2017 Toyota RAV4 Review Apr 12, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
The 2017 Toyota RAV4 is in a crowded segment of compact crossover SUVs. Even so, experts and owners alike appreciate this vehicle’s reliability and comfort. The Toyota Safety Sense P system means that the RAV4 comes standard with advanced driver-assistive features that aren’t even optional in most models in its class. There is even an RAV4 Hybrid for those who want to enhance fuel economy and better driving.
Reliability Comes First
To give you a better idea of how popular the 2017 RAV4 is, you only need to look at some of its accolades and awards. The RAV4 is a 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and earned a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from the NHTSA, top marks in both major independent safety tests. Those interested in the hybrid will appreciate that U.S. News & World Report named the 2017 RAV4 Hybrid the Best Hybrid SUV for the Money. If you want added confidence that your RAV4 is a dependable vehicle, just consider that more than 90 percent of these models sold within the past decade are still being driven today.
Safety Comes Standard
One of the biggest draws of the 2017 Toyota RAV4 is the Toyota Safety Sense P system mentioned above. This suite is now standard on the RAV4, giving you Lane Departure Alert complete with Steering Assist to guide you back into your lane, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control to maintain your speed and following distance, Pre-Collision System and Pedestrian Detection to warn you about potential collisions and apply the brakes to prevent them, and Automatic High Beams so you don’t accidentally blind other drivers. Of course, you also get the standard Toyota Star Safety System, a rearview camera, and Hill Start Assist, plus available features like Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. With so many features, you can drive the RAV4 with confidence.
Styling and Features
While the RAV4 might have been one of the first compact crossovers, there is now a host of competitors with more style and road presence. The latest RAV4 has relatively plain and unaffected styling. We will admit that the LED headlights are a nice addition and every single trim has its own wheel design to help distinguish it. Inside, you are always well connected with Toyota Entune. But there are less interior features than expected for the starting MSRP. When the RAV4 is fully loaded, we feel it can easily compete with entry-level luxury vehicles between the upholstery, power moonroof, and Smart Key System—but at an even higher price point that reflects Toyota’s reliability and expected resale value. If you want more features for your dollar at a lower trim, the RAV4 won’t be able to deliver.
The regular 2017 RAV4 has average performance with its 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and available paddle shifters. It is not the best in class for driving feel or power, but you can opt for the RAV4 Hybrid that pairs this engine with an electric motor for 194 net horsepower and superior acceleration. While the traditional RAV4 offers front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the RAV4 Hybrid comes standard with Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence. In short, the hybrid model is more efficient and more fun.
Comfortable and durable, the RAV4 provides a reassuring ride and a reassured owner. While it’s not as sporty or as loaded with features as some of the competition, buyers will have to weigh that against unmatched reliability and impressive standard safety features.