With more than 20 years under its belt, Toyota’s popular RAV4 continues to set the stage for the compact sport-utility segment, bringing high doses of value, style, and safety to discerning drivers. In 1996, the RAV4 – an acronym for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4WD – was positioned as Toyota’s “new-concept sport utility vehicle” that blended conventional passenger car elements with the features of a light, off-road vehicle. For 2017, the onetime “new-concept” builds upon this two-decades-old avant-garde foundation and offers a bevy of standard-issue safety technology with its Toyota Safety Sense™ P active safety package.
Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) combines the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). TSS-P’s comprehensive features create in-the-moment safety designed to support a driver’s awareness and decision-making on the road.
The RAV4 family also gains a new luxurious Platinum grade to its gas-powered variant, while its hybrid-powered model welcomes a sportier SE grade. A redesigned front bumper cover gives the SE – gas and hybrid – a more rugged look. The 2017 RAV4 now comes in five grades: LE, XLE, SE, Limited, and Platinum. The RAV4 Hybrid can be had in three grades: XLE, SE, and Limited.
The RAV4 has a long held tradition of offering premium features. But there’s always room for more, right? Enter Platinum, a new grade that raises that bar even higher. Distinguishable by its full body color exterior and unique badging, the Platinum delivers the RAV4 line’s highest levels of standard technology and luxury.
The Platinum broadens the Limited’s menu of luxurious amenities that includes SofTex®- trimmed seats, dash, and door panels; heated front seats; 8-way power driver’s seat; Smart Key system with push-button start; remote power liftgate; and a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink®. Platinum-specific standard amenities include a heated steering wheel, foot well ambient lighting, plush floor mats, and “Platinum”-badged door sill protectors.
Technophiles will notice the standard Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite, five-door Smart Key, kick-type hands-free power liftgate, and Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, Overhead 360 degree view in drive and reverse, and curb view.
The Bird’s Eye View Camera helps drivers see nearby objects and get into and out of small spaces with ease. The system includes Perimeter Scan — an innovative feature that displays live, rotating 360-degree views of surroundings when parked.
The standard Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite system brings music to life with 576 watts (maximum) pumped through 11 JBL GreenEdge™ Technology speakers in seven locations, including a subwoofer. The eight-channel amplifier and Green Edge speakers help reduce electrical draw on the vehicle compared to other systems of comparable output.
The World’s Hybrid Leader – for a Reason
Choose a 2017 RAV4 Hybrid and drivers will enjoy powerful and quick acceleration. The all-weather capability is there, too, as all Hybrid grades come equipped with an Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) as standard. A second, independent electric motor drives the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.
Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive has long been the platinum standard for seamless hybrid performance, high efficiency, and exemplary dependability. Drivers love the way it works, because they cannot feel it working, and that’s the point. The 2017 RAV4 Hybrid combines output from a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and a small high-torque electric motor through its unique transaxle. The RAV4 Hybrid delivers a jolt of performance from a combined 194 system horsepower. The versatile RAV4 Hybrid will zoom from zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds.
The system varies power between the gas engine and electric motor, or combines both as needed, all seamlessly. Regenerative braking changes the electric motor to a generator that captures the kinetic energy of the still-turning wheels when the brake is applied, storing it in the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) hybrid battery pack.
The RAV4 Hybrid driver can play an active role in conserving fuel by selecting one of the several operating modes. Choosing ECO mode optimizes throttle response and air conditioning output to help prioritize fuel economy. In EV mode, the RAV4 Hybrid, under certain conditions, will run solely on the electric motor for up to 0.6 miles at lower speeds (below approximately 25 mph). A Hybrid System Indicator and fuel consumption indicator, located in a 4.2-inch TFT screen, helps coach the driver to operate the vehicle as economically as possible. The 2017 RAV4 Hybrid achieves an EPA-estimated 34 mpg city/30 mpg highway/32 mpg combined.
Sporty RAV4 SE: Now in Hybrid Too
Of all the well-equipped grades, the RAV4 SE is without a doubt the athlete of the family, featuring sport-tuned suspension (gas only), 18-inch alloy wheels and, unique to the gas-powered model, paddle shifters for the six-speed automatic transmission.
The sporty attitude carries on with its LED headlights and taillights, and exclusive front bumper with honeycomb grill design. The SE’s distinct S-Code paint motif (gas models only) can emphasize the SE’s specialness; the paintjob combines one of three available upper colors (Super White, Black, and Electric Storm Blue) over Silver Sky Metallic on the vehicle’s lower trim, giving it an eye-catching look.
The sporty, upscale theme continues inside with SofTex-covered seats featuring a power driver’s seat and contrast stitching, and a choice of two interior colors: Black or Black and Cinnamon, along with a Black headliner, Black A&B-pillar covers, sport floor mats, door sill protectors, and Gunmetal Gray trim. The SE’s instrument panel features twin dials with red illumination and red pointers, along with a standard 4.2-inch color TFT multi-information display. In the SE Hybrid, a Hybrid Gauge Cluster compliments the multi-information display.
Power, Used Wisely
Non-hybrid RAV4 grades are powered by a punchy 176-horsepower dual-overhead cam 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with dual VVT-i (Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) and six-speed automatic transmission. The combination yields EPA fuel economy estimates of 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined (LE and XLE); 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined (SE, Limited, and Platinum). Models having Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive have estimates of 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway/25 mpg combined (LE and XLE); 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway/24 mpg combined (SE, Limited, and Platinum).
As seen on premium vehicles, the Toyota RAV4 comes with driver-selectable operating modes. Select Eco mode and the RAV4 optimizes powertrain operation to help maximize fuel economy. Switch to Sport mode, and you’ll experience sharpened shift timing, throttle response, and steering feel. Downshifting will “blip” the throttle, as the driver in a stick-shift vehicle would do to maintain driving smoothness. On RAV4 models with Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive, Sport mode also alters torque distribution to enhance agility.
With standard front-drive, the RAV4 gas model has a special traction helper called Automatic Limited Slip Differential (Auto LSD). Essentially a second layer of computer logic in the Traction Control system, Auto LSD can be engaged at speeds below 25 mph to provide the function of a mechanical limited-slip differential. Unlike Traction Control, it doesn’t cut into engine power. This helps give the driver control and distributes power where it’s most effective. On all RAV4 gas models, standard Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) helps prevent the vehicle from rolling backward when starting off on an incline when the brake pedal is released. All RAV4 models (except SE and SE Hybrid) are equipped with standard Trailer Sway Control. A function of Vehicle Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control helps counteract handling forces that can cause trailer sway during towing by applying brakes to individual wheels.
For maximum traction capability in all conditions, the RAV4 gas models offer the sophisticated Dynamic Torque Control AWD system. Taking input from various sensors (vehicle speed, steering speed and angle, throttle angle and yaw rate), Dynamic Torque Control continuously monitors and actively governs torque distribution to the rear wheels, as needed, via an electromagnetically controlled coupling positioned in the rear differential. Front to rear torque distribution can vary from 100:0 to 50:50, with front-wheel drive automatically engaged under normal driving conditions to help reduce fuel consumption.
When accelerating, Dynamic Torque Control automatically shifts to AWD to help prevent front wheel slippage, or when sensors detect wheel slippage. Torque transfer to the rear wheels starts from the moment the steering wheel is turned to reduce the load on the front tires in all Drive Modes. If wheel slip occurs, the system transfers up to 50 percent of torque to the rear wheels to reduce front tire loading, thereby enhancing lateral grip. Pushing an AWD Lock button fixes torque distribution at 50:50 at speeds up to about 25 mph to help maximize grip for off-pavement driving or slippery conditions. Above that speed, the system reverts to Auto mode.
Strength Lies Beneath
A body structure that makes extensive use of high-strength steel provides a robust and stiff, yet light, platform and is the foundation for the RAV4’s smooth ride, handling agility, and cabin quietness. The rear suspension member counts on spots welds and robust support mounts to help enhance rigidity and reduce vibration transfer into passengers’ space. The MacPherson strut front suspension and double-wishbone style multi-link rear suspension allow the RAV4 to absorb bumps, ruts, and railroad crossings with composure. A strut tower bar links the tops of the front strut towers to the main bulkhead, helping to increase torsional rigidity. Front and rear shock absorbers and coils help enhance control and increase comfort. The SE grades receive unique sport-tuned shock absorbers and coils for enhanced sport driving composure.
Vehicle-speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion electric power steering provides precision feel and quick response, and it has no messy hydraulic fluid to be checked or changed. The RAV4 LE rolls on standard 17-inch steel wheels with wheel covers and P225/65R17 all-season tires. The XLE features 17-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels with P225/65R17 tires, while the SE rides on 18-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels with P235/55R18 tires. Limited and Platinum grades get 18-inch 5-spoke Superchrome alloy wheels with P235/55R18 all-season tires.
Big Where It Counts
The easy-to-maneuver, easy-to-park RAV4 takes up little space outside but offers cavernous space inside. There’s ample room for five adults, including competitive 37.2 inches of rear legroom and, behind the rear seat, 38.4 cu. ft. of cargo capacity (35.6 cu. ft. for Hybrid). With the 60/40 split rear seats folded, that space expands to 73.4 cu. ft. (70.6 cu. ft. for Hybrid). The rear seatbacks recline several degrees for added passenger comfort, and rear privacy glass is standard on all RAV4 models.
