Commuter Happiness with the 2017 Toyota RAV4 XLE

Looking for a compact crossover? Find out what the 2017 Toyota RAV4 was like during the week that I drove it around town.

Toyota RAV4

Source: Toyota

First Impressions on the 2017 Toyota RAV4

I cannot say it was easy going from the Lexus crossover to the Toyota RAV4.  You cannot compare the two vehicles.  However, I kept an open mind the week I drove the RAV4.  The 2017 Toyota RAV4 may not be a head turner but it will serve you well on the road and offers good gas mileage and storage capabilities.

What’s New

New this year to the RAV4 is the Toyota Star Safety System package that now comes standard.  It includes enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, smart stop technology, and electronic brake force distribution, steering assist, pedestrian detection, automatic high beams and lane departure alert.  This car is without a complex dashboard, possesses easy to recline seats and offers a decent ride on many different road types. It truly a commuter car that works hard for you and your family.


Toyota RAV4 dashboard

The XLE has a leather-wrapped dashboard with a 6.1″ touchscreen display.

Source: Victoria Mason

The Toyota RAV4 XLE that I drove was no frills.  The 6.1″ touchscreen display with the XM Sirius radio, the Scout GPS Link app, and backup camera create a simple dashboard that won’t distract the driver. The infotainment system is also easy to use. I liked the simplicity that was followed through to the console as well.

Source: Victoria Mason

The interior is roomy with lots of legroom and headroom in both the front the back seats. While it is free of any sort of gadgets in the second row there are the standard cup holders and an outlet and USB port back there.  The RAV4 is a straight up five-passenger vehicle that handles well but is definitely not aggressive.  It lacks style and had too much plastic inside for my taste.

Toyota RAV4 second row

Source: Victoria Mason

Driving it was fine. Nothing stood out to me except that it handled speed bumps well and the suspension was good.  It lacks power with its 2.5 L, 4-cylinder engine but not in a way that makes it scary on the highway. It’s acceleration left me wanting.  This is not a fast car, but keep in mind it wasn’t sluggish and frustrating either.  It falls right in the middle and performs reliably.

Overall, I think this is a fine commuter car and a good value for a small family. The RAV4 starts at just over $24k. You get a good deal for your money. It excels with its standard safety, decent driving capabilities and gas mileage.  It averages a combined 25 mpg city/hwy and 22 city and 28 highway.  I found that it hit 23 mpg with me on my daily drives around town. With its 38.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the back and 73.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up, it offers more than enough storage.  The 2017 RAV4 XLE with AWD is reliable and will serve you well.



*Disclosure: TMC was not paid for this post.  Product provided for review purposes only by Lexus/Toyota and ESI.  Opinions are 100% my own.