Tempus fugit. Time flies.
It’s hard to believe – but still true – Toyota launched the original compact crossover more than two decades ago, the RAV4.
Fast forward to 2018 when virtually every manufacturer has cashed in on the SUV revolution. Toyota is still leading the charge with the introduction of the RAV4 Adventure AWD, the sixth trim level in the model’s lineup.
RAV4 now comes in LE, XLE, Adventure, SE, Limited and Platinum flavors with hybrid choices as well. Adventure adds unique, rugged styling, higher ride height, larger over-fender flares, 18-inch five-spoke black alloy wheels, big 235/55R18 tires and a 120V/100W power outlet in the cargo area for operating a portable air compressor or other equipment.
RAV4 Adventures seats four adults comfortably, and five in a pinch. The cargo area is large for the vehicle size. Powered by a 2.5-liter DOHC, four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, RAV4 delivers 178 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and receives an EPA rating of 28 miles per gallon down the highway.
But don’t forget the electronic on-demand All-Wheel-Drive system with intelligence that affords Northwesterner’s the ability to cross mountain passes in winter and slippery, rain-soaked roads with confidence anytime.
Better yet, RAV4 competes with the best of them when it comes to supplying safety and technology at an affordable price. All trims are equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which combines the pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams and dynamic radar cruise control.
Complementing TSS-P are standard hill-start assist control, rear backup camera, as well as blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
RAV4 is perfect for empty-nesters, or for those without big toys to tow. The interior is spacious for the category, yet it is maneuverable in traffic and easy to park. Even getting on and off the Edmonds-Kingston ferry was a breeze. The second-row seats fold flat creating a huge cargo area. And the power rear lift-gate operates with the push of a button on the fob.
Creature comforts are always high on my list, and the RAV does not disappoint. Highlights include an easy-to-use navigation system, rear-view camera, power moon roof, dual-zone climate control, Entune premium JBL audio system with six-speakers and apps, Bluetooth, heated seats and steering wheel and satellite radio.
Other goodies included front- and rear-parking sonar, heated power outside mirrors, fog lights, and all-weather floor and cargo mats.
The RAV4 will continue to be a leader as the ever-popular SUV category enters its third decade of production. When it comes to affordability, reliability, safety, technology and gadgets – the RAV4 is hard to beat. But don’t take my word for it; test drive one and experience the RAV4 for yourself.
Base Price: $28,400
Price As Driven: $32,990
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.