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Toyota RAV4 2016 Hybrid

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2016 Subaru Forester vs. 2016 Toyota RAV4 Boston Subaru Dealer Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 Comparison Planet Subaru Hanover Massachusetts 2016 Subaru Forester vs. 2016 Toyota RAV4 - The Car Connection    Humor Etc


This page is mainly about 2016 model but subsequnt years did not introduce too much changes so much of the material still is relevant.

Hybrid model of RAV4 is a rare car and very few people know about it. Like Lexus models (and it is a Lexus in disguise ;-), it is fully assembled in Japan. Right now, gasoline is cheap and SUVs of all sizes are hot. But when gas might climb to $4 per gallon or higher, advantages of hybrid train will become much more apparent ;-) .

Toyota unveiled the RAV4 Hybrid in 2014, but the first copies weren't delivered until November, 2015.  So it was launched during the period of a very low gas prices. But even if we assume $3 per gallon it saves around $500 for each 30K driven in comparison with non-hybrid model ( if we assume 5 miles per gallon difference).  best non-hybrid models  are now close (Honda CRV) to still do not exceed RAV4 fuel economy, unless turbo engine is used. 

Since 2016 minimal trim is XLE. In 2016 it was around $1100  more then the regular RAV4 XLE ($28370 vs. $27270), but generally can be bought (or leased) approximately $1K below MSRP. Previously you need to  buy it with convenience package, but now critical elements of it (including adaptive cruise control) are supplied by Toyota for free. 

In hybrid you get a radically different power train (called AWD-i) and 194 hp total power (instead of 176 hp for a regular RAV XLE) with noticeably better, more linear acceleration (especially noticeable up the hill on entry to highways)  with better fuel economy in town (27-29 vs. 22); not so much on highway (31-34 vs. 29). Actual mileage in heavy town traffic, when you can't recuperate much energy, can be lower (24-26 miles), or if you drive slow enough to use electric motor -- higher.  In winter readeing are slightly worse.

My impression is the suspension is also better then in regular RAV4 XLE and definitely better then some of the competition (Subaru Forrester, Mitsubishi Outlander)  It accommodates roads with bumps and potholes pretty well on speeds up to 65 miles, slight less so on speeds 65-75. 

It comes with 36 month warranty (60 months for power train),  two years of free service (tire rotation and oil changes) and two years 24 hours of roadside assistance (ToyotaCare). In comparison Honda provides tree years of free service for its SUV.

Starting from your test drive you probably would be impressed by the performance. Very good acceleration up the hill on entrance to highway, the most common case where it does matter.  The car remains quiet during acceleration, although you hear how the gar motor rev up.  The hybrid’s claims 8.1-second zero-to-60-mph, but you seldom do this. the most typical case is acceleration on entrance to highway from sya 30-40 to 60-70. And it's very quick.  In passing  on the highway hybrid powertrain also behave very well. Acceleration from, say, 50 to 70 is almost instant, if you push the pedal to the floor.  The car has enough power. All-in-all powertrain exhibits the refinement  unachievable with traditional powertrain. Reminds me luxury brands with 250-350 hp engines. I would like to repeat that even "up the hill" the car accelerates pretty well, which is an important safety feature, if you wish.

Heating/cooling works great with minimal input to operate. There is no front electrical defroster thouth and headted mirrors do not have a separate button to operate. there is a single button "front heat" and that's it.

Lights are good but the automatic high beam feature switches on mainly on exits/entry to highway. In other circumstances it is too conservative and switches on and off too frequently to be useful. Even when highway is almost empty.  What is important is that "Auto" mode works with fog lights, switching them too which is a plus.  Here Toyoda did the right thing.

Headlights on high are amazing, one of the best I ever used.  Fog lights are OK (standard on this trim), but they are weaker then one expects.  Other models, such such Subary and Mitsubishi have better brigher for lights. Still they help at night providing visibility directly in front of the car and are essntial safety feature that you want anyway. And you just get in in the package. On many other models this is not the case and you need to pay extra money for that.

Backup camera is also standard and works really well  at night,  although the "red lines" it draw on the screen are not entirely correct. back light are very good, with enough power for save backing even without camera.

The RAV4 shares many of its bones with the Lexus NX crossover, and the hybrid borrows the technology used in the Lexus NX300h.  So while the car is new, the drive train technology is not. It is already polished in Lexus models. The drive train consists

This AWD drivetrain without psychical connection between wheels  is a very innovative solution, if you ask me.  See Innovative AWD-i Powertrain below. The elegance of the idea of rear drives rotated by electric motors is the major attraction for this model. RAV4 XLE hybrid comes only with AWD.  While this is the first year of the model this is not the first year of the drivetrain. It was tested in Lexus brand.

Fuel economy is good, although smaller Prius V wagon gives you 10 miles per gallon more -- around 42 mpg combined (44 city, 40 highway) and is also fun to drive.  The hybrid RAV4 can (sluggishly) accelerate on electric power alone from 0 to 20 mph. Which is a very useful feature for bumper to bumper traffic.  It also will frequently drop into "EV" mode under light loads and when the car goes down the hill on cruise control.

Fuel economy is best in moderate temperatures above freezing point.  You can easily get 33-35 mpg on highway even when, say 10-20% of commute is slow bumper-to-bumper traffic and 28-30 in mixed driving with highway mileage dominant. Pure city driving is about 25 mpg. At low temperatures efficiency drops probaly by 5 mpg from the figures listed. It also drops on very high temperatures but I do not have any estimate for this.  this is from car instrumental panel and they might be not enterely correct. General impression is very good: you definitely pay much less the for ordinary SUV and one full tank lasts abound 450 miles.

The car practically silent in the packing lot. Which is a very good thing in the morning, but can represent a danger for children.  

The power display shows the rear wheels engaging frequently for acceleration and on hills, so the AWD-i isn't just for winter and sharp turns. It helps in each situation when you need additional power, for example during passing. 

The RAV4  received high marks in safety as the NHTSA gave the non-hybrid model a five-star rating and the IIHS named it a 2016 Top Safety Pick+.

While RAV Hybrid XLE  costs more a regular model, given the extra degree of engineering and hardware involved in the Hybrids power train the current price make sense, despite being close to the price of luxury brands. Just think that rear wheels are not mechanically connected to the front motor and you will understand why. Also XLE looks like a more  sensible choice, especially with convenience package, then RAV4 Limited (which shoot into luxury car price range -- you can buy base trim of Acura RDL 2016 model for slightly more). It is definitely overpriced.

The convenience package buys  you most safety features (some of which you might not need :-); two most valuable are adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring):

The active safety features are truly next generational, effective, and easy to use. The camera features are amazing. LED headlights, fog lamps (although strangely not LED), great visibility, blind spot monitoring, pedestrian and rear cross traffic sensors, radar cruise control, lane shift sensors, and more make it all a very nice package, indeed.

Despite the extra curb weight, RAV4 hybrid accelerates really well with 0-60 mph time of 8.1 seconds (almost one second quicker than the non-hybrid RAV). And this additional power is noticeable when you need to merge from the exit that is up the hill to the highway. In a way this additional power is a safety feature too. To me it accelerates noticeably better then Forester Premium with CVT and 2.5 engine.

Braking is OK too. I did not notice a lag in activation of braking that some reviewers report.  Recuperative braking for hybrid is actually the main reason for better gas economy. At stable highway cruise speeds (55-75) this SUV does not have impressive gas economy as energy from gas engine is  just  converted into electrical to drive motors. It might actually might be less efficient as gas engine at those speeds works at optimal RPMs.

