As you may know by now, three special edition trim levels for popular Toyota models were announced at the Chicago Auto Show last month. We’ve already hosted two of them in our Friday Photo Galleries, so this week we thought we’d focus on the third and final: the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure. An off-road version of the popular compact crossover, the RAV4 Adventure is ready to help you any time you go on just that… an adventure.
[ READ MORE: 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure Canadian Release Date ]
2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure Canadian Release Date
The past few days we’ve been focused on giving you all the information you need in regards to the three new vehicles that made their debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show last week. We already covered the new TRD Sport versions of the Tundra and Sequoia, which leaves us with the headliner of the press conference, a brand-new special edition trim level for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 called Adventure, and we cannot wait until its Canadian release date.
“The RAV4 Adventure features a sporty suspension that has a taller ride height, helping people go more places, and have even more fun getting there. The Adventure will be available in both front and all-wheel drive configurations, and includes a standard Tow Prep Package. It will easily be spotted by its rugged exterior styling. The RAV4 Adventure will go on sale in September, and we expect it will attract a new active buyer.”
– Bill Fay, Vice President and General Manager, Toyota Group
2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure Enhancements & Features
We figured we’d just give you a list of some of the different enhancements and standard features that will be available in the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure model when it becomes available sometime this September.
- Dynamic Torque Control AWD
- Tow Prep Package
- Upgraded radiator
- Supplemental engine oil & transmission fluid coolers
- Suspension system with a higher ride height
- Large over-fender flares
- 18” 5-spoke black alloy wheels with R-speed tires
- Lower body guards
- Black headlight bezels
- Black fog lamp surrounds
- Unique interior trim panels
- Leather-wrapped shift knob
- 120V/100W cargo-area power outlet
- Adventure door sill protectors
- All-weather floor and cargo mats, featuring Adventure logo
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure could have more features than this, obviously including many of the features standard on other RAV4 trim levels. Be sure to keep an eye here in September to find out when it becomes available.
What’s new in the 2017 Toyota RAV4 & RAV4 Hybrid?
One of the most popular crossovers in Canada, or at the very least one of the most popular Toyota models, is without a doubt the Toyota RAV4. Last year, the RAV4 Hybrid was introduced, and the standard model underwent a makeover before rolling out the new version. But just because a model receives a makeover one year, doesn’t mean that they can’t introduce new things the next year. The RAV4 & RAV4 Hybrid both got a handful of upgrades and enhancements this year, and we’re happy to fill you in!
[ READ MORE: 2016 Toyota RAV4 Specs & Features ]
“Canadians love the Toyota RAV4 – it’s one of our best-selling models. And for 2017, we give Canadians even more to love, with more standard features including additional safety technologies, plus new model/grade packages. With a choice of front wheel drive, all-wheel drive and hybrid-powered models, there’s never been a better time to find out what thousands of Canadian drivers already know: the Toyota RAV4 is your perfect partner in play.”
– Cyril Dimitris, Vice President, Toyota Canada Inc.
List of Upgrades & Enhancements
- The Toyota Safety Sense P package – which includes PCS w/ Pedestrian Detection, LDA with Steering Assist, DRCC and Automatic High Beams – is now standard on all models
- The RAV4 LE now comes standard with a 4.2” MID display, automatic headlamps, a 6.1” display audio screen, heated front seats and a backup camera
- The RAV4 SE now comes standard with the Smart Key System and Push Button Start
- The Platinum Package is available on the RAV4 Limited, featuring hands-free power rear lift-gate, ambient foot-well lighting, a 5-door smart entry system, a unique full body color, unique interior trim and unique badging
- The Base RAV4 Hybrid is now called the LE+, and a new trim level above it will be called SE
- The RAV4 Hybrid LE+ adds unique 17” alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing front wipers, fog lamps and more
- The RAV4 Hybrid SE adds the RAV4 SE’s features – including sport tuned suspension and unique design cues
- The RAV4 Hybrid Limited now comes standard with the Technology Package and a hands-free power rear lift-gate
If you think you might be interested in the updated 2017 Toyota RAV4 or 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, be sure to give us a call here at the sales desk or schedule an early test drive right here on our website.
2016 Toyota RAV4 Best-in-Class Car Seat Installation
Child safety has always been one of the most important aspects in automobiles across the market, especially family vehicles like minivans and crossovers. But even vehicles packed with a ton of great safety features won’t matter if your protective safety seats aren’t installed right. If you’re interested in finding one of the best vehicles to travel with children, you’ll be happy to hear that the 2016 Toyota RAV4 has best-in-class car seat installation.
[ READ MORE: 2016 Toyota RAV4 Specs & Features ]
“We’ve put a lot of effort into making installation of child safety seats easier, and we’re glad to see that it’s working. I have two young boys myself, and child passenger safety is of the utmost importance to me, both as a mother and an engineering professional that has an active role in LATCH development on Toyota vehicles.”
– Jennifer Pelky, Senior Safety Engineer, Toyota North American R&D Headquarters
Cars.com Car Seat Honor Roll
The 2016 Toyota RAV4 is just one of six different vehicles to make it onto the Cars.com Car Seat Honor Roll, out of a total eighty-four 2016 and 2017 model year vehicles. While we don’t know exactly what the tests involved, Cars.com has stated it received a perfect score in every category. The tests were conducted by certified child passenger safety technicians, and used a booster seat, a convertible seat and, of course, an infant seat.
Thanks to the LATCH system, and the impressive back seat space, the RAV4 is one of the best choices for child safety if you’re still using protective seats. If you’d like to find out more about child safety or safety features in general, don’t hesitate to give us a call here at the sales desk or take a look around our website for further information.
Convenience in the 2016 Toyota RAV4
Convenience might not sound like a very important aspect when looking into a vehicle, and while it might not be as pertinent as fuel efficiency or space, the more convenient features an automobile offers the more you’re going to enjoy getting behind the wheel. We thought we’d take a look at a few of the convenient features in our favorite compact crossover, the 2016 Toyota RAV4.
[ READ MORE: 2016 Toyota RAV4 Specs & Features ]
It might sound like the most inconsequential feature of a vehicle, but how many times have you groaned or complained about your favorite mug not fitting into your cup holder properly? Thanks to a brand-new design, the improved cup holders in the 2016 Toyota RAV4 should never disappoint.
Rearview mirrors have been receiving a lot of attention the last couple years, with some manufacturers turning them into display screen and others adding a feature that allows drivers to be heard loud and clear in the back. In the RAV4, HomeLink has been integrated into the rearview mirror giving you the ability to control your garage door, front gate and even home security system. On top of that, it’s been redesigned with a sleek, frameless look that lets you see even more behind you.
The driver’s seat has been upgraded with the ability to be power-adjusted in eight different ways, and even memorizes up to two positions so if you share your RAV4, both drivers will be remembered. Then, with the press of a button, you can reposition your seat how you want it. It even features power lumbar support!
Last but certainly not least, the Smart Key System. As long as you have your smart key with you, you’ll be able to unlock and power up your car without ever taking them out of your pocket. How convenient is that?
If you have any questions about one of these features or anything else about the 2016 Toyota RAV4, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can schedule a test drive with us right here on our website as well.
2016 Toyota RAV4 Specs & Features
Most of our talk so far about the 2016 Toyota RAV4 has revolved the Hybrid version, as this was its first year in production, but that doesn’t make the standard model any less exciting this year. We thought we’d take a broad look at the 2016 Toyota RAV4 specs & features to give you a better idea of exactly what you’re in store for with the all-new model. So what are the most important aspects of a compact crossover like the RAV4? Space and utility, of course.
[ READ MORE: 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Specs & Features ]
Space and utility aren’t the only important aspects in the RAV4 of course, as areas like performance, comfort and style continue being important to drivers like you. The RAV4 delivers on all fronts, bringing tons of comfort-enhancing features to the cabin, sporty new design cues to the exterior and a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine capable of delivering 176 horsepower.
We also can’t neglect to mention the availability of Toyota Safety Sense, as safety is another feature that grows in importance year after year. TSS offers a suite of safety features like the Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and even Auto High Beams.
Space & Utility
Behind the back seat of the 2016 Toyota RAV4 there is 38.4 cubic feet of space to play with, or a bit less on larger trim levels. That is plenty of room to fill with whatever you need to bring along on your adventures, be it a road trip to a different city or an off-road journey into the mountains. Drop that back seat down to open up a whopping 73.4 cu. ft. of space when you need the extra room.
Plus, the RAV4 offers great utility features that enhance its versatility even more so. 60/40-splitting rear seats let you get a bit more space for cargo even when you still need a seat in the back row. A completely flexible cargo net system gives you extra space thanks to organization, while keeping everything firmly in place. Lastly, a height-adjustable power liftgate lets you set the cargo door at the right height for you, preventing both the door from being out of reach and you from accidentally hitting your head.
If you think you might be interested in a 2016 Toyota RAV4 of your own, be sure to schedule a test drive right here on our website. You can always give us a call at the sales desk with any questions.
