Spacious and sensible, fun and feature-filled, the Toyota RAV4 is definitely the compact SUV for those looking for something more than just a functional ride.
As far as compact SUVs go, the 2014 Toyota RAV4 is not a bad offering since it comes with a fair amount of space and decent design. However, it’s not exactly what we would call a top performer – especially when it comes to things like actual driving. In a nutshell, it’s not a terrible car by any means, but Toyota could have definitely done a better job with it.
If you’re familiar with the previous RAV4’s, one of the first things that will pop out is the fact that the 2014 version no longer has a spare tire attached to its backside. Another new design element that you might notice is the fact that the back door opens upwards instead of outwards, like in the older models. This is actually a solid change since it covers you from rain and seems to be more in line with what you can find in the other compact SUVs, like the Chevy Equinox. You can also get an adjustable power liftgate in the expensive Limited models. Peculiarly enough, the electric version of the 2014 RAV4 looks more like the older models, so if you miss that look, you can get this one. Keep in mind that these are limited-edition only!
On the inside, the new Toyota RAV4 is actually quite a delight since it’s comfortable, spacious and colourful. Indeed, even the lowest trim models demonstrate contrasting colours and such. You’ll also find plenty of high-quality plastics and soft-touch materials. That being said, the doorsills and gearshift lever are somewhat disappointing since they are covered in low-quality carbon-fiber, which looks and feels atrocious. The RAV4 no longer offers leather either, even in the highest trims, but you do get Softex – a semi-acceptable leather alternative, which you can find in the RAV4 EV.
In terms of space and comfort, the front seats are top-notch – even if you go for a base model – thanks to fine upholstery, plenty of legroom and lumbar supper in the Limited trim. The back seats are not bad either since their legroom is more than acceptable. Those seats are also easy to fold down flat, which greatly expands the cargo area in case you need more room for those groceries.
Under the hood, the 2014 RAV4 offers a selection of two engines – a 2.5-litre four-cylinder and AC induction motor. The four-cylinder can produce 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, with the front-wheel drive being standard and all-wheel drive being optional. The AC induction more in the limited production EV model is available with a lithium-ion battery and single-speed automatic transmission. The motor can pump out 154 horsepower and the impressive 273 pound-feet of torque. The EV variants are front-wheel drive only.
No matter which powertrain you pick, however, the power output is not exactly stellar in either one of them, and the fuel economy you get with this car is modest – unless you pick the EV version. But, most people will most likely stick to the regular trims since the EV model is available in limited numbers, which means that most will get subpar fuel economy.
So, is the 2014 Toyota RAV4 worth your money? It costs only $23,870, which is a decent price for what you get. However, we believe that the alternatives, like the Honda CR-V and Kia Sorento are worth a look too since they offer better powertrains along with plenty of superior features.
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|LE AWD 6AT||$26,135||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LE FWD 6AT||$23,870||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Limited AWD 6AT||$33,210||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|XLE AWD 6AT||$30,280||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|XLE FWD 6AT||$28,080||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Number of Doors||5|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
The new 2014 Toyota RAV4 models come equipped with a 2.5-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine coupled to a standard six-speed automatic transmission, with fifth and sixth gear ratios being overdrives. This gives the RAV4 a rating of 176 SAE net horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,100 rpm. If that doesn't sound like much, then you must simply experience it to appreciate the difference. If that wasn't enough to convince you the all new RAV4 is even better, then maybe the new flex lock-up control torque converter will, because this feature actually increases fuel efficiency. The new driver-selectable Eco mode also helps promote efficient driving, further adding to maximized miles per gallon. Where else can you find a smooth and fun ride that actually helps you save on fuel? This fuel efficiency is made even more better with an all new Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive system. This system works with the on board interactive management system to work with the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems to enhance performance, handling and safety.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
Buying a lot of stuff and having to forcefully cram all of it into your vehicle is not only not fun, it isn't safe either. The 2014 Toyota RAV4 solves this with some very thoughtful solutions, such as an adjustable power liftgate that actually remembers how high you want it to be open. For more cargo space, the second row can even be folded completely flat, making more space for more cargo. The base model of the 2014 Toyota RAV4 also comes with power locks, windows, and mirrors, cruise control; tilt/telescoping steering; steering-wheel audio and phone controls; and an AM/FM/CD player controlled, through a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen.
Even those used to driving SUVs find out sooner or later that there is that all-too dangerous blind spot to their vision, and during a drive with cargo, this can be particularly dangerous. The new RAV4 solves this with a Blind Spot Monitor with rear cross-traffic alert system, notifying you of the dangers you may not immediately notice.
Updated on March 26, 2013
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