Its EPA rating is 33 mpg combined. And that's achievable. That’s tops not only among midsize SUVs (tied with its Lexus NX 300h AWD  twin), but also among all-wheel-drive vehicles of similar size and weight.  This is an important achievement which will be more important when gas prices climb over symbolic $4 per gallon mark (let's say in two-three years from now).  And if we assume that from February 2016 the path of gas price is generally up, savings on gas will gradually increase each subsequent year.  If the drive train is as reliable as in Prius it will probably last 200K-250K miles. 

The Start Key

The start of the car is "Prius Like" and is probably new to most people: you need to depress gas pedal and when the display shows the key then (only then) push the start button: no key required.  Actually this is a source of problem for many new owners (they forget to push the brake button first; as this is not a required step with a regular key)  so please pay attention.

You need to depress gas pedal and when the display shows the key then (only then) push the Start button

You can't close the vehicle, if you key is inside.

Entering the vehicle without clicking any buttons

An interesting and innovative feature is entrance to the vehicle: you just need to touch the door handle, if you have the key in your pocket. The door will open automatically.

Similarly you can close the door by just touching the left upper (riffled) surface of the handle.  At the beginning it looks strange as old habits die very slow, but in a month or too you will prefer this method as it allow do not touch you keys at all.

See Care-free Car Keys - Articles Toyota Owners

For more information on Toyota’s Smart Key System, take a look at our Owner’s Manual section or our How-to Video on remote keyless entry.

The same is true for trunk which has buttons for opening it and closing it. Opening works with the key in your packet.

The problem is that it opens and close too slowly. Manual opening is much faster and probably even more convenient.

Some nice touches

  1. Headrests on rear sears are foldable and thus do not obscure the view over read windows much in folded position.
  2. Side mirrors are large and well designed. They provide an excellent view.  Warning about "dead zone" cars is really useful. But it is slightly more conservative that I would like.
  3. Outside temperature measurement is pretty accurate, which is not always the case in other manufactures. 
  4. Line crossing warning is very useful especially on long commute when at the end you are tired.
  5. Adaptive cruse control works amazingly well in dry warm weather condition.  It allow you to follow the car in front of you are safe distance with minimal efforts on your side.  You mileage may vary in icy condition or then snow or rain is falling and you have temperatures close to freezing. Sensor do not like to be covered with ice or snow.
  6. Keyless entry and start after you get used to it is a plus. As you can keep the keys in your pocket. There is no chance to lock yourself out  as the car detects when the keys are inside and try to lock the car from outside.
  7. Tire pressure control is a plus.
  8. Central display between left and right dials is very useful.
  9. Control of speakers on the wheel and ability to switch melodies via up and down buttons is a plus. I do not use phone while driving but the facilities provided work with phone well.
  10. Washer nozzles are hidden

Behaviour in the snow and cold weather

Near obstacles sensors, which are helpful in parking the car,  need to be  free of slow to behave properly. That create difficulties in very cold days when sensors are covered with ice. You have additional job to clean them or they produce false alarms. 

Salt of the road also gets into rear camera and lens need to be cleaned.

Efficiency in cold weather is lower then in warm weather: the car is barely getting 30 miles on  highway.

Enhanced low on gas warning

One interesting touch  is a full central screen low on gas warning. In this case you probably have something like 20 miles to drive. But this warning is a very nice touch: it proposes set of gas station to go to refuel the car. Good job Toyota !!!


Sometimes the back of the car "dances" during hard braking

As car is rather heavy and in certain, undetermined circumstances, hard braking cause back of the car "dance". It looks like switch from electrical motor braking to mechanical pads breaking is not that smooth.  the oscillation is noticeable and that danger is that the back of the car might even cross the lane.

As the car is heviour that it feels (due to battery pack), it make sense to use larger distance then usually from the car in front. Adaptive cruse control provides such a distance automatically.  You need to get used to keep this distance. In heavy traffic that invites other cars to "cut" you , though, so this is not always possible. But if you have a shorter distance you should very very aware about red light flashing on the car in front and react immediately.

Some Toyota oversights

There are also some Toyota oversights:

The trump surface is uneven if you fold the seats. You can put some dog mattress or cut a foam to make it even.  Memory foam become stiff in cold weather, which is drawback but words wonder to prevent moving packages in the trunk.

If you get convenience package with XLE you also get sunroof, which  you might not want.

Entune Plus

Entune plus system which you get with convenience package allows to play music from USB sticks: but you need to covert your CDs into MP3. It accepts USB sticks up to 16GB. which is more then adequate.   No CD player is provided, but you can use external CD player via AUX input. 

Default configuration creates three type virtual folders: the default is one for each performer which is probably the most invoiced. Two other are better deals. .  Real folders are not displayed. Performers are listed in alphabetic order. If you have only one song for particular performer you need to click twice to pay it which not very convenient.

From USB it sometimes truncates the songs. This is the defect that was reported by many owners. Something is wrong here. It might depends on the size and the type of USB. Smaller sizes might be more reliable. I do not known. My 16 GB Kingston drive proved to have this problem. You need to experiment. 

Quality of speakers is high.  I would call it very high for the car in this price range.

If you have difficulties call support  1-800-331-4331. They are pretty helpful.


Looks like they have Microsoft navigation. Navigation shows the traffic and this is a really useful feature if you do not have in you stand alone GPS, as you can avoid some congested areas if you are attentive.  It also displays information on turns on the central display which is useful and  innovative feature.

But in general I do not like it and rarely use it. I bough Garmin Nuvi and use it (BTW Nuvi  57LM can have a backup camera -- Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera )  It provide information about speed limits and  complex exits from highway in a better way.

If it is sunny, the display is not visible. This is a major drawback.

Still for well know trips it is adequate and does provide some useful information


Adaptive cruise control

It works. And it works amazingly reliably in dry weather.  If temperature is close to freezing point and it is snowing/raining and the road  and the car became icy, then sensors can be hidden under the layer of ice or snow and that will not work. At this point it became dangerous, especially on highway. Do not use it in such conditions for automatic following the car in front, or you might get into accident.  Same with parking sensors. They do not like being covered with ice or snow. Toyota provides some warning --  a tiny "Ice on the road" on the central display --   that might help to increase awareness of this situation. 

Drivers should remain attentive and keep hands on the wheel when  adaptive cruse control mode is engaged.

Still in good weather, this is probably the most useful and important for safe driving  improvement of a standard cruse control: the ability for following the car in front of you on the highway at a certain (safe) distance and slow and to accelerate as the car in front of you is  very useful. Here is a relevant quote from Edmunds review:

Cruise Control has 2 functioning modes, with or without radar (classic). With the radar on, it will keep a distance to the car in front of you. But: in city driving, more often than not, a car will enter your lane at a smaller distance then what the radar is set to (default is 50 yards), which will result in automatic, unexpected and not exactly gentle braking, with a best case scenario that the driver in a car following you will wonder what got into you, while he has to hit the brakes as well.

That's what made me stop using it in city driving completely (afraid of being rear ended) or use it with caution (disconnect when a vehicle is about to enter the same lane).

Again in XLE you can get this feature only with the the convenience package.  To enable it push ON-OFF cruse control button. The "RADAR-READY indicator will be displayed on the minidisplay. After then system can be operated as regular cruse control.  You can switch to a screen on minidisplay that shown if it works. It works well with line deviation alert  making driving car long distance less tiring. Also it can serve as an important safety aid, when you get tired at the end of the long trip.

