“With crossovers taking over the world, there’s a large variety of vehicles available to consumers looking to buy into that particular segment. An abundance of choices can make ‘pulling the trigger’ difficult. Toyota makes that decision a bit easier. Find out how…”
2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – Reliable, Efficient and Even Good Looking
We previously tested a Toyota RAV4 XLE back in 2015, and it was exactly what one would expect. Simple, straight forward, and rather basic. Nothing special in the looks, and much less performance department. Well, things have really changed since then.
The utilitarian little crossover went into 2017 ready to put up a fight. The crossover segment is super competitive, and only the coolest, most fuel-efficient, and practical vehicles will survive. Toyota knows that, and that’s why the 2017 RAV4 is a huge step forward in many ways. But particularly in design.
It may not be an “all-new” vehicle, but the design refresh was much need and dearly welcomed. The front-end is much sharper and pleasing to the eye, while the rear-end is somewhat “Tron-ish”. The interior remains largely untouched, but that’s not so much of a bad thing. It’s functional, and quite easy to understand. Large dials and buttons adorn the center console and are easy to operate with winter gloves. We know, as temperatures dipped into the teens during our test.
As you may have noticed, this is the Limited Hybrid trim. Limited means that it’s the second-highest RAV4, and Hybrid means that it features a battery and electric motor in addition to the 2.5 liter gasoline engine. 194 net horsepower aren’t exactly thrilling, but with all-wheel drive the RAV4 gets up and goes rather quickly from a standstill. EPA estimates are 34 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.
Seating is rather comfortable up front, though little ones in forward-facing car seats in the second row may endure limited leg room. Same case for rear-facing car seats, where the front of the car seat may interfere with the driver’s or passenger’s seat configuration. Overall, kids in booster seats or without the need of special seats will fit comfortably and enjoy plenty of room.
The trunk of the 2017 RAV4 offers generous cargo space. To be precise, 35.6 cubic feet with the second row in place, and 70.6 cubic feet with the second row folded down. As a result, one of this Toyota’s highlights is definitely cargo space, and its utilitarian feel. In addition, it has a towing capacity of 1,750 pounds. Therefore, towing a small trailer with a weekend tow is quite feasible.
Overall the 2017 RAV4 Hybrid Limited AWD is a big surprise compared to its rather frumpy predecessor. This particular model gave us a bit of sticker shock at $37,057, though it’s not “overpriced” when compared to similar competitors.
If you’re looking for a fuel-sipping, street-savvy, and utilitarian little crossover, this is a great choice. Can’t swing nearly $40k? The RAV4 lineup starts at just $24,910 dollars.