Not only has it pioneered the genre, but the Toyota RAV4 has been one of the better compact SUVs, consistently among the top-ranked models in the class. But competition in the small-SUV class has never been stiffer, so to maintain its position the freshened 2016 Toyota RAV4 underwent a number of changes.
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Toyota RAV4 Road Test

Not only has it pioneered the genre, but the Toyota RAV4 has been one of the better compact SUVs, consistently among the top-ranked models in the class. But competition in the small-SUV class has never been stiffer, so to maintain its position the freshened 2016 Toyota RAV4 underwent a number of changes. It has a quieter cabin, slightly retouched interior and exterior styling, and a kinder, gentler suspension for an improved ride.

For those who want to make an ecological statement, there is a new hybrid version that gets a terrific 31 mpg overall. Toyota also added a pseudo-sporty SE variant to the line.

We bought and tested two all-wheel-drive models in XLE trim -- a standard version and a hybrid. Notably, the hybrid cost only about $700 more than the XLE: $29,753 vs $29,014.

Best Version to Get
The XLE is the best overall value. It includes standard automatic climate control and a power sunroof and tailgate for around $29,000 with all-wheel drive. However, given the budget, we'd go for a SE or Limited, simply because those top trim levels are the only ways to get a power driver's seat. W...
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