You can also change vehicle-to-vehicle distance. The default it 50 yards, which is the most adequate setting in most cases.

NOTE: If you hold ON-OFF cruse control button switch for 1.5 sec or more, the system switches to constant speed control. This is nice you got confused by this new feature.  If you are using Adaptive Cruse control then first press the button to switch it off and then press it for 1.5 sec to switch to constant speed control.

Heated side mirrors

There is not indicator that heat element in side mirrors is on and no a separate button to activate it.  There are no indicators, logos or symbols on the car or mirrors themselves for this feature. The switch is the rear defrost, not front defrost (which activated the fan blowing the windshield).

2011 Toyota RAV4 Rear Window And Mirror Defrost How To by Toyota City Minneapolis MN - YouTube

Looks like this does not all too work well.  The credit card sized membership cards, like to a grocery store, are perfect for cleaning the side mirrors. Few swipes with the card and you are good to go.. 

Some people experimented with  220v hair driers (powered from your home socket) or with a cheap 12 v defroster such as  Zone Tech EL0018 Portable Heater Defroster Fan powered from jump-start battery. Using it from the car cigarette lighted can blow the fuse.  If not that can be useful for other puposes too.  

How can I confirm if I have heated outside mirrors - Toyota Nation Forum Toyota Car and Truck Forums

I have heated mirrors on my 2007 TCH but there are no indicators, logos or symbols on the car or mirrors themselves for this feature. The only thing I can suggest is to leave your car outside tonight where you live in Minneapolis so that they frost over. In the morning, activate your rear defroster and you should see your mirrors also defrost as they get warm.

Other than that, your TCH purchase paperwork will show the heated mirror package indicated for your VIN.

Hope that helps.


Originally Posted by acouse View Post

Awesome! Let me know how you make out

Maybe I am missing something, but I did not notice any frosting. I did the following though. I drove the car for about 30 minutes and kept the rear defroster on. According to the owner's manual, the surface should become really hot. It did not after 30 minutes of driving! The car is now at the dealership for a check


Hmmm... that is kind of weird. I don't think they're supposed to get really hot; just warm enough to melt the frost and condensation that may be on the mirrors when they're cold.

I suppose you could also spray some clean water on one of the mirrors with a water bottle (mist setting) then turn on your defroster. The water should start to evaporate before your eyes and you should also see a round pattern on the glass of where the heating element is.

I'm curious to know what the dealer finds out for you so keep me updated.


Confirmed!! It works. The dealership said everything was working. I still needed to try it out though...and your latest idea helped. It took about 30-45 seconds to see the water evaporating from the mirrors.


HEATED outside mirrors on hybrid

hi = I asked my dealer the same question. got a 2011 last week. when you turn on the rear defrost, the two outside mirrors heat up and get hot. I knew they were working from the ice storm we had last monday and it melted the snow on them also from this blizzard we are getting through. lack of detail to not have a symbol anywhere.

Blindspot car detection

Blindspot car detection is integrated in drive side mirror: a light is illuminated if there is a car in this zone. It is not much better then additional concave mirror. But concav mirror that is provided with XLE trip without convinince package is not bad iether. Blindspot detection bests concav mirrors in rain and snow.  In regular driving not by much.  It si too conservative and is blinking even when you are safe to change the lanes. This is slightly annoying.

Also it is blinking constantly if you are driving on the highway in the middle lane and cars are passing you in the fast lane.

Trim levels

There are two trim levels,  midgrade XLE and top-shelf Limited. XLE makes most sense, but only with the convenience package. The convenience package has just about every safety feature you will need: Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, front and rear parking sonar, auto on/off feature for halogen projector-beam headlights, Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation, App Suite and Toyota Safety Sense which adds Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Auto High Beams and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

All this for around $2K, which is not cheap, but is not extremely expensive iether taking into account the value it provides for almost $30K car.   While  some of the features of the Limited like power faux leather seats with lumbar support, LED headlights and heated seats are nice, they definitely do not  justify the almost $4000 upcharge.

  1. The base XLE trim.   This is the minimum trim with which you can buy this car.  MSRP is $29,345 , but you can do better then that using Edmunds, or using TrueCar  ePrice for participating dealerships (with discount almost $2K for 2016 model you can get to around  $27,800 or so). It comes 17" allow wheels, with a rearview camera,  Entune (thanks God without navigation), 4.2 TFT display dual-zone automatic climate control, Sirius Satellite Radio, ECO, EV and sport modes, a moonroof, push-button start (Smart Key System21 With Power Liftgate + Push Button Start), a power liftgate.

    Features like blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and an upgraded Entune system are available in  Convenience Package which costs $1834. Integrated navigation system is junk.

    Convenience Package $1834

    Blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert; Front and rear parking sonar; Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation (Junk !!! -- NNB) and App Suite; Toyota Safety Sense with pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with lane keep assist, auto high beams and dynamic radar cruise control 

  2. RAV4 Limited trim. It costs around $33,600 and you get more standard safety and convenience features plus leather. But objectively added complexity does not make much sense unless you have money to spend. It adds a lot of complexity to already very complex vehicle, so lease is a better option the buy. It comes with an Entune Premium Audio system, which includes all of the features of the base Entune system, as well as HD Radio and an App Suite that connects you with a variety of services like Facebook and internet radio. Also standard on the RAV4 Limited Hybrid are blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights, and leatherette seating. Toyota's Safety Sense system comes with this trim and includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and a pedestrian detection system. Available only on this trim are a JBL Premium audio system and a four-camera system that displays a bird's eye view of the vehicle.

Whether it makes sense to buy the Convenience Package depends on you whether you want all those complex electronic features like blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors. It is unclear to me to what extent blind spot monitoring on the side mirrors is better then the the passive small mirror in the upper left corner.

Innovative AWD-i Powertrain

The real innovation in Rav4 Hybrid is the way it implements AWD. It can be called a half-electric car. The rear wheels are driven by an electric motor that’s not mechanically connected to the four-cylinder engine, second electric motor and CVT transmission that are tucked under the hood. Everything is synchronized through computer.

The real innovation in Rav4 Hybrid is the way it implements AWD. It can be called a half-electric car. The rear wheels are driven by an electric motor that’s not mechanically connected to the four-cylinder engine, second electric motor and CVT transmission that are tucked under the hood. Everything is synchronized through computer.

The RAV4 Hybrid is only $700 more than a comparably equipped non-hybrid RAV4, so making the jump to hybrid technology is relatively inexpensive. 

Like every other Toyota hybrid sold, the RAV4 gets a variation of Hybrid Synergy Drive also called AWD-i (Technical Features Video Rav4 AWD i - YouTube). There’s a 150-hp, 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder up front, coupled to a 141-hp, permanent-magnet electric motor using the traditional Toyota CVT automatic. This combination powers the front wheels. The rear wheels are powered by a 67-hp electric motor that has no mechanical connection to the front wheels. This system is called AWD-i, and it allows a great degree of flexibility in the front-to-rear power split. As in most such systems, the RAV4 drives its front wheels most of the time, but Toyota says that the system looks at the driver demands and the steering-wheel position to anticipate wheelspin and engage the rear wheels before the fronts even start to slip.

  1. Gas powered engine used in this pretty unique power train (also used in the Lexus NX hybrid)  delivers 112 horsepower at 5,700 rpm, 206 pounds-feet torque at 4,100.
  2. The electric motor contributes a substantial additional 141 horsepower (105 kilowatts) at 4,500 rpm in front, 199 pounds feet torque,
  3. The independent rear motor can supply 67 horsepower (50 kilowatts) at 4,608 rpm.

Total system output is 194 horsepower, comparing favorably with 176 horsepower for the gas-only RAV4. 

Here is what Car and Driver said about the drive train (Toyota RAV4 Reviews - Toyota RAV4 Price, Photos, and Specs )

In every RAV4 hybrid, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 150 horsepower works in conjunction with three electric motors to send power to all four wheels. The layout of this complicated powertrain is the same as in the Highlander hybrid, with two motors integrated into the front transaxle and one located in back to drive the rear wheels. Because the compact RAV4 is smaller than the three-row Highlander, its front traction motor (the one that powers the wheels while the other one functions as a starter/generator) is rated at 141 horsepower rather than the 167 in the Highlander; however, its 67-hp rear motor is identical. Total system power is 194 horsepower, which is less than the sum of the individual outputs, because peak output for the gas and electric power sources happen at different rotational speeds.

... ... ...

The hybrid’s additional power is better felt at higher speeds, where the electric motor provides a nice surge of power for passing. Our test driver noted that battery power was depleted after three or four full-throttle acceleration runs, but that’s not a likely scenario in regular use.

External look, Dimensions and Weight

RAV4 looks pretty ugly, especially its back with strange configuration of rear glass which creates ugly bumps around tail lights. But Driver position is excellent and visibility is not worse and in some aspects is better then in Forester.  Side mirrors are better in RAV4 ( for XLE trim heated mirrors are included in convince package -- you need to pay for the Weather package in Forester to get them)

LENGTH 181.1"
WIDTH 72.6"

HEIGHT 67.1"

At 3,925-3,950 pounds, it weighs 320 pounds more than respective gar engine powered XLE and Limited non-hybrid RAVs, but it manages the extra bulk well with it only being noticeable in harder cornering where the lighter non-hybrids are a bit more sure footed.  If you drive alone it's like having another passenger in the car.

See also 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review and Road Test - DETAILED in 4K UHD! - YouTube

Comparison with Forester (Forester listed first)

Interior Dimensions
Passenger Volume (ft³) 103.3 100.7  
Second Head Room (in) 37.5 38.9  
Second Shoulder Room (in) 56.5 55.4  
Front Leg Room (in) 43 42.6  
Passenger Capacity 5 5  
Front Hip Room (in) 53.9 54.3  
Second Leg Room (in) 38 37.2  
Front Head Room (in) 40 38.9  
Second Hip Room (in) 53 48.9  
Front Shoulder Room (in) 57 57.3
Exterior Dimensions
Min Ground Clearance (in) 8.7 6.3  
Length, Overall (in) 180.9 181.1  
Height, Overall (in) 68.2 65.5  
Track Width, Rear (in) 61.1 61.8  
Wheelbase (in) 103.9 104.7  
Liftover Height (in) 28.6 -  
Width, Max w/o mirrors (in) 70.7 72.6  
Track Width, Front (in) 60.9 61.8  
Cargo Area Dimensions
Cargo Box (Area) Height (in) 34.8 -  
Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (ft³) 74.7 73.4  
Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 2 (in) 37.1 -  
Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (ft³) 34.4 38.4  
Cargo Box Width @ Wheelhousings (in) 42.2 -  
Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 1 (in) 71.9 -  
Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (ft³) 34.4 38.4  
Cargo Area Width @ Beltline (in) 45.9 -


Features of XLE model

The standard features of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE include 2.5L I-4 194hp hybrid gas engine, 2-speed CVT transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, driver knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 17" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, all-wheel drive.

Backup camera, heated mirrors and  fog lights are standard on this trim.

Here is one, pretty typical example: New 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE For Sale in East Stroudsburg PA JTMRJREV3GD029346

Included Options

Service (the first two years are free)

The first two years of service are free.  After that it is pretty expensive if you the dealer. And you should for the hybrid.

Toyota lease on a new 2016 RAV4 Hybrid (Expires 07/05/2016)

Here are conditions of the lease

Get a 2016 RAV4 Hybrid for $209 for 36 months

Lease a new 2016 RAV4 Hybrid for $209 a month for 36 Months with $3,199 due at signing, which includes $2990 down, $209 first month's payment and $0 security deposit. Example based on model 2016 Models 4444.

Total MSRP including freight is $29888. Monthly payments of $209 x 36 Months equals $7524.

Capitalized cost of $26019 based on down payment and dealer participation which may vary by dealer.

Lease-end purchase option is $19128.

$350 disposition fee due at lease end unless customer purchases vehicle or decides to re-finance through Toyota Financial Services.

Lease does not include taxes, license, title fees, acquisition fee of $650, insurance, regionally required equipment and other dealers’ charges are extra and not included in the amounts shown. Closed-end lease.

Payment may vary depending upon final transaction price. Customer responsible for maintenance, excess wear and tear and $.15 per mile over 12000 miles per year. To qualified Tier 1+ customers through Toyota Financial Services. Must take retail delivery by 07-05-2016. Does not include College Grad or Military Rebate.

*Covers normal factory scheduled service. Plan is 2 years or 25K miles, whichever comes first.

The new Toyota vehicle cannot be part of a rental or commercial fleet, or a livery or taxi vehicle. See plan for complete coverage details. See participating Toyota dealer for details.

Valid only in the continental United States and Alaska.

You can see that actual down payment is $3199+$650 + taxes, license, title fees, not $3199. Also $350 disposition fee need to be calculated in. So you total cost before taxes is 30201, which is 3,700 difference with buying the car for 27,500 at zero percent for 60 month. Or more then $1K a year.

2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid - 6 Month Service - YouTube

Published on Jun 14, 2016

Today I took my Rav4 in for its first service, I have owned the car for 5 and a half months and have 3300 miles on it. The 6 month service includes - rotating the tires, topping off the fluids and inspecting the vehicle. I also had them make a change to how my doors unlock.

Total MSRP including freight listed in Toyota lease offer (misleading info) $29,888
Delivery cost     879
MSRP (note MRSP on Toyota web site is $28,370 so this includes delivery 29009
Cap cost reduction     2990
Capitalized cost     26019
Monthly 209 36 7524
Total payment     10514
Tax (8%)     841.12
Acquisition cost     $650
Registration and title fees (doc fees)     $300
Roadside assistance from AAA for one year (first two years are free)   $75
Maintenance costs (third year oil change and tire rotation)     $200
Disposition fee     350
Total cost of the lease     12930
Residual     19128
Total cost of the car if you are buying it at the end of the lease 31708
Total cost of three consecutive leases     38790
Realistic price at which you buy a car for cash (edmunds)     27,800
Tax (8%)     2224
Registration and title fees (doc fees)     $300
Delivery cost     $900
Additional maintenance costs     $4,000
Cost of roadside assistance after first two years (AAA $60 a year)   $420
Residual cost of 9 year car (Blue Book value)     $2,000
Total cost of the car if you are buying for cash     $33,644
Losses for 9 years (cash ownership vs. lease)     5,146
Per year  losses  (cash ownership vs. lease)     572

Expected reliability

Toyota Prius proved to be extremely reliable car and most elements of hybrid powertrain are common. I would expect that this car can drive at least 120K miles without major breaks.  I know that some Priuses managed to last 200K miles without major brakes.

