Flash Drive

2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2018 Toyota RAV4Model Tested: 2018 Toyota RAV4 SE AWD Hybrid SUV

Engine: Hybrid Synergy Drive — Gas/Electric, 2.5-Liter In-line 4-cylinder, plus electric motor; 194 net Horsepower; 152 Lb.-Ft. of Torque

Transmission: Electronic Continually Variable Transmission — On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive (AWD)

EPA Rating: 34-mpg city, 30-mpg highway, 32-mpg combined

Base Price: $32,185

As Tested: $36,450

Driving modes: EV, Eco, Sport

Performance: Respectable power and acceleration, but nothing extraordinary. On round trips to both Spokane and Tri-Cities, it handled well and boasted fuel economy exceeding the EPA ratings – 39.4 mpg average over both trips. The highway ride is smooth but tends to feel a little top-heavy cornering at speed in windy conditions.

Safety Features: Blind Spot and Lane Departure monitors;

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert;

Adaptive Cruise Control;

Smart Stop Technology;

Stability and Traction Controls;

Auto High-Beams;

Four-wheel ABS Disc Brakes;

5-Star safety rating.

Comfort: High-Quality interior materials;

Excellent fit and finish;

Good Ergonomics;

Premium JBL audio system with AM-FM-SiriusXM Satellite radio;

Lots of front legroom;

Excellent headroom;

Comfortable, supportive seats with power lumbar adjustment for the driver;

Dual temperature heated front seats;

Roomy rear seats with good head and legroom;

Almost flat second row floor;

Adults can fit in middle position, but hard seat cushion;

Power Moonroof

Utility: 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system;

Backup camera;

Leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls;

USB Port with iPod connectivity;

18-inch alloy wheels;

High-Adjustable power liftgate with good clearance;

Flat cargo deck, but raised over rear axle;

Retractable cargo cover;

Large glovebox, but no lock

WOW Factors: Much better fuel economy than EPA ratings;

Easy to handle and park in urban settings;

Great interior room

Whines: No 4×4 Controls;

Seemingly cheap headliner;

Cargo floor not totally flat, with rear seats that slope when folded down

Bottom Line: The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets excellent fuel economy with the bonus of on-demand all-wheel-drive. Overall, this is a very well balanced compact SUV with lots of interior room, but a small enough for easy maneuvering in city/urban conditions. And don’t forget Toyota’s legendary reliability.