2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure CUV

by Dan M | Posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018

2018_Toyota_RAV4_Adventure_01_A879B9D33D56BE4D4E54FA7D4CC76BFA97D5CD4D 2018_Toyota_RAV4_Adventure_05_FA580463ED3F978166F84C815BBCF51CCB1E2BED

BY DAVID GOODSPEED
Special Contributor
autoworlddavid@yahoo.com

Toyota is getting ready to roll out the next-generation RAV4
compact utility vehicle later this fall, a vehicle introduced at the
New York Auto Show earlier this year. So it came as a surprise when
the 2018 RAV4 Adventure model rolled into our test driveway just
barely ahead of the 2019 arrival.
The Adventure trim level arrived last year with intentions of
buyers taking their Recreational Adventure Vehicles-4WD (RAV4s) a bit
further off the beaten path. This package adds a bit more rugged
styling (hello male demographic) along with a bit more ride height,
durable interior materials, and some additional “goodies.” When
looking at the RAV4 lineup, think Dwayne Johnson’s character in the
movie Jumanji for the Adventure grade. It’s still Hollywood but it
looks really good.
Basically, the Adventure model combines attributes of the XLE
trim level with design elements of the sportier SE grade. It is
offered in front- or all-wheel drive running gear with dynamic torque
control arriving on AWD models.
The Adventure grade is not offered with a hybrid powertrain as
other trim levels.
Powering the Adventure RAV4 is the 176hp DOHC 2.5-liter
four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a six-speed automatic
transmission….with Eco and Sport driving modes available.
Two types of additional traction control systems are available on
the RAV4 depending on which type drive system is chosen. FWD models
offer automatic limited slip differential that can be engaged below 25
mph. This allows for additional grip while not cutting into engine
power as traditional traction control technology does. Power is
distributed to the best wheel with traction at any given moment. AWD
systems utilize dynamic torque control that takes input from various
sensors including speed, steering speed and angle, and throttle angle
and yaw rate to actively govern power distribution to the rear wheels
via the electromagnetically controlled coupling in the rear
differential. AWD lock is available at speeds up to 25 mph and the
system reverts back to auto at speeds above that with up to 50 percent
torque able to be sent to the rear wheels.
While the Adventure model RAV4 looks good on the outside, it is
very functional inside. We had no qualms about jumping in after a day
at the water park for recent birthday celebrations and there was no
need to put down towels or other protective articles as the Adventure
is made for, well, adventure.
Durable cloth seat fabric allows for dirty or wet clothing while
rubber, non-slip floormats are designed to accommodate your grungy
footwear.
In the rear cargo area is another large weatherproof mat along
with a convenient 120V/100W power outlet so you don’t have to leave
all your creature comforts at home.
Up front is a decent 6.1-inch multimedia touchscreen display with
all of the usual suspects including navigation and JBL sound system
included in the Toyota Entune bundle.
Seating is very comfortable for four adults with places for five.
The second row seats recline and fold flat for additional cargo space
(although it exposes carpet ahead of the rear rubber mat).
RAV4 drivers and passengers benefit from more than 20 years of
engineering work to get the crossover “just right” on the road, as
well as off. We enjoyed a very stable ride with outstanding handling
and were surprised at how quiet and smooth it is inside the RAV4 even
in Adventure trim.
The tires add just ever so little road noise but not to the point
where voices have to be raised to enjoy a conversation going down the
road.
Despite the four-cylinder engine there is ample power available
at the pedal in mixed driving situations. While we never find our way
off pavement we did get to push the traction control systems to
engagement during some unusual summer rainshowers and the RAV4 never
let us down.
Pricing for the 2018 RAV4 Adventure begins (began) at $27,700
with our nicely-optioned tester arriving with a final window sticker
of $32,440. This included a factory discount of nearly a grand and
given Toyota has announced the 2019 models arriving late this fall I
suspect other discounts will follow for MY2018 vehicles.
Fuel economy for our AWD tester came in at 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.
Safety technology includes hill-start assist, pre-collision
system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering
assist, dynamic radar cruise control, and automatic high beams.
Properly equipped, RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 lbs.
The time for this generation RAV4 is coming to an end, with the
new fifth-gen model on the horizon. It will feature some familiar
styling with other members of the Toyota showroom, probably a
necessary move. RAV4 has been a very good compact utility for more
than two decades and now it is apparently time for some changes,
especially given the crowded crossover field available to consumers
these days.
We enjoyed this one and are really looking forward to the next
generation RAV4.

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