability issues in over 160,000 miles says it all for Toyota reliability and our repeat purchases. We have bought new cars from seven different auto companies, so we know and appreciate quality and reliable Toyotas in comparison with other manufacturers.
5 out of 5 stars
RAV4 Again -- Just Like My Dad Told Me
Sharon,11/13/2017
XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
My dad told me to find a car that was comfortable to drive, required little maintenance and treat it well. I bought a RAV4 again because the highest maintenance bill on my old 2012 Rav was $25. Dad was right
4 out of 5 stars
Liked 2018 more than 2019 Rav4
Mikey,04/20/2019
XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I drove my 2011 Rav4 for 8 years and only had i repair, the alternator. Decided to just go ahead and trade it in on new 2019 model. The new front did not look happy while the 2018 just seemed more cheerful. The inside of the 2019 felt claustrophobic and the 2018 felt airy. The sales guy asked why I did not want to pay full MSRP, but he was quoting 10% more than MSRP. So I went looking new or used 2018 since it was the most popular SUV . When i realized they were selling like crazy I had to actually order and buy one sight unseen online, in the middle of the night. It is safe, happy inside and out, uncomplicated ( my old Garmin plugs in and is way better than car navigation, turned off bluetooth on iPhone to resolve irritating car phone). Also saved 1/3 expense.. XLE with power liftgate, 2 years left on new car warranty. The transmission works great. That is all..

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE SUV

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 & Cons

  • 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


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.

Full Edmunds Review: 2018 Toyota RAV4 SUV

What’s new

For 2018, the RAV4 gains a new Adventure trim level. It combines the XLE's equipment with the SE's sportier styling elements, then adds a few of its own styling flourishes and a tow package as well as raises ground clearance from 6.1 inches to 6.5. It also gets exclusive access to a new Cold Weather package that adds a variety of heated items. Interestingly, the SE trim level also gains the same extra ground clearance, which seems counter to its sportier, on-road mission.

Vehicle overview

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2018 Toyota RAV4 in Virginia is:

$60.17 per month*
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