New for 2014
After a 2013 redesign, the Toyota RAV4 enters the 2014 model year with the latest Entune infotainment system now standard on XLE and Limited models, while Blue Crush and Shoreline Blue Pearl are added as exterior colors. At least for the 2014 model year, the RAV4 EV is still offered.
The Toyota RAV4 is the automaker’s five-passenger compact crossover, which slots in as the smallest SUV offered, just below the 4Runner and Highlander.
The 2014 Toyota RAV4’s 176-hp 2.5-liter I-4 makes 172 lb-ft of torque, comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and gives buyers an option of front- or all-wheel drive. EPA estimates place the RAV4 variants at 22-24/29-31 mpg city/highway with front- and all-wheel drive. Worth noting is that the Dynamic Torque Control system can send 50 percent of the torque to the rear wheels, and that the driver can switch to a sport mode which will send power to the rear wheels from any start.
The 2014 RAV4 received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and in IIHS testing received a rating of good in four categories and a rating of poor in the newer more difficult small overlap front category (the highest-possible rating is good).
Through a joint venture with Tesla Motors, Toyota offers the RAV4 EV. The RAV4 EV utilizes the Tesla-sourced 154-hp electric motor, and an aerodynamic treatment of the RAV4, to achieve a driving range of 103 miles. Charging time ranges between five and 52 hours: a 40A/240V setup yields the five-hour, while the 52 hour time comes from a 12A/120V combination.
What We Think
In a Driven review of the 2013 Toyota RAV4 we said, “Just like a full-size luxury crossover, the 2013 RAV4 has an impressive suite of consumer-friendly standard features that include active and passive safety, comfort and convenience, and electronic connectivity . . . you’ll find a 6-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash, and a backup camera and Bluetooth are both standard equipment as a result. Optional niceties like blind-spot warning, cross-traffic backup alert and Toyota’s simple but usable Entune multimedia system are also available.” We commented that, “when you’re behind the steering wheel, you feel more comfortable thanks to lower seating position, a more upright steering wheel and more fore-and-aft seat travel. Even so, you’re always rubbing elbows with your neighbor, and there’s not as much storage convenience as we’d like, even though overall cargo capacity behind the front seats remains best in class at 73.4 cubic feet.”
- Fuel efficient, with a fuel-free option
- AWD is surprisingly versatile
- Class-leading cargo capacity
You Won’t Like
- 18-inch wheels offer a harsh ride
- No available V-6
- Comfortable interior, but not roomy for more than four
- Honda CR-V
- Ford Escape
- Nissan Rogue
- Chevrolet Equinox