Toyota RAV4 2018 review (2022)

You can't stand still, even if you're often number one on a car buyer's list and your name is Toyota. Reputation is hard-won and easily lost, and the Japanese company hasn't dropped the ball on that score. Toyota's huge and often top-selling range of SUVs has cemented it's place in the Australian motoring landscape.

The evergreen RAV4 recently enjoyed an upgrade to its specification for the MY18 version. The vast bulk of the MY18 upgrade is to do with the inclusion of a comprehensive list of safety gear to keep it in the ring with the all-conquering CX-5. It hardly needed it - the RAV consistently outsells younger, cheaper rivals with the exception of the Mazda.

With prices up on most models and down on a couple, it's time for a thorough review of the RAV4 range.

Read More:Toyota RAV4Reviews

Toyota RAV4 2018: GX (2WD)
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency7L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$20,300

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 6/10

There are three trim levels in the RAV4 range - GX, GXL and Cruiser - to which you can then choose fuel type, engine size and number of driven wheels.

How much is a Toyota RAV4? How big is the range? Does Toyota offer drive away pricing? Read on for the answers to these questions, with a price list, specification guide and model comparison from the bottom to the top of the range.

Toyota RAV4 2018 review (1) All RAV4s get the 6.1-inch touchscreen.

Common to all RAV4s is the 6.1-inch touchscreen which powers the multimedia and sound system, which includes DAB radio, CD player (but no CD changer or DVD player), six speakers (but no subwoofer) and basic smartphone integration via USB or Bluetooth, both iPhone and Android. It works, but the interface is very basic and only baby's fingers can accurately hit the tiny targets.

The media systems still doesn't feature Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but the GPS navigation system slightly cushions the blow of the sub-par infotainment.

The GX opens the range and is available with all three engines. Standard features include 17-inch steel wheels, automatic LED headlights (no HID, projector or xenons here), fog lamps, auto wipers, Bluetooth, remote central locking, reverse camera, front and rear parking sensors, active cruise control, push button start and daytime running lights.

Toyota RAV4 2018 review (2) The GX opens the range with 17-inch steel wheels.

There are five GXs: the 2.0 manual FWD at $29,450 (up $900) and the GX auto FWD at $31,490 (up $900), which is actually a CVT. Stepping up to the 2.5 auto will cost $34,490 (up $840) and is a proper auto. Another step is the 2.2-litre diesel, starting at $39,060 for the manual and finally the GX auto sells for $41,100 (both up a hefty $2350). More than $41,000 for a car with steel wheels strikes me as a little stiff.

The GXL picks up 18-inch alloy wheels (16 and 17 inch alloys wheels are not available), dual zone climate control (as opposed to the standard ac), smart key with keyless entry and start and privacy glass (a darker window tint on the rear windows).

(Video) Toyota RAV4 2018 SUV in-depth review | Mat Watson Reviews

You have a choice of three GXLs, all automatic - the 2.0 FWD CVT for $35,490 (up a modest $100), the 2.5 AWD is $38,490 (up an even more modest $40) and the 2.2 diesel AWD is $41,100 (again, a whopping $2350 increase).

The premium interior pack is available on the 2.0 GXL FWD and adds heated and power adjustable leather seats with two memory positions while maintaining all the good stuff from the rest of the range, including sat nav.

Step up to the Cruiser and you get what is effectively a GXL with the premium package on any of the available engine options plus different wheels, power tailgate and an 11-speaker JBL-branded stereo with MP3 compatibility. Available in just 2.5 petrol automatic for $44,490 (down $910) and 2.2 diesel for $50,500, the Cruiser escapes the MY18 diesel model price rises.

Toyota's website offers drive away pricing, but you'd be mad not to negotiate on those prices.

Not available are a panoramic sunroof, homelink, seat belt extender, heated steering wheel, or tonneau cover.

Across the range, you can choose from eight colours - Glacier White, Liquid Bronze, Hazel, Silver Sky, Graphite (a charcoal grey), Ink (very dark blue), Blue Gem and Atomic Rush (red).

If you pick the GXL or Cruiser, you have two more to choose from: Crystal Pearl (fancy white) and Peacock Black. Sadly, green is off the menu.

As there is a space-saver spare, Toyota does not supply a tyre repair kit. A steel full-size spare is available for $300, but won't match your alloy wheels if you have them.

Toyota RAV4 2018 review (3)

Explore the 2018 Toyota RAV4 range

  • Toyota RAV4 Cruiser 2018 review: snapshot
  • Toyota RAV4 GXL 2018 review
  • Toyota RAV4 GX 2018 review

Is there anything interesting about its design? 7/10

The segment in which the RAV4 plays is filled with stylish cars, so Toyota has brought a more interesting styling language for its mid-sizer's exterior design. While not aggressive-looking and there's nothing in the way of a body kit or sport edition, each model has a tiny rear spoiler. Racy it isn't, but there's a clear theme emerging on Toyota SUVs from the C-HR to the Kluger.

Toyota RAV4 2018 review (4) The RAV4's styling isn't aggressive or racy, but on theme with other Toyota SUVs.

The different models are distinguished by wheel designs and a bit more chrome and metallic finishes on the exterior.

The RAV4 is a five-door SUV hardtop (no soft top - sorry folks), with a good wide rear tailgate for access to the cargo area.

You can add a bit of ruggedness with a roof rack or side steps from the dealer accessory list. Extras like a bull bar or nudge bar will require you to look further afield, the same for a snorkel, different rims, wheel arch extensions and more comprehensive tool kit.

Where is the Toyota RAV4 built? Our supply comes from Japan.

(Video) 2018 TOYOTA RAV4 1 YEