Among small SUVs, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 stands apart thanks to its generous cargo space and extensive range of standard amenities. Its smooth, comfortable ride quality is another plus. Keep in mind, though, that certain rivals offer more upscale cabins.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is a compact crossover SUV that seats five passengers, and it gives buyers a choice of gas-only and hybrid powertrains. Gas-only models come in six trim levels: LE, XLE, Adventure, SE, Limited and Platinum. With the RAV4 Hybrid, buyers can choose from LE, SE, Limited and XLE trims. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are offered.
With gas-only models, the Adventure trim level is new for 2018. Toyota RAV4 Hybrids add the LE trim to their lineup.
The RAV4’s design cues distinguish this SUV as a member of the Toyota family. The front fascia features frowning headlights and a skinny upper grille. In profile, this Toyota shows off pronounced fenders and an ascending beltline. Overall, the RAV4’s sheet metal looks muscular and somewhat pugnacious.
Our RAV4 Adventure test vehicle came in a deep shade of red that Toyota calls Ruby Flare Pearl. While the crossover’s exterior design isn’t quite as premium-looking as that of some rivals, we think its appearance will resonate favorably with most shoppers.
Base models are equipped with automatic halogen projector-beam headlights, daytime running lights, a body-colored rear spoiler, body-colored exterior door handles, roof rails, rear privacy glass, 17-inch wheels and power-adjustable side mirrors. The range of optional equipment includes fog lights, a height-adjustable power liftgate, LED taillights, a power sunroof, LED daytime running lights, LED headlights, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a gesture-controlled liftgate and 18-inch wheels.
Toyota’s RAV4 comes with a pleasant cabin, but the overall look of the interior is notably more basic and less upmarket than that of some rivals. The quality of the materials used is average at best, and quite a few of the plastics have a utilitarian look. Still, certain aspects of the crossover’s interior design stand out in a favorable way, such as the elegant angles of the asymmetric, handsomely stitched dash.
Wide door openings make it easy to access both rows of the RAV4. The front seats are spacious, and the second row provides enough legroom for taller passengers.
The RAV4 shines when it comes to cargo space, and it’s an excellent pick for those who need lots of room for their stuff. Gas-only models provide up to 38.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats in place and up to 73.4 cubic feet with these seats lowered. This gives the RAV4 more cargo space than models like the 2018 Ford Escape, which provides 34.3 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 67.8 cubic feet with the rear seats lowered.
The presence of a battery pack causes cargo space to dip slightly for the hybrid. These models provide 35.6 cubic feet of capacity behind the second row and 70.6 cubic feet behind the first.
Base models come with air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, cloth upholstery, a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, a four-way manually adjustable front passenger seat, power windows and door locks and a 60/40-split rear seat that folds and reclines. The list of options includes a heated steering wheel, simulated leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.
All gas-only RAV4 crossovers come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Gears are shifted by a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
With the RAV4 Hybrid, a four-cylinder engine is teamed with an electric motor and battery pack to provide a net output of 194 horsepower. All hybrids come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and are sold only with all-wheel drive.
The RAV4 comes standard with front and rear skid plates. Gas-only models provide up to 6.5 inches of ground clearance.
Our test RAV4 Adventure provided smooth handling that shielded us from rough road surfaces, and this made it a pleasant companion on daily commutes. Acceleration was adequate, and there was enough juice on hand for the crossover to confidently navigate highways and byways.
With most gas-only trims, the RAV4’s towing capacity stands at 1,500 pounds. Things take a big step up with the Adventure trim, and these models can pull up to 3,500 pounds. Towing capacity for the RAV4 Hybrid peaks at 1,750 pounds.
Fuel economy for gas-only RAV4 crossovers tops out at 23/30 mpg. Those figures are about average for this segment, tying the RAV4’s peak mileage with that of the 2018 Ford Escape and 2018 Kia Sportage. With the RAV4 Hybrid, fuel economy comes in at 34/30 mpg.
The RAV4 offers a modern range of tech features. Base models come with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker stereo, a CD player, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone and music streaming, Siri Eyes Free, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack. Options include navigation, keyless entry and ignition, HD and satellite radio, a 7-inch touchscreen and an 11-speaker JBL stereo. Overall, we found the RAV4’s infotainment interface to be straightforward and simple to use.
Toyota RAV4 buyers enjoy an impressive range of standard driver-assist amenities. The list includes a rearview camera, forward collision mitigation, a lane-departure warning system with steering assist, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control. Optional driver-assist features include front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert.
With gas-only models, the RAV4’s base LE trim starts at $24,660, and XLE models kick off at $25,750. Adventure models begin at $27,950, and SE models start at $29,040. Pricing for Limited models starts at $31,155.
When it comes to the RAV4 Hybrid, the LE trim starts at $27,385, and the XLE trim starts at $29,280. SE models kick off at $32,435, and Limited models begin at $34,280.
These prices exclude the RAV4’s $1,045 destination fee.
We imagine most buyers will be best served by the RAV4’s gas-only XLE trim. This model comes with amenities such as fog lights, a power sunroof and a height-adjustable power liftgate. We’d add the Extra Value Plus package ($800), which includes a blind-spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, roof rails and keyless entry and ignition. Including destination charges, a RAV4 XLE with the Extra Value Plus package has a suggested price of $27,595.
With its generous list of standard driver-assist features and accessible pricing, the 2018 RAV4 offers reasonable value.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 provides commuter-friendly driving dynamics and an impressive range of standard amenities. Additionally, its generous cargo capacity makes it a strong choice for shoppers seeking versatile transportation.
Certain rivals are more upscale, but the RAV4 delivers in areas that will appeal to many shoppers.
By Warren Clarke (Last Updated 11/29/2018)
Warren Clarke is a writer and editor whose work has been published in outlets such as the New York Daily News and Edmunds.com. He enjoys providing car owners with information that can help enhance and simplify their lives.
CARFAX offers millions of used cars for sale nationwide. Every listing includes the vehicle history. The data below is updated daily, based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
2018 Toyota RAV4 Deals on CARFAX
Percentage of 2018 Toyota RAV4 for sale on CARFAX that are Great, Good, and Fair Value deals. Values are determined by whether the selling price is above, below, or the same as the history-based CARFAX Value.
VEHICLE HISTORY SUMMARY
The Vehicle History Summary represents the percentage of cars available for sale on CARFAX that are reported to have no accidents or damage, had 1-owner, been used as a personal or personal lease car, and/or have service history information.
No Accidents or Damage Reports
2018 Toyota RAV4 Pricing
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is the "sticker price" for this vehicle, including optional equipment, when it was new.
The price range for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 is $18,098 - $25,999.
The average selling price is $21,694.
The data below is updated daily, based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
Price range and average selling price are based on the median selling price while CARFAX Value is a VIN-specific value based on the vehicle's history.
$24,660 - $36,400
This is the price range for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
$18,098 - $25,999
Average Selling Price
This is the range of CARFAX Values for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
CARFAX Vehicle History products and services are based only on information supplied to CARFAX. CARFAX does not have the complete history of every vehicle. Use the CARFAX search as one important tool, along with a vehicle inspection and test drive, to make a better decision about your next used car.