2018 Toyota RAV4: The Best-Selling Compact SUV In The USA
















The Toyota RAV4 is Toyota’s compact SUV. It was actually the first compact SUV, making its debut in the US market for model year 1995. It combined a higher seating position, a large cargo capacity, and all-wheel drive capability, all in a vehicle that had the footprint and fuel economy of a compact car. The rest is history.

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is the sixth year of the fourth generation model, which was facelifted for the 2016 model year. It is available in both gasoline-powered and gasoline-electric hybrid versions.

The Toyota RAV4 is currently the top-selling compact SUV. For calendar year 2017 through November, the RAV4 leads with 375,052 sales, followed by the Nissan Rogue with 363,293, and the Honda CR-V with 340,912.

What’s New On The 2018 Toyota RAV4

The big RAV4 news for 2018 is the addition of the more rough-and-ready Adventure trim, available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions.

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure comes with a long list of standard equipment to make it more suited to moderate off-road driving. This includes an upgraded radiator, supplemental engine oil cooler and transmission fluid cooler; added ground clearance (now at 6.5”); 18” black alloy wheels; a 120V outlet in the rear cargo area; fender flares; power moonroof; all-weather floor liners and cargo mats; and increased tow rating to 2,900 pounds with front-wheel drive, and 3,500 pounds with all-wheel drive.

2018 RAV4 Trim Levels And Pricing

The gasoline-engine 2018 RAV4 is available in these trim levels: LE, XLE, Adventure, SE, Limited, and Platinum. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on all trim levels. The all-wheel drive Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is offered in XLE, SE and Limited trims.

2018 Toyota RAV4 pricing starts at $24,410 for the LE with front-wheel drive, and goes up to $36,150 for the Platinum with all-wheel drive.

An Extensive List Of High-Tech Safety Systems

For 2018, all 2018 RAV4 trim levels are equipped with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) as standard equipment. This suite of driver assistance technologies is designed to support the driver’s awareness and decision-making on the road, in the moment.

TSS-P includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. Other standard systems that work with TSS-P are the hill-start assist control and rear backup camera.

Two Different Power Systems: Gasoline Or Hybrid

The gasoline-powered version of the 2018 Toyota RAV4 comes with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine with an output of 176 horsepower. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the gasoline-engined RAV4 is 22 to 23 City MPG and 28 to 30 Highway MPG, depending on the trim level and drive system selected.

The 2018 RAV4 Hybrid combines a 2.5L four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with twin electric motors. One electric motor works with the gasoline engine to power the front wheels, and the second electric motor drives the rear wheels. It kicks in when the front wheels slip, giving you all-wheel drive when needed.

Total RAV4 Hybrid system horsepower is 194 horsepower and 206 lb./ft. of torque, which makes the Hybrid quicker from zero to 60 mph than the gasoline-only version. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is 34 City MPG and 30 Highway MPG.

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Has Something For Every Compact SUV Buyer

The 2018 RAV4 is obviously doing something right. It is a solid basic package, built with traditional Toyota quality. It offers an amazing variety of trims, from basic to sporty to off-road to luxurious. And finally, it offers a Hybrid version in the market’s most in-demand body style. Why hasn’t anyone else thought of this?

If you are shopping for a compact SUV, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 should definitely be on your list. But you should also include the Honda CR-V, the Mazda CX-5, the Hyundai Tucson, plus any others in the segment that appeal to you. There are an awful lot of compact SUVs to choose from, so there should be one out there that’s just right for you!

About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.