The problem is with electronics. The car has so much electronics that sensor malfunction due to age is the major "root cause" of visits to the dealership. And their replacement  is not cheap. But that is true for all modern cars. Expect troubles after first 6-8 years.  This problem might make uneconomic to keep the car after that.

RAV4 vs Forester

Both cars are close in quality and features  and the choice is tricky. Exterior is ugly in RAV4. IMHO Forester is better looking SUV with larger read windows and better rare visibility.  That came is true about CR-V. But RAV4 Hybrid has much better fuel economy in city traffic and slightly better on highway, while being in the same price range as both Subaru and Honda are more scroodgy and you need to buy each extra feature from them. RAV4 also has an innovative powertrain that outdo the compertition  and by most of its characteristics actually belongs to the luxury segment.

RAV4 XLE hybrid  definitely beats regular lower priced Forester Premium with 2.5 engine in acceleration, front view from cabin, and form of external mirrors (but not mirrors position, which is better in Forester). It can't match Forester in some useful for North-West features (front wipers deforester).

RAV4 is comparable in acceleration to Forester 2.0XT Premium with 2 liter turbocharged engine but it takes premium gas.  ($30,170 MSRP, which is less then  $1K higher then MSRP of RAV4 XLE hybrid  -- $29,345).

RAV4  comes with a very reasonable, but not too exiting configuration in XLE model, which is less impressive then Forester 2.0 XT Premium model but many people do not need more.   In all models Forester has better positioned (but not designed) side mirrors, more comfortable seats with lumbar support and comparable audio.

My impression is that due to discounts available (around $2K) RAV4 XLE model is  more then competitive with regular 2.5 liter engine Forester Premium. It also has slightly better "road feel" (may be due the fact that it is heavier) and more modern driver train, which provides better (but not by much) fuel economy. In case Forester 2.5 Premium,  Forester advantages are limited to Eyesight package that you can add to match the price of RAV4 XLE hybrid. That package contains  some useful features making   Forester 2.5 Premium  slightly better equipped car (again, windshield wiper deicer is available only on Forester) .

 Forester 2017 2.5i Premium with CVT is $26,870 with delivery cost included ($850) .  Adding  $1,695 CODE 14 package ( All Weather Package + EyeSight + Blind Spot Detection/Rear+Cross Traffic Alert) and  Blind Spot Detection/ Rear Cross Traffic Alert ) brings you to $28340.

Which is close to MSRP of RAV4 XLE ( 29015), but with more features.   Both modes can be discounted but because we compare RAV4 hybrid 2016 model with  Forester 2017 2.5i Premium with CVT the discount is better on RAV4 (around $2K, which can be used to buy the "Convenience package"  to outmatch Forrester).

So if you do not value acceleration and innovative power train (which provides somewhat better, but not dramatically better fuel economy) you should chose Forester which gives you  Blind Spot Detection/ Rear Cross Traffic Alert for slightly lesser price and have power driver seat and moonroof included (if you value those features; some people hate moonroof, some do not care and never use it). 

Forester 2017 2.0i Premium ($30,170) beats RAV4 XLE hybrid in acceleration being only $1K more expensive. But please note that RAV4 Limited hybrid (around $33K) is comparable in features and is usually discounted  to $31K, so even here your mileage may vary. Still 250 hp turbocharged engine is a feature of luxury car segment (but at the cost of slightly worse fuel efficiency and using premium fuel). 

If you commute long distances (say over 30 miles each way daily) you need to anticipate the possibility of gas prices climbing to $4 per gallon in two or three years (which actually is quite possible as return of oil to above $100 per barrel price is just a question of time and might happen before 2020). If this is the case  RAV Hybrid is the car you might want NOW to soften the shock. You might not be able to buy it at the same prices later on. 

RAV4 hybrid is also highly competitive, if you lease the car. As of June 2016 Toyota provides 36 month lease with $209 per month and $3199 down on this car, the conditions that Subaru can't beat.  See Toyota lease on a new 2016 RAV4 Hybrid

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Old News ;-)

[Jan 15, 2018] Gas Mileage of 2017 Small SUV 4WD

Jan 02, 2018 |

2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic (AV-S6)

Average: 32
City MPG: 34

Highway MPG: 30

2017 Honda CR-V AWD 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios)

Regular Gasoline

Combined MPG:27

City MPG:25
Highway MPG:31
3.7 gals/100 miles

[Jun 21, 2016] 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SUV Review & Ratings

Several reviewers noted breaks squeaks when motor goes to reverse.

B, 01/31/2016

XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

This is my choice as the best small SUV in 30K price range. The features offered in this car convinced me to spend a little more than my 30K limit for the XLE trim with the convenience package. I do recommend the convenience package if you are into newer technologies.

Below, I compare Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to other models that I considered prior my purchase. I have tested all these cars.

1- The same model in limited trim: I could not justify the higher price. I prefer cloth seating versus synthetic leather because it's cooler and I live in Texas. My car is slightly lighter, which is a good fact. One size smaller rims translates to better off-road driving. I also prefer the look of rims on XLEs.

2- Honda CRV SEL: I prefer both the exterior and interior in my RAV4. I did not have navigation and all wheel drive capability at the same price if I selected a Honda CRV. Toyota ride is far smoother, more comfortable, and much more quiet compared to CRV. The Hybrid is more powerful and more efficient too.

3- Cherokee V6, Limited: Cherookee is a faster car but much less efficient. Cherokee is much smaller. The interior is too compact. The front window is too steep.

4- Lexux nx200t and Acura RLX: they are faster cars, more luxurious too. However, both are more expensive and lose more value for resale. Both have higher maintenance costs.

What I like in RAV4 Hybrid:

They improved three major negative points that I did not like in the 15 models:

1- The ugly blue information screen is replaced with a luxurious 4" display. This display completes the car's En-tune system, similar what you see in a Mercedes or a Lexus. It's very handy for the driver.

2- The cheapo looking carbon fiber plastic trimmings are gone from the cabin.

3- The standard RAV4 is slow and lags when you need to accelerate. The hybrid is fast and snappy when you need the power.

Bottom line: RAV4 is growing up towards its SUV nature. To me, it looks more of a SUV rather than a cross-over or station wagon. Hybrid model is a rare find that very few people know about it. It's fully assembled in Japan similar to Lexus models. It owns the same power train as Lexus NX300h within a more matured body. You get more space for you and your luggage in a lighter body when compared to the pricy Lexus NX300h! To me, not only RAV4 Hybrid is more valuable, but also is a more optimized design.

Driver can ride on this vehicle for either fuel economy or performance. It can do it all! 40MPG or 8s 0-60, it is adaptive in this price range.

More Comments:

-When you look at my ratings, I have considered the price range and car's class. For reliability ratings, this is what I expect from Toyota.

MPG: -I have got MPGs in 40 range for mixed highway-city trips. My total average is less since most of my trips are very short within the city.

-What I don't like about this car: the converters in the cargo could be re-arranged for more space. I believe they come from the lexus design. On the positive side, the back seats are more like what NX has; they look upgraded to me compared to the regular RAVs!

-Algebraic summation of electric motors and the gasoline engine is much more than 195hp! Toyota could offer more power and performance for this car. There is room for further tweaking this car towards improved performance!


Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)


Smooth drive in flat terrain, but struggles to go uphill in highway (noisy and slow). Interior quality has improved slightly - it's not all plastic as it used to be in recent years even in the Limited trim; looks like Toyota has heard the customer complaints and added some softer touch in some places, but still has a far way to go catch up to the top trim line of Honda or Ford. I bought this RAV4 as I wanted a small SUV with hybrid power train and below 35k. While this has lived up to the expectation on gas mileage, I have had a couple of major issues already during the past two months -
1. The power rear lift gate doesn't work any more. The power feature is gone, and it is not even possible to open or close the door manually. The nearby Toyota ordered some parts (strut and electronic computer module) couple of weeks ago, and I still haven't heard from them.
2. The brakes are quite noisy (squeaks) when going reverse, and I am hoping to address this with the dealership when going back to fix the rear lift gate.

Toyota has been cutting corners and using cheap materials over the past decade; but most importantly, their quality is clearly not where it used to be. With the significant quality issues just within two months of use, and it's poor performance when going uphill in the highway, this was obviously a bad purchase. I should have ignore the hybrid / gas mileage benefit, and gone with a Honda/Acura/Ford instead.

By Liz, 05/07/2016

XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

This is my 4th Toyota (Camry, matrix AWD , Prius ) the matrix and Prius are still on the road (my adult children drive them) so I have confidence in Toyota products. My Prius had great gas mileage and low maintenance costs but was terrible in the Minnesota snow (low ground clearance and poor traction) plus I had to sorta slink down into the drivers seat. I realty wanted a taller vehicle and certainly wanted the AWD! I test drove Subaru but the great luck I'd had with Toyota brought me back - I did not know about the RAV4 hybrid arrival - they were fresh on the lot of my dealership and the sales guy handed me the keys and told me to take the vehicle for the afternoon- I came back at 5: and bought the car. We drove it 1600 miles in a few days, the 2nd month we owned the vehicle and loved the ride!

Pros: better ground clearance, gas mileage around 32mpg up to 35mpg (better mpg when it's not cold outside), easy in/out, blind spot mirror, good passing acceleration , sounds like my Prius , smart key push button start, tested in snow and felt the 4 wheel drive take over , handled snow well and felt safe.

Cons: trunk space in back restricted due to battery packs, i purchased the more basic model and the sound system is inferior - wish I would have upgraded that. Not sure I'm crazy about the automatic trunk lift.

Trevor Wellman, 04/03/2016

Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Overall: What a wonderful vehicle! I recently traded in my 2011 Honda Accord EXL 4 cyl (Loved that car) for the new 2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Limited and have no regrets. The Rav4 has just as much, if not more get-up-and-go than the Accord and has far superior gas mileage and cargo capacity (obvi). The interior is a delight! The black/beige letherette interior looks so nice with the Black metallic exterior! Definitely a hot car (but not solid black leather hot like my accord...ouch).

Performance and Economy: Off the line, you can either have excellent power and torque, normal acceleration, or electric-only acceleration depending on the mood and situation. If pushed right, the car can be gas-free up to about 35mph in eco-mode! I only use EV mode in parking lots or downtown settings, otherwise your Rav4 handles that for you. For maintaining speed, "Pump and Glide" is the way to go! A light foot in eco-mode will allow it to stay gas-free, but power-mode then eco-mode seems to get me the best mpg from a start. Highway merging is superb! So quick as long as nobody slow is in front to stop you.... Excellent passing power, too!

Handling: One of the reasons I bought this vehicle was to take my grandparents places with ease. Step in height is excellent and comfort is superb. At first I thought the seats were a bit firm, but they have softened up since. The ride is very car-like and seems to have a bit better maneuverability than my accord. Steering is a bit synthetic, but I guess that is what power steering does? It does not bother me at all. The steering wheel has a very nice, thick feel in my hands. The sensors and cameras help me stay confident on the road. I have not had the chance to drive in a blizzard, yet (thankfully).

Safety and Tech: The electronics and safety tech is plenty and helpful. The car looks so sleek with the LED daytime and headlights! I wish the foglights were LED, too. Toyota Safety package is a must! Just make sure to turn off the features before car washes, or the car will go crazy with beeps. The pre-collision system works, too! I wanted to test it out for fun, and it is very confident. I like how the Navigation has a different volume setting than the audio. The voice is very nice and the Tachometer navigation display is very nice. The backup camera is very helpful with turning guides and cross-detection technology! So wonderful to know when a car is coming and I cannot see them. Entune needs a bit of help, but I only ever use Spotify via bluetooth, so it has not been much of an issue for me. The speaker system is better than I was expecting. Speaker placement is good (my accord rattled due to speaker placement). Could use a little bit more fine-tuning for a Limited model. I did not upgrade to JBL, however...

I can see myself owning this car for a very long time! It has great looks, gas mileage, and storage. I will soon be moving cross-country and will update my review after. My accord was an excellent vehicle and survived the cross-country journey last year wonderfully. Excited now to test the Rav4 and see how high I can get the gas mileage. Definitely would and have recommended to anyone looking for a new, fuel-efficient vehicle. Even though XLE may look like a better value, I would highly recommend the Limited for the extra tech and aesthetics.

Marius, 05/11/2016

XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

It is a great SUV in it's class, with no comparable vehicle, when you're looking at performance/ utility/ gas mileage. Everything good that everyone says about it is true. A couple of shortcomings, in my opinion, with the Safety Sense: Lane Departure Warning can become annoying in city driving, with all the other safety features present, you may not know why it's beeping at you (something serious like pedestrian crossing?) so I'd rather have it turned off. If you turn it off, you can't enable Cruise Control, which I use in city/ suburban driving mostly to stay out of trouble (limiting my speed).

Cruise Control has 2 functioning modes, with or without radar (classic). With the radar on, it will keep a distance to the car in front of you. But: in city driving, more often than not, a car will enter your lane at a smaller distance then what the radar is set to (default is 50 yards), which will result in automatic, unexpected and not exactly gentle braking, with a best case scenario that the driver in a car following you will wonder what got into you, while he has to hit the brakes as well. That's what made me stop using it in city driving completely (afraid of being rear ended) or use it with caution (disconnect when a vehicle is about to enter the same lane).

Now, to switch the cruise control to classic (non-radar), you have to keep a button pressed for more than 1.5 seconds, and the "radar ready" display (or something like that, the default mode) will disappear on the display, making you think you might have switched it off completely (that's what it used to do to me). But it's just the radar mode, and now you can engage the classic cruise control by pressing the same button shortly. The display will show you, though, what the current cruise control mode is set to.

So, if you're like me and do like to use the classic cruise control around town with no lane departure warning, every time you turn the car on, you have to: 1) switch lane departure warning on 2) switch the cruise control to non-radar 3) switch lane departure off again.

Something else that bothers me: lumbar support is only available in the top trim (Limited). Very annoying!

And: there is no proper resting place for the left foot. The length of the spot is too short, unless you're a size 6 (I'm just guessing), your foot will only fit with your toes curled up.
Other than that, no complains... I'll keep this review up to date.


XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Here are my overall impressions:

... ... ...

2. The ride is very comfortable, cabin noise level is very low unless you are driving on a road with a coarse surface.

3. Mileage is awesome, I am getting 33.5 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on highway

4. Technologies are superb. 360 bird's view camera makes parking and reversal an easy task. Line-departure helps you to steer the car into the line. I used it on my Florida trip as I was really tired at some points and it was giving me timely alerts and even helped with steering on few occasions. You will also get alerts if you are approaching the car in front of you too quickly (the car even automatically stopped once - I guess I wasn't breaking hard enough so the system panicked a little bit). There are many more cool technologies available and all of them are useful at different degrees.