Which vehicle won the 2WD Class at STPR?
A couple of months ago, Ryan Millen won the 2WD class at the Oregon Trail Rally, one of the biggest rally events on the continent. He did it behind the wheel of his Rally-inspired Toyota RAV4 SE, and immediately started getting ready for the next big race, which happened to be the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally – or STPR – in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. So, which vehicle won the 2WD class at STPR?
Unfortunately, Millen wasn’t able to make it a three-peat and win a third rally in a row, but he and the rest of the RAV4 team came in second place, thus cementing their spot in the overall standings: tied for first. Thanks to a regrettable penalty from before the race even started and unforeseen road conditions throughout the day, Millen and team weren’t able to capture the top spot in the race, but they are still hopeful in their hunt for the driver’s championship.
“It was really tricky. There was thick dust, and the surface didn’t allow us to get any heat into the tires. It was hard to get them to bite. Typically we do well in handling, as the RAV4 makes a lot of grip, but this clay base really made it tough.”
– Ryan Millen, Rallycross Driver, Toyota RAV4 SE
Events of the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally
The day started off with a reconnaissance run allowing Millen and team to scout the racetrack, but there was a rule for the lap that prohibited drivers from exceeding 25 miles per hour. Millen and many other racers were penalized 45 seconds for breaking the rule before the race even started. Through the day, Millen and squad closed in on Cameron Steely’s Ford Fiesta ST and finished just 30 seconds behind first place, 8 minutes in front of third.
Next on the docket is the New England Forest Rally in Newry, Maine which will take place on July 15th. It is the fourth of six total races before the champion is crowned, and Millen and team are hopeful.
Toyota’s best-selling crossover gets a mild refresh for 2016 and continues to be a smart buy.
Pricing: 2016 Toyota RAV4
Base price (AWD SE trim): $34,620
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $36,450
The RAV4 was one of two trail-blazers in the mini-ute/cute-ute/crossover category along with Honda’s CR-V. Remember when these came out? We didn’t know what to make of these little things, but boy did we ever start buying them. It’s the category to look out for now, and has left cars and big SUVs in the dust. The RAV4 has evolved significantly since then, and as we North Americans demand, has become a bigger vehicle with every generation. Improvements abound, and with this latest iteration, it is the best one yet.
Toyota drops some refreshed exterior styling featuring slightly redone front and rear fascias. The RAV4 has a bit of an awkward but robust appearance. It looks substantial without being too big or too small. The front is a pretty busy place – sometimes it’s hard to determine what your eye should be looking at first. Overall, the RAV4 has more sculpted lines and that busy front end does look sharper – particularly the new grille thanks to my review vehicle’s SE trim. The bright LED daytime running lights certainly catch your eye, as do the LED tail lights at night. The SE trim gets LED headlights too, which is awesome. The rubber is chunky – nice, fat 235/55s on unique 18-inch rims specific to the SE and Limited trims.
The cabin is mostly unchanged, and that’s not a bad thing as it has worked well. You’ll find mostly hard plastics that seem to attract dust very quickly. There are some soft materials, which you’ll find on the padded lower “chin” of the dash and on the door panels – it has handsome contrasting stitching. The heated “sport” seats are comfortable, and are clad in SoftTex (with contrasting stitching too) – the driver’s side is power-adjustable.
I loved the fat, grippy steering wheel that happens to be heated in this trim. Behind it and between the gauges is a great driver information screen that handles a ton of information and is easily accessed and controlled by steering wheel buttons. Toyota’s 7-inch touchscreen’s interface is laid out pretty well, responsive and easy to use. It looks after nearly everything, including navigation, phone and audio. Below it is a dual-zone automatic climate control. There are USB, auxiliary and 12V plugs under the “chin”.
The SE trim RAV4 starts with an old-school key, which I found a bit unusual for a vehicle that comes this loaded up. There’s a normal sunroof overhead and a set of universal garage door openers too.
The RAV4’s back seats have long been one of its trump cards and that continues. I found lots of head room and lots of leg room for my 5’10” frame. Our kids fit very well three across and were comfortable back there. Rear passengers get a 12V charging plug and a centre armrest with two cup holders in middle seat back. The rear seats recline as well, which is a nice touch.
Toyota does a good job at providing useful places for your stuff. I loved the iPhone 6-sized rubberized dish at the front of the console. There’s also a cupholder in the front and one at the back (of the centre console) and a nice drop-in tray in front of the passenger. Additional space can be found in the dual-level bin under the armrest.
RAV4’s have traditionally had segment-leading space in the trunk. Pop the power lift gate (with programmable opening height if you have to deal with low parkade roofs) and you’ll find a huge cargo area (1090 litres!). A nice tonneau cover can cover the items in your trunk and the rear seats fold flat (and split 60/40) for a massive 2080 litre cargo space.
Under the Hood
The 2.5-litre 4-cylinder and the 6-speed automatic carry over. Toyota rates the engine at 176 HP at 6000 RPM and 172 lb.ft of torque at 4100 RPM. My review vehicle was all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is decent – 10.0 L/100 km (24 US mpg) in town and a solid 7.6 L/100 km (31 US mpg) on the highway. We ended up averaging 10.1 L/100 km (23 US mpg) during our week with the RAV4. That was mostly slow commuting, a few runs down the freeway and a couple of highway sprints – and no effort to drive economically. Not bad at all!
The RAV4 rides quite firm and I found that it gets a bit slappy over some road irregularities. The trade-off is that it handles well. There’s noticeable body lean (typical for vehicles like this), but it feels very competent when you turn into corners and hit the curves with some speed. Toyota has done impressive work on sound levels – it is quite quiet, even at highway speeds.
There are three driving modes – Normal, Eco, Sport (which sharpens the throttle and steering response, as well as alters the shift timing). The powertrain offers up good acceleration and power off the line. Once you’re on your way it’s not amazing but certainly has enough power to motivate its 3630 lb (1635 kg) mass around town – and that’s just fine, since nobody is buying RAV4s for track day. I found the Sport mode to be quite responsive and it makes a noticeable difference in the driving experience. Toyota’s transmission is smooth, and has its own sport mode as well. Gears can be shifted manually using the gear selector if that’s your thing. The RAV4 has a “Lock Mode” which locks in full-time all-wheel drive under 40 km/h, instead of starting off as a front-wheel drive vehicle. I didn’t get to test that, as the pavement remained dry during my tenure in the vehicle.
I enjoyed excellent visibility out of the vehicle and the driver assistance technology – blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and a back-up camera – was useful. If you do some towing, you can lug around an extra 680 kg (1500 lb) with your RAV4.
Overall, the RAV4 is kind of an unremarkable vehicle. Not in a bad way. There’s little about it that’s memorable, but in typical Toyota fashion, that’s exactly its mission. It does virtually everything well. I’d prefer a slightly more luxurious ride, but otherwise there’s little I’d change. It offers relatively spirited yet economical performance, with plenty of space and utility. At this trim level, the RAV4 becomes a fairly pricey vehicle, but resale value will definitely remain high and you can count on an outstanding ownership/reliability experience.
WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) was quite high. She liked how it drove, and that it felt compact on the road and in parking lots, and she absolutely loved how much she got into the trunk after her trip to the mall.
Blog provided with permission from Tom Sedens, a local automotive blogger in Edmonton, Alberta, and member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). For more vehicle reviews, visit wildsau.ca.
The Oregon Trail Rally is one of the biggest rally events here in North America, and this year Toyota decided it wanted to get involved. Long-time Toyota driver Ryan Millen happily accepted the offer, and took the helm of the special Rally-inspired Toyota RAV4 SE that was on display at the Chicago Auto Show this year. Knowing that Toyota and Millen were involved, many people have been wondering which vehicle won the 2WD class at the 2016 Oregon Trail Rally last weekend. Well, we have good news.
[ READ MORE: What’s new in the 2016 Toyota RAV4? ]
“The big open class boys were pulling out boulders. There was no way to dodge them all. We bent a wheel, but overall in those rough terrain sections, the RAV was great. It has so much wheel travel; we don’t have to slow down as much as some of the other cars. There were so many highs and lows in the race… things just never stopped. At the end of the rally it was just such an amazing feeling. I can’t even describe it.”
– Ryan Millen, Toyota RAV4 SE Driver, Oregon Trail Rally
What happened at the Oregon Trail Rally?
The Oregon Trail Rally lasted three days, starting on the 22nd and going through Sunday. While the team was met with a lot of adversity and obstacles, the team pulled through and managed to win the whole 2WD class after being in second place at the end of day 2. In fact, if you want specific details, Millen was trailing the first place vehicle by 13 seconds heading into the final stage, before having an incredible Stage 18 and finishing up 10 seconds in first place.
We’re very proud of Ryan Millen, his whole team and of course the 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE Rally Edition. The vehicle and its team aren’t done yet though, as they head onto their next rally event in the Rally America series. We’ll keep you posted with more good news if and when it comes.