2015 Toyota RAV4 LE Crossover SUV (Review)

The Toyota RAV4 is a 5-passenger compact crossover with distinctive styling that makes it stand out more than some other Toyota vehicles with the new 2015 model gaining a more aggressive frontal structure and sleeker profile, which makes it more attractive and contemporary than the previous year’s model.

With the ability to park in smaller spaces than an SUV can and the ability to haul larger amounts of cargo, the RAV4 has become a popular choice among consumers seeking a crossover vehicle that not only is stylish, but also offers incredible versatility, which is one of the RAV4’s greatest strengths.

The 2015 RAV4 LE and XLE trims with front-drive yield an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.  The Limited trim yields 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, while the all-wheel drive models deliver 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

The interior of the RAV4 is very nice and spacious with plenty of head/legroom in the front and rear cabin to accommodate taller passengers. The seats are comfortable, supportive, and have an ergonomic feel to them. Cargo space is also abundant, measuring an impressive 73.4 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down, which is among the best in its class. The dashboard and console areas have a more upscale and streamlined appearance than previous generations, however, there are still a lot of hard plastic elements on the dashboard.  The touchscreen is easy to use with a direct list of options.

The 2015 RAV4 is available in three trims- LE, XLE, Limited and comes equipped with a 2.5-liter engine that produces 176 horsepower and 172 lb. feet of torque and is matched to a standard 6-speed automatic transmission in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations.

Driving performance is good with enough power to make quick turns and navigate through heavy traffic with ease. The RAV4 handles rougher road surfaces very well and there is not a lot of body roll when cornering with the vehicle consistently maintaining a composed demeanor. On the road the RAV4 delivers a smooth and quiet ride on a variety of terrains and is a solid performer.

The LE (base) trim comes equipped with air-conditioning, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, full power accessories, keyless entry, rear privacy glass, 17-inch steel wheels, power-folding mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split and reclining 2nd row seat, CD player, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an auxiliary audio jack, a 6-speaker sound system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, and an iPod/USB interface.

The XLE trim adds a sunroof, fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, roof rails, extendable sun visors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a cargo cover, and sportier front seats. A navigation system, Toyota’s Entune smartphone app integration, and a height-adjustable power liftgate, and are optional.

The top-of-the-line Limited trim comes fitted with all of the aforementioned features as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, premium faux leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8-way power adjustable driver seat with memory settings, keyless entry and ignition, and heated front seats.

Standard safety features for the 2015 Toyota RAV4 include- a rearview camera, traction control, antilock disc brakes, stability control, whiplash-reducing front head restraints, driver knee airbag, front-seat side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. A Technology Package is available on the Limited trim and offers lane departure warnings, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

The RAV4’s 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine produces enough power to handle a variety of road conditions and is great for every day driving. The LE trim with 6-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, steering is sharp, and handles well when making sharp turns and on curvy roads. On the road, the RAV4 provides a comfortable and smooth ride and the seats are supportive for longer trips.

The Toyota RAV4 has continually improved since its 1996 debut and has a lot of dedicated fans, but new compact SUV’s have been introduced by other manufacturers, creating some competition. Even though the 2015 Toyota RAV4 is not as fancy as some of its competitors, it definitely embodies a special style that is unique with a host of technologically advanced features, high efficiency, a spacious interior, and solid every day utility making the RAV4 still one of the best compact SUV’s available today.

To find out more about the 2015 Toyota RAV4, please visit- www.Toyota.com

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