5. Illumination is awesome - you can see much clearer during night driving.

6. The car is powerful and has impressive acceleration.

7. Built quality appears to be great, will have a much better idea after few years of usage.

And here are few minor things that I don't like much:
1. JBL audio is not of a premium quality. An acceptable sound quality is only achieved when using high-quality source (FM or satellite radio doesn't sound good)
2. Some light-pinging sounds can be heard in the background when brake is applied (this is probably the same for all hybrids)
3. No wireless phone charging is available in any of the trims
4. Infotainment system is not up to modern standards (no folder play, etc)

JamesE on Jun 9, 2016

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

But I can't. We have owned the car since January and have already experienced a major malfunction to the front camera safety system (needed to be replaced over two days) and now something really grating on me (so much so that we are taking a loss and returning it given how much highway driving I do): the regenerative braking (motor?) SQUEAL that occurs ONLY between about 50 and 65 mph at low volumes when the brakes are not applied and high volume when brakes are applied. I complained and the dealer took me out in the ALE Hybrid and I heard the same noise but MUCH quieter. It is best likened to a loud squeal that I get is the regeneration braking in the electric motor but really should it be so noticeable that it feels like nails on a chalkboard? So, I want to love this car but I can't.

This problem was acknowledged by the dealer but Toyota itself is telling me this is normal even though the head of the dealer's service department who has worked on hybrids for 20 years thinks it is too loud to be considered normal (he considers the ALE noise more reasonable). I have seen this mentioned in a few places as asides in the forums but while I get that it may be normal why do I NOT hear it in my friends' Prius? Or a Highlander or Camry hybrid?

Since Toyota is considering this normal, I had no recourse but to live with it and hope some day they address it (I have case numbers all over the place) or sell it and move on from the RAVs and Toyota forever in disappointment. The bump of the battery and the fact that the seats do not fold back flat has also become a drain on cargo space, especially the dog crate which no longer fits. Mileage has been awesome. Comfort and road noise seem the SAME as my previous RAVs (but may also have to do with the Limited's 18" wheels). In general, if you can live with the noise, go for it but I would not say the car offers any value and personally wish I waited to see what they address if these issues if any in 2017.

tigran, on 06/12/16 15:40 PM (PDT)

I am driving this car for three months but can't hear the noise that you are describing.

[Jun 20, 2016] 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid review

Although the RAV4 Hybrid uses the same engine as the Camry Hybrid, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, it gets a more complicated hybrid drive system, adding a second drive motor to the rear wheels for all-wheel drive ... the RAV4 Hybrid uses the same 245-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack as the Camry Hybrid0

... ... ...

The RAV4 Hybrid also features driver-selectable sport, eco and EV modes, the first two sharpening or detuning the throttle. I'm not a fan of drive modes in a car like this, but they can serve to customize the car's response for different drivers. EV mode drives the car under electricity only for as long as the battery can hold out, but even on a full charge that won't be much more than a mile.

... ... ...

...but most of the time the suspension delivered a very competent ride. While short of luxury, it felt very comfortable on most road surfaces, complementing its smooth ride with minimal road noise.

Adding to the RAV4 Hybrid's suitability for long highway trips, its electric power steering left a little play at center, a comfort zone where I needn't constantly be adjusting input. When actually in a turn, the wheel assumed a more responsive character.

That steering is tied to a lane keeping assist function, standard with the RAV4 Hybrid's Limited trim, actively preventing lane drift. Trying out the system on the freeway, I found its programming very conservative. Rather than keeping the car center in its lane, as with more aggressive systems, it only stepped in once my wheels were running over the lane lines. And when I kept a loose grasp on the wheel to allow lane drift, the car very quickly warned me to take a stronger hold on the steering.

Adaptive cruise control operated very smoothly at speed, not reacting too abruptly when a car cut in front of me. However, this system cut out when traffic speeds dropped below 5 mph. I had to handle brake and throttle work myself in stop-and-go traffic.

[Jun 17, 2016] AWD Showdown Subaru Forester vs. Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4 Consumer Reports


Trajan Augustus

That is why I like the older RAV4's 1994-2005. They had permanent 4wd, not slip activated system's like the RAV 4.3's and current 4.4's. The CRV's have always sucked in snow or anything else concerning 4wd stuff unfortunately. Sub's are an excellent little snow car as they maintain the full time 4wd system like the older RAV4's.

Ken Saber

My 2015 Forester was awesome in last Winter's snow here in NJ. Even with the stock all season tires. We had a lot of snow but it went thru everything like the snow wasn't even there. I'll never buy anything other than a Subaru from now on. Got my wife the same car too.

David Cazes

+DarkFilmDirector Woah hold on here. Most "AWD" are the same I agree with you but some still are true AWD like a subaru. You seem to know about cars enough so go ahead and look under a subaru you'll see it is mechanically different than you glorified FWD Honda CRV/Rogue/Rav4/Escape/etc. That being said, it is still not an off-road hero because you need more than just some AWD or 4WD. The subi angles and gearing were meant for fuel economy not low speed crawling. Neither is anything else, really.


im surprised they didn't mention the biggest difference between the CRv/Rav4 vs Forester: full time vs part time awd systems.

Honda/Toyota awd systems are part time; they only engage during acceleration and when they sense loss of traction. these systems are quite simple and are often too slow to react under cornering scenarios. in reality, these systems pretty much behave like their 2wd counterparts under cornering

Subaru awd system is full time; all the wheels are driven at all times with torque split between the wheels as traction is required. the benefit is the awd system is preventing slip on corners VS waiting for the slip to happen and trust the car regains traction once the rear wheels are driven.

this is by no means an "attack" on Honda/Toyota (i personally own honda's w/ awd), i just want to make sure that as consumers we're educated about these things. its not that Honda/Toyota's systems are mediocre, they are just fundamentally different in design and purpose compared to Subaru

Audioquest567 months ago

For people living in the city, AWD is pretty unnecessary. Most roads are plowed immediately after a snow storm and good quality winter tires will be all you need. The advantage of either of these vehicles is the ground clearance. Throw winter tires on them and you'll be just fine. Having said that, Subaru's AWD system is Japan's best.


This isn't really a fair test of the AWD systems. You tested each vehicle with their stock all-season tires. Some all-season tires are much better in snow than others. Most people that live in snowy areas put winter tires on their vehicles regardless if they run AWD, FWD or RWD. This test points out A. people need snow tires no matter what they drive, and B. the CRV's all season tires are terrible in snow, especially stopping.

To conduct a fair comparison of AWD systems in snow you need to use the SAME winter tires on all vehicles. There will be some differences related to electronic controls like traction and stability controls of course.

Chris Ransdell

+PC MR You are right that people SHOULD buy winter tires even if they have AWD but Consumer Reports research and anecdotal observation would suggest that there is not any region in the US where winter tires reach even 50% use rate. reports a tire manufacturer survey saying only about 20% of US consumers in the snow belt use them. The numbers can be debated somewhat but there are many many millions of SUVs driving around on factory all season tires in the snow. Think of the west coast where the big cities like Sacramento, Portland and Seattle which all get very little snow but are at most 3 hours from ski areas. Very very few people in these places have snow tires.


I have had very bad luck with the 2013 -2015 subarus. 2013 wrx 3 transmitions withing 40,000 miles. 2014 subaru legacy was the worst by far, awd failure ,anti lock break failure , steering failure, traction control actually caused me to get into an accident. Let me explain while going down a steep hill on a right hand turn my passenger side tires hit a patch of snow and locked up , sending the rotational force to the driver side , causing the car to violent turn hard to the right and pushed me off the road and caused an accident. Also the car will hesitate when pulling out from a stop , is very bad if the car is on a slight bit of gravel the car will stop in the middle of the street and then after a second re engage the power, not to mention the stalling and countless other problems . Have been to the dealer multiple times and they have said the car is functioning as intended , even contacted subaru corporate , had the same experience . If you decide to look at a subaru during the test drive ask to test the awd system if they say no or have no way for you to test it leave and do not trust them.


Bought an 04 Forester, just sold it trouble free since new. Only sold it due to rear facing child seat incapable of fitting, forcing my legs into the dash as a passenger.

Bought a new one last month. Best vehicle for your money on the market. Would have kept the 04 at least 5 more years had that issue not been an issue.

Got a CVT this time, I will miss our 5 speed stick... but change is good. Gas mileage has been over 32 MPG average. Similar to our 04 speed manual.

Now it is a timing chain, that is nice.. I think the timing belt was the most expensive anything we ever did in the 12 years owning the 04.

Only thing we had go wrong was a power window motor in the driver window (recently) and fog lamp bulbs commonly burnt out in the 138k we drove it.


Yeah it's certainly one of the downfalls of the EJ engine. That and the infamous early head gasket. Mine's seeping oil from the oil passages at the bottom of the engine. Not a huge problem because I'm not burning or mixing coolant or oil. Looks like I'm tearing into the engine soon, though.
But yeah I much prefer chains over belts.


All recent Foresters are chain, our 04 still used a traditional timing belt. We took care of it at 98k anyway, but nice the new one won't need it replaced.

Chas Don

I'm a first time Subaru owner, who purchased a new 2014 Outback last year. Having hearing all the great things about Subaru's handling and dependability, I always wanted to check them out, and I wanted to get away from the big price tags and poor gas mileage of four-wheel drive trucks and SUV's. After my first winter with it, in the winter badlands of Northern New York, I was sold. I've owned and driven many different types of vehicles in my 30 plus years of driving, and this is hands down the best vehicle I've ever driven in winter weather condition.

Before the winter weather hit, I was thinking about purchasing winter tires for it, but figured I'd wait and see how the stock all-seasons performed. Well, after driving it in winter road conditions, I didn't see the need for winter tires because the all-seasons performed great... But I can only imagine the performance when winter tires are added. Everything I've always heard about Subaru's is true... They're an awesome vehicle! I can definitely see myself as a lifetime Subie:)

+Consumer Reports,
TFL Car tested the CR-V and the RAV4 and they show real clips of what they are saying and they said that the RAV4 does better with its AWD system and it had less aggressive tires. they said if the RAV4 had the same tire, it would beat the CR-V easily..your testing can't be accurate because TFL Car never says that.

[Jun 17, 2016] 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Test Drive



Thank you Sam for another EXCELLENT review! I am impressed at a few things that are not cheap here. A full sized spare tire when they could of easily gone fix o flat. And the amount of tech you get for under $30K with the Electric motor in the rear and average 33MPG. You're always going to do better around the city in a hybrid. But it's hard to go dull when there are so many many choices. I didn't see adaptive cruise or lane watch or back up camera etc.


you should really do some homework on suvs than buying one just because it's a 'popular' brand, not to sound mean. people buy this and a corolla because it's only 'popular', and not because of its performance. the Subaru brand has AWD standard that makes it a working suv that is truly meant to go off road. then you also have the Mitsubishi Outlander GT AWD that has off road performance to choose between snow, mud, and sand. this rav4 is underpowered and just a too basic


I don't like this suv. there is nothing there that makes it pop. no chrome, no defining lines, just a big blob of plastic. rav4 and crv is very basic. no rear wheel drive and hardly AWD. these are more or less a waste of money because they are not as much functionality to this. the Subaru brand itself has AWD standard, Ford Escape (2017) has more of a bolder look, Jeep builds suvs that are meant to have fun with, and even my 2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited has rear wheel drive with high enough ground clearance even as it's 3 years old. also the new Mitsubishi Outlander GT has different off road performance.

this rav4 and other Japanese suvs built like this are just for a typical person or family that doesn't do anything outdoors and just goes to the market to buy milk. these are mostly underpowered with just looks going for it kinda. waste of money to be honest given there is more better quality and better performing suvs out there. if you don't see yourself going out and just riding the road and driving a few miles a month then buy this.

[Jun 17, 2016] 2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid - 6 Month Service

The first years of service are free.
Jun 14, 2016 | YouTube

Today I took my Rav4 in for its first service, I have owned the car for 5 and a half months and have 3300 miles on it. The 6 month service includes - rotating the tires, topping off the fluids and inspecting the vehicle. I also had them make a change to how my doors unlock.

[Jun 17, 2016] Toyota Rav4 Hybrid vs Gas only - $700 difference - YouTube

If anything the Hybrid has more stand equipment making it an even better deal, like smart Key System With Power Liftgate + Push Button Start. I just went to (USA) and priced out 2 Rav4 XLE's. I am not sure what options would be missing on the gas only XLE or Hybrid. Rav4 XLE with Convenience package ($2370) total = $30,925. Hybrid XLE with Convenience package ($2150) total = $31,405. Differance is only $480. I must be missing something ???? and why is the convenience package cheaper on the Hybrid?


Also remember that the Rav4 Hybrid has more combined horsepower (194hp) than the standard Rav4 (176hp). The hybrid Rav4 also gives you electric all wheel drive as standard equipment.


I purchased the cheapest model 2016 XLE Hybrid RAV4 that I could find. I got it $1000.00 off of MSRP. Several months after my purchase, I'm very happy with my decision. I had been in the Prius family for ten years. I love the Hybrid drivetrain. I'm glad that they offered in the RAV4. I wouldn't have purchased a Camry or Avalon with the same drivetrain. The fake chrome on the Avalon dashboard didn't do anything for me. I'm happy that you have purchased this vehicle for your family. I feel safer in this vehicle. Also, I was getting tired of always looking at digital information on the Prius. The last Prius I had came with low profile touring tires. These gave a much rougher ride. There was a time when the Highlander was offered with the V6 with the hybrid drivetrain and the price was reasonable. Today, they are priced out of my league. 200hp on the RAV4 Hybrid is fine with me. I love the 7 inch ground clearance on the RAV4 Hybrid. The others have about a 6 inch clearance. The white on your vehicle looks awesome. Mine is black. Take care!

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Official Photos and Info – News – Car and Driver


Perhaps I jumped the gun a little, because my assessment is of the pre-refresh one I drove earlier in the year when shopping, which had NVH that was far behind the rest of the ones we test drove(CR-V, Escape, Cherokee), poorer interior materials quality, and limited tech.

With the tech getting a bump and the materials improving, that should really help it a bit, but it was so much louder and harsher, and I'm not a fan of the looks at all. I think now with the segment leading CR-V(which we didn't buy, btw, we decided to hold off for another year on our vehicle purchase) including features like adaptive cruise, which is a must-have for me now, others in a segment have to follow suit with similar tech, and Toyota has at least done that, and one-upped them with an around-view monitor.

So there, my opinion has actually changed over the course of a few months, and after actually READING(which I should have done instead of panning the article and commenting like a goon) about the extent of this refresh instead of just assuming it was a nip/tuck and adding a hybrid, lol. Really hope they fix all the road/tire noise though! I actually own an '08 Highlander Hybrid, and I could get past the looks of this if they fixed all the rest now.

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