The original Toyota RAV4 pioneered the small, car-based SUV segment in the mid-1990s, and it has continued to set a high standard for the class with each subsequent generation—until now. Today, the RAV4 is no longer among the best in class in our road tests.
Toyota changed the RAV4's proportions with the redesign, drawing styling cues from its truck-based vehicles to craft a more rugged appearance. The SUV is a bit shorter, wider, and lower than its predecessor, making a notable change in its dimensions. Sadly, these changes come at the expense of passenger and cargo room.
The engine gets more horsepower, and it is now matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The RAV4 proved both quick and frugal in our tests. Our all-wheel-drive RAV4 returned 27 mpg overall. Acceleration is quick for the class at 8.3 seconds from 0-60 mph. However, the engine is noisy and suffers from an irritating drone, and the shifts aren't smooth.