RAV4 Hybrid

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2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Overview

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid combines the versatility of the popular RAV4 with a hybrid drivetrain, making it a standout within the compact SUV segment and one of the few hybrid crossovers of its kind.

Little distinguishes the RAV4 Hybrid from its conventionally powered counterpart—ideal for those looking to drive an environmentally conscious car while maintaining a low profile. One of the few differences include blue accents on the Toyota logos.

The RAV4 Hybrid features a modern interior with soft-touch materials and a straightforward layout. The push-button start is prominently placed, and the soft-touch ledge half-way up the dash is both visually fetching and provides a logical split between the touch screen and the climate controls. A convenient tray for your wallet and phone sits below the dash.

The center console layout makes the most of the RAV4’s space. Cup holders are split up—one ahead of the shifter and one behind it. This layout makes the center console narrower, providing more space for the hip- and legroom.

The RAV4 Hybrid has impressive rear seat space, especially rear legroom, making it the perfect choice for rideshare drivers.

Trims for the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid are LE, XLE, SE, and Limited. Standard features on the LE included 17-inch alloy wheels, integrated roof rails, and dual-zone climate control. Inside, the LE comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, sport-bolstered front seats, a front USB port, and reversing camera.

The XLE adds integrated front fog lights, a power moonroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an upgraded reversing camera with dynamic guide lines.

Moving up to the SE trim adds LED projector headlights, LED taillights, 18-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels, height-adjustable power liftgate, heated front seats, and Soft-Tex leatherette upholstery for the front seats.

The range-topping Limited trim adds unique chrome 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome door handles, front and rear parking sensors, and heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals. Inside, the Limited adds Soft-Tex to the center console, a leather-wrapped shift lever, and a frameless auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

The base infotainment system includes a 6.1-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity and voice control. The XLE and SE add navigation, Siri EyesFree voice control, and 3-month subscription to SiriusXM all-access.

Moving up to the Limited, the RAV4 Hybrid features a 7-inch high-resolution touch screen with navigation and app suite. It includes HD predictive traffic and Doppler radar overlay for weather updates. While the RAV4 Hybrid provides Siri EyesFree, it is not compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The 4.2-inch TFT screen also provides detailed information on fuel economy and the status of the hybrid drivetrain, including the ECO savings record and the 4-wheel drive (4WD) force distribution status.

The touchscreen has a quite sensible layout, with large, easy-to-read icons and crisp fonts. Drivers can easily swipe through menus and set radio presets with the push of a button. The RAV4 Hybrid also provides support for apps like Pandora and Spotify.

The RAV4 Hybrid’s powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, continuously variable transmission, a battery pack, and three electric motors—one front drive motor, one rear drive motor, and one integrated generator. This means the RAV4 Hybrid has a standard AWD setup, putting out a net 194 horsepower. This setup features stop-start capability, full EV mode, and regenerative braking, which captures energy from braking to recharge the batteries.

Due to the RAV4 Hybrid’s regenerative braking, stop-and-go fuel efficiency is actually its best category, returning fuel economy of 34 mpg city, 30 highway, and 32 combined.

The RAV4 Hybrid comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P, or TSS-P. This suite of safety features consists of forward collision warning and avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and dynamic cruise control.

Other standard safety features include front and side impact airbags, reversing camera, tire pressure monitoring system, hill start assist, and enhanced vehicle stability control. SE and Limited trims are available with a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert. This feature is standard on the Limited.

Base MSRP for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is $27,135 for the LE trim. The XLE starts at $29,030, while the SE starts at $32,185, and the range-topping Limited starts at $34,030.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid provides a fuel-efficient drivetrain, but doesn't give up any functionality to achieve its impressive fuel economy. It remains a spacious, well-equipped compact SUV with a smooth, stable ride—making it a hybrid SUV actually designed for daily life!

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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RAV4 Hybrid

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