Editor's Note: Despreporno contributor Michael Garfield is a radio host, TV personality, and columnist based in Houston.
The Toyota RAV4 was the top-selling passenger vehicle last year. Though the top three spots in U.S. vehicle sales went to pickup trucks in 2017, over 407,000 Toyota RAV4 CUVs were sold making it the top seller in the passenger vehicle category.
RAV4 stands for Recreational Activity Vehicle 4-wheel drive. Like its name, it delivers a smooth ride while hauling both passengers and gear on- and off-road. The 4-door CUV seats five people and – when the back seats are folded flat – has 73 cubic feet of space. Those rear seats recline to allow for ample headroom and legroom for adults.
The 2018 model comes in 6 trim levels – the LE, XLE, SE, Limited, Platinum, and the new Adventure. Toyota added the Adventure to the lineup with a slightly higher ride height and ground clearance. This version sets itself apart from other trims with 18-inch black aluminum wheels, black headlight bezels, roof rack and special badges.
A few things that impress me are the standard and available features like Bluetooth, a rearview camera, Toyota’s infotainment system with a 6.1 or 7-inch touchscreen, sunroof, LED headlights, 18” alloy wheels, and a 360-degree view camera system.
As with other Toyota models, the 2018 RAV4 has a long list of safety equipment as standard on every model. These include forward collision warning, lane-departure alert, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights.
You can compare the RAV4 to the Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5 and others in this category. 2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited.
One of the reasons Toyota sells so many of these is the value. The LE starts around $24,500 – and there is also a hybrid version priced from $27,200. The new Adventure is priced from $27,800 and top-level Platinum begins around $35,000.
If you want to follow the lead of many other consumers that made this the biggest seller last year then hop in the driver for a test drive. And don’t forget to bring some friends and recreational gear for most any activity you feel like.