2018 Toyota RAV4 AWD Adventure RIDE / DRIVE
Led by its new ‘messing-in-the-dirt’ Adventure grade, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 has become the pacesetter in the huge and hotly contested SUV/CUV automotive segment. Edging ever closer to the segment leading Nissan Rogue for a number of months, the RAV4 significantly outdistanced the Rogue by nearly 33 percent in April month just closed.
The secret to the success is that the 2018 RAV4 offers something for just about everyone looking for value and performance in the small SUV/CUV category. RAV4 offers a full six grade lineup that includes one of the best performing hybrids in the segment, innovative AWD and FWD drivetrains for all driving styles plus (now) the very capable active lifestyle Adventure grade.
2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure AWD as tested
Recently we spend a week in an Adventure. Our test 2018 RAV4 Adventure AWD came in the new Ruby Flare Pearl color with Black interior featuring SoftTex covered seating with contrast stitching and a Gunmetal Gray trim. RAV4 Adventure runs on 18-inch five-spoke Black alloy wheels mounted with P235/55R18 All-Season tires. Sporting a 6.5-inch raised ground clearance, it features distinctive large over fender flares, Gray lower valance panels and rocker panel guards and Black headlight bezels, roof rails, grille, fog lamp surround, hood graphic, mirrors and badging.
The MSRP for the RAV4 AWD Adventure is $28,400.
During our full week with the Adventure AWD, we tested it around town of course, but the most fun was driving it along the backroads, trails and off-road terrain of Hill Country Texas near Lake Travis west of Austin
Equipped with a power tilt/slide moonroof for full enjoyment of the outdoors – running the trails and experiencing the adventure is easy with Adventure’s 2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder pushing out 176 horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque through the 6-speed ECT-I automatic transmission. The Adventure AWD with Dynamic Torque Control and Intelligence puts that power on the trails effectively as it adjusts torque distribution for better traction control in response to changing road, trail or off-road conditions.
Adventure is equipped with two Drive Select Modes – ECO and SPORT. Our preference is SPORT. Eco was fine around town but, out of town, the sharper shift timing, throttle control, enhanced steering and optimized torque distribution of SPORT makes Adventure pop.
Inside the comfortable and quiet cabin, Adventure features door sill protectors, all-weather floor and cargo mats, carbon fiber-like trim panels, power front seats, easy to reach function switches, well-located cupholders, reclining and fold-flat rear seats, three 12V power outlets and more. Yes, there is plenty of space for your adventure gear – 38.4-cubic feet – behind the second row. If you fold down the second row, that cargo space nearly doubles.
Other features of note include a 120V/100W power outlet in the cargo area (we brought along our Nespresso machine on one adventure trip), power tailgate, rear camera, auto high beams, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Stability and Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, Tire Pressure Monitoring plus all of the Toyota Safety Sense and Star Safety System features.
Optional Packages included
A Power Premium Extra Value Package ($2,490) featured upgrades like Height-Adjustable Power Liftgate, Smart Key System, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert plus a major infotainment upgrade to Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. Managed through a 7-inch high resolution touch screen with split display, it has 8-speakers, USB 2.0 Port w/iPod connectivity, voice recognition, hands-free phone, Siri Eyes-Free and Bluetooth music streaming. Also featured is SiriusXM satellite radio, HD radio with Predictive Traffic and Doppler Weather Overlay, AM/FM Cache Radio and more.
It also came with (for those of you a bit to the north of us), the Cold Weather Package ($1,060) that included Heated Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel, Heated Fabric Covered Front Seating with Power Adjustable Driver Seat and a Windshield Wiper Deicer.
With a charge for the premium color and tossing in some Mud Guards, our 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure AWD priced at $33,380. And – at least at the time this one was built – it had a $940 package discount applied, bringing the delivered price down to $32,440.
Add a travel trailer and/or some racks for more gear, this one takes you there – wherever that is.
RAV4 Adventure Tows too
Adding even more adventuring lifestyle capability – the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure AWD tows up to 3,500 pounds. The Adventure is standard equipped with Trailer Sway Control and a Tow Prep Package that includes an upgraded radiator and supplemental engine oil and transmission fluid coolers. It will handle a wide range of the many (and growing group) small travel trailers that are on the market today – just right – for those long weekends away in spots that do not have a ‘Motel 6’.
Learn more about the 2018 RAV4 and Adventure by visiting https://www.toyota.com/rav4/.
Ratchet up Adventure with Yakima
Toyota and Yakima Products established a new partnership earlier this year that enables Toyota buyers to equip their vehicle at time of purchase – at the dealership – with premium adventure accessories. Adventuring lifestyle people – young, old and in-between – can select exactly the right accessory equipment they want on their new RAV4 Adventure and, literally, drive from the dealership directly to their favorite adventure location without delay.
Available for installation is a complete range of Yakima Products for gear management on the roof or at the back of the RAV4. Products include mounts for things like skis, bikes, canoes, kayaks and cargo boxes.
The best part, besides ‘right now and ready to go’ is that the buyer can fold the cost of those accessories into the purchase price and financing of their new RAV4 Adventure.
Learn more about Yakima Products by visiting: https://www.yakima.com/