Her + His Car Reviews

2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited AWD SUV

There are two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and interesting, we provide an animated, insightful, detailed and sometimes uncouth two points of view on the same car from - Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

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After being a Recommended and a Best Buy for 'umpteen' years in a row, the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Ltd. AWD with Intelligence again falls into the same categories and does not disappoint. And, the AWD is standard - very nice going toe-to-toe in any weather against Subaru. With 194 horses 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, we quite enjoyed the pick up of this Hybrid Synergy Drive. Like the Honda Accord, this model has a CVT, allowing the vehicle to operate like an automatic transmission. Between the two models with identical horsepower, we found the acceleration on the Toyota better, faster and stronger. The agility and handling, however, favors the Honda CR-V, which is more confident and stable. Quite snappy, actually. Power comes from a Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive System that consists of a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine combined with a power pack that together bring you 194 net horsepower. I was surprised how much fun the RAV4 Hybrid is to drive. One note, however, though is that things get a little noisy with the powertrain when you have to accelerate sharply on the highway. Other than that, though--smooth sailing! Strong but stable handling and braking that is responsive without being overly sensitive.
Fuel Economy
A top performing 32 miles combined/34 city and 30 highway. Bravo Toyota, the leader in fuel efficiency. Better sit down for this. You can save a whopping $1,250 in fuel costs over five years with this RAV4 Hybrid compared to the average new vehicle. And it only uses 3.1 gallons of gas per 100 miles. Rating is 32 miles per gallon combined with 34 city and 30 highway ratings. Annual fuel costs are $1,150 based on 15,000 miles of driving on gas costing $2.45/gallon.
The Car
We were delighted driving the RAV4 to put it mildly. Ok, so its not the powerhouse of a muscle car - it's not supposed to be. But it is a best seller in a crowded category of the small SUV's. It is a value with so many standard features including the new Toyota Safety Sense with its suite of services - see Safety.

The RAV4 is attractive, albeit straightforward. Supported by 18" alloy wheels, the interior is well laid out and the cabin is quiet. Comfortable leather seats are adjustable for customized and personalized driving. Dual temperature control for personalized comfort. The infotainment system is easy to use and we felt overall it was intuitive in all areas. The back seating is roomy and the seats recline. The second row fold flat - simple.

No more paddle shifters in the RAV4 - we are pleased that they have been removed and dollars allocated for other features. A Push button for easy start. Lots of visibility for the driver and no blinds spots to speak of. Tinted windows in back seats and rear. Height adjusted power litigate. Toyota includes a spare tire - please note and check out what the competitors offer. A full tank of gasoline provided in tank.
The RAV4 in its current design cycle has been around for awhile, but frankly it looks pretty cool and sport, and ev3een aggressive in terms of the impression it makes. It certainly stays withy the competition on this score and even beats some newer products when it comes to looks.

And the good news with the hybrid version of the RAV4 is that it is considerably faster than the standard model--and you don't give up much at all in terms of cargo space as you do with some hybrids. The space goes from 38.4 cubic feet to 35.6 cubic feet.

The main new feature is Toyota Safety Sense. It includes a forward collision warning system, lane departure warning and intervention, automatic high-beam control and adaptive cruise control.
There is a lot to talk about with standard safety features on the Rav4: Airbags Galore, Rearview Camera, Toyota Safety Sense with a suite of services including Pre-Collision Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane-Keep Assist, Lane Departure, Alert Automatic High Beams, and Adaptive Cruise Control. We just test drove the Honda CR-V - and the only safety feature of these on the CR-V is the rearview camera; giving quite the edge to Toyota.

In our model are the Blind Spot Monitoring, Birds-Eye-View Camera which provides a 360-degree image around the vehicle for improved visibility. Blind Spot Monitoring is also included and LATCH Lower Anchor for children.
Standard features include Toyota Safety Sense, dynamic radar cruise control, the star Safety System with enhanced stability control, traction control, antilock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and Smart Stop, Blind Spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sonar and other items.
In our Limited tested, we enjoyed the technology of the RAV4. We've already touched on the tech upgrades in the Safety. A 7" Navigation touch screen. Auto High Beams, Dynamic Cruise Control, Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist and Smart Stp Technology, Navigation App Suite and smart App, Sirius XM with 3-month Complimentary Trial, and Radio. Moonroof and Roof Rail. Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, Smart Key System and Push Button Start.

Three 12V Power Outlets and one (1) USB.
The RAV4 Hybrid comes in XLE, SE and Limited trims. The XLE gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights with auto high-beam control, foglights, heated mirrors, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seat, a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface (Entune), keyless entry and ignition, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio. Several advanced safety systems are standard this year, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning and intervention.

SE brings you LED lighting (including headlights), 18-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, simulated-leather upholstery (SofTex), a power driver seat, heated front seats and a power litigate.

The loaded Limited is just that: Loaded. The Limited adds to the other trim levels such goodies as front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver-seat memory settings, and a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation and smartphone app integration.
Aesthetics & Styling
This top seller is appealing on the exterior. The interiors well laid out, uses a high degree of plastics, and two tones and is spacious - the rear has 70.6 cubic feel with the rear seats down. Competition will drive Toyota to keep the RAV4 universal but continue to dial the design up every year of two. What continues to keep it competitive are value add suites of services like the Safety one.

It's a highly ambitious class - from Subaru, to Nissan, to Kia, Hyundai and of course Honda. And others. So Toyota should be sensitive on the price - it is one of the highest priced in its class.
Since we told you how much we like the exterior, we will concentrate on the interior. The interior is resolutely contemporary, with interesting two toned door treatments, and an instrument [panel filled with angles, curves and very substantial, luxurious trims and materials. Seating is well done, and the RAV4 has plenty room for all of its occupants.
3 year/36,000 mile basic coverage warranty, 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain coverage. 8 year/100,000 mile warranty for the hybrid powertrain components. 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty for the hybrid powertrain components, 3 year/36,000 mile basic coverage warranty, and five year, 60,000 mile powertrain coverage.