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 about $2,000 more.