Special attention was directed towards improving cabin quietness with the addition of sound insulation materials in the rear cargo area, floor pan, and side and rear doors to help reduce road noise and create a premium feel.
Musically Inclined with Entune
The 2017 RAV4 plays your music your way through one of four available Entune audio systems. The LE’s Entune Audio includes the Entune Multimedia Bundle comprised of 6.1-inch touch-screen display, AM/FM CD player, MP3/WMA playback capability, 6 speakers, auxiliary audio jack, USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control, advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, phone book access, and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology with integrated backup camera display.
Standard on the XLE and SE grades, Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation adds high-resolution and the Customizable Home Screen feature to the 6.1-inch touch screen and also includes HD Radio® with iTunes® tagging, SiriusXM® satellite radio (with 3-month complimentary All Access Trial) and Traffic/Weather (metro areas only). The Connected Navigation via Scout® GPS Link app is standard with this upgraded system and includes cell-phone driven navigation, voice activated search, traffic-based commute information, and more.
In the RAV4 Limited (and optional for the XLE grade), Entune Premium Audio adds a 7.0-inch high resolution touchscreen with Customizable Home Screen, Integrated Navigation and the subscription-free Entune App Suite. Entune Premium Audio adds AM/FM Cache Radio and pairs with the user’s smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, music and information services. Mobile apps include Destination Search, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Yelp, Facebook Places, Slacker Radio, and Pandora®, plus real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Customers can download available Entune updates right to the system.
Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite can be had on SE and Limited grades; it’s standard with the Platinum grade.
Impressive Safety Technology
The 2017 RAV4 is equipped with the Star Safety System™ that includes: Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). Eight standard airbags include dual stage advanced driver and front passenger airbags; front seat-mounted side airbags; first and second row side curtain airbags; driver’s knee airbag and a front passenger seat cushion airbag. Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats are designed to help support the driver’s and front passenger’s heads during certain types of rear-end collisions.
The standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) driver assist system bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection function (PCS w/PD) featuring forward collision warning and Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).
The Pedestrian Detection function of Pre-collision System (PCS) uses a camera and radar to detect a pedestrian ahead of the vehicle in certain conditions. When the system determines there is a possibility of collision, it prompts the driver to brake with an audio and visual alert. If the driver notices the hazard and brakes, the system may provide additional braking force using Brake Assist. If the driver fails to brake in a set time and the system determines that the risk of collision with a pedestrian is extremely high, the system may automatically apply the brakes, reducing speed in order to help the driver avoid the collision or reducing the impact.
Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist function uses an in-vehicle camera designed to detect visible white and yellow lane markers in front of the vehicle and the vehicle’s position on the road. If the system determines that the vehicle is starting to unintentionally deviate from its lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert. When the alerts occur, the driver must check the surrounding road situation and carefully operate the steering wheel to move the vehicle back to the center part of their lane.
In addition to the alert function of LDA, the RAV4 will feature a Steering Assist function. If the system determines that the vehicle is on a path to unintentionally depart from its lane, the system may provide small corrective steering inputs to the steering wheel for a short period of time to help the driver keep the vehicle in its lane.
On highways, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) functions similar to conventional “constant speed” cruise control in that it helps vehicles travel at a consistent speed set by the driver, but this system adds a vehicle-to-vehicle distance control mode designed to assist the driver by adjusting vehicle speed (within a set range) to help maintain a pre-set distance to a preceding vehicle when the preceding vehicle is traveling at a lower speed. Once a vehicle speed is set by the driver, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses a front-grill mounted millimeter-wave radar and an in-vehicle camera designed to detect a preceding vehicle and help determine its distance.
If the vehicle ahead is detected traveling at a speed slower than your set speed or within your distance range setting, the system is designed to automatically decelerate the vehicle without having to cancel the cruise control. When a greater reduction in vehicle speed is necessary, the system may apply the brakes and operate the vehicle brake lights. The system will then respond to changes in the speed of the vehicle ahead in order to help maintain the vehicle-to-vehicle distance set by the driver. When there is no longer a preceding vehicle driving slower than the vehicle’s set speed, the system accelerates until the set speed is reached and returns to the pre-set speed cruising.
Automatic High Beams (AHB) helps enhance forward visibility during nighttime driving. It uses a camera to detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles and the tail lights of vehicles ahead, and then automatically switches between high beams and low beams so as not to interfere with other drivers.
Complimenting TSS-P are standard Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and rear backup camera, as well as available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which is optional on LE and XLE, and standard on SE, Limited, and Platinum grades.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation.
The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles. In applicable states, hybrid-related component coverage is 15 years/150,000 miles with the exception of the hybrid battery, which is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles.
The 2017 RAV4 also comes standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.