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Toyota RAV4 Review

The 2015 Toyota RAV4 ranks 15 out of 19 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Toyota RAV4, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Toyota RAV4 is ranked:

Its numerous standard features, roomy cabin and large cargo space earn the 2015 Toyota RAV4 praise from reviewers, but a few say it has a weaker engine than some rivals.

Test drivers report the 2015 Toyota RAV4's base four-cylinder engine is underpowered compared to some competitors, but they add that it is adequately strong for daily driving. Critics note that the standard six-speed automatic transmission is slow to change gears in some situations, though it is generally smooth-shifting. With up to an EPA-estimated 23/30 mpg city/highway, the Toyota RAV4’s fuel economy is slightly above average for the class. The RAV4’s steering is sharp and it remains composed through turns, critics add. Reviewers are pleased with the RAV4’s ride, which they say is smooth and comfortable for long highway commutes. However, critics agree that Limited models, which are equipped with larger wheels, exhibit a more jarring ride.

The 2015 RAV4's interior is stylish and solidly constructed, according to auto critics, but they think higher-quality materials can be found in many rivals. Reviewers say the RAV4 offers adult passengers ample space in both the front and rear seats. Standard equipment in the 2015 RAV4 includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen Entune audio system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a USB port. Dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and an upgraded Entune audio system with navigation and smartphone app integration are available. Reviewers like that the RAV4 comes equipped with lots of features. They say its dashboard controls and the standard Entune audio system are easy to use. However, some complain that the upgraded touch-screen system can be slow to respond to inputs. With 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space, the RAV4 has one of the largest cargo holds in the class. Reviewers find its flat load floor and available height-adjustable power liftgate make it easy to load cargo.

  • "The 2015 Toyota RAV4 offers very good interior materials and ergonomics, and we especially like the Entune infotainment system and the standard rearview camera. However, while the RAV4 remains a top seller, other compact crossover SUVs have surpassed it in some key areas. Fuel economy, while good, is bested by competitors like the Mazda CX-5, the all-wheel-drive Subaru Forester, and the RAV's longtime rival, the Honda CR-V." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Although the 2015 Toyota RAV4 isn't a standout in any one area, its combination of features, passenger space and everyday utility warrant a closer look if you're shopping for a small crossover." -- Edmunds
  • “The latest version of the RAV4 - that's short for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel-drive - isn't the most stylish or exciting CUV around, but it does provide the space, comfort and efficiency that buyers prize." -- Left Lane News (2014)
  • "As ever, its on-road ride and handling are competent but not sporty, the powertrain is smooth and efficient and the price is reasonable." -- Autoblog (2013)

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Other SUVs to Consider

Auto writers praise the Volkswagen Tiguan’s powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which they say is refined and produces effortless acceleration. The Tiguan also has composed, car-like handling and an upscale cabin, they report.

The GMC Terrain has top-notch cabin materials, and its sliding rear seat provides plenty of space for adults, reviewers say. Test drivers also report that Terrain models equipped with an available V6 engine have quick acceleration.

Compare the RAV4, Tiguan and Terrain »

Details: 2015 Toyota RAV4

The 2015 Toyota RAV4 seats five and front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive is optional. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard. There are three trims available: LE, XLE and Limited. The Toyota RAV4 was completely redesigned for the 2013 model year and sees few changes for 2015. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 Toyota RAV4 specs »

Review Last Updated: 8/25/15

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