2017 Toyota RAV4: Still Leading the Way

11.03.16 - 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE

The vast pool of compact SUVs has grown over the years and the RAV4 has been around for most of them. This is an SUV that continues to be impressive with its excellent styling, impressive AWD system and diving manners that make a huge difference on and off the road. When you add in the fact that this model comes from Toyota, a leader in all things reliable and dependable, you have a vehicle that you know will continue to be there for you to give you the performance you want from the time you buy it until it’s time to say goodbye to this SUV many years later.

One of the most important aspects of any vehicle purchase is the price, but that price must be associated with value. The Toyota RAV4 starts out in the LE trim at $26,700 and ranged up to the Platinum model with AWD that’s loaded up at $37,200. This means you’ll be able to have a great SUV to drive for as long as you want and not spend over the $40,000 mark to enjoy the ride. Of course if you want the hybrid model, the XLE Hybrid is a great choice and it can be yours starting at $30,000 which is a great price for a hybrid SUV.

Now that you know the price of the RAV4, it’s time to add value to the package, starting with the powertrains offered. For this SUV there are two you can choose from, but one is the Hybrid so if you aren’t purchasing the hybrid then you know you only have one powertrain. Starting with the engine you have a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder that pumps out 176 horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is attached to a six-speed automatic transmission and is offered in either FWD or AWD. The FWD brings you 23 city/29 hwy mpg while the AWD delivers 22 city/28 hwy mpg and this powertrain is even capable of towing up to 1,500 pounds.

The Hybrid model uses the same engine but adds two electric motors and the Atkinson-cycle technology to the mix. This does increase the power to 194 horsepower and 206 lb.-ft. of torque and is attached to a CVT automatic transmission. This powertrain is set up to deliver 34 city/30 hwy mpg of fuel mileage to give you a more efficient build to enjoy driving along with the added power.

Looking to add more value to the mix, the standard features offered on the RAV4 Le include the Entune infotainment system, a 6.1-inch display screen, Bluetooth connectivity, a six-speaker audio system, auxiliary inputs and USB ports. The XLE adds a power moonroof, improved Entune infotainment, satellite radio, HD radio, dual zone climate controls and improved front seats with French stitching. The SE trim adds a sport suspension, paddle shifters, the SofTex seating material, a two-tone paint scheme and rear cross traffic alerts, Continuing up, the Limited gives you a power liftgate, the SofTex upholstery across the rest of the surfaces, an Entune Premium audio system with navigation and apps, push button starting and more. AWD is only available on the XLE and Limited trims for you to enjoy.

While it seems like all you have to do to improve the driving enjoyment of this SUV is to move up the trim levels, the reality is you can have some of the features on lower trims as options. These options you can add include a navigation system, voice recognition, a JBL premium audio system with eleven speakers, Bird’s Eye parking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and power liftgate. On the Platinum trim you add body color side molding, a heated steering wheel, the JBL audio, a navigation system, Smart Key and a foot activated power rear liftgate.

Driving the Toyota RAV4 is a joy for you to experience. There’s plenty of room for five to fit comfortably along with the gear you want to take along as this SUV allows you to have the ride you want and the ability to have a great vehicle that can get you where you want to go. As a leader in the compact SUV segment, the RAV4 continues to be a vehicle you should get to know and drive; there’s no doubt you’ll love the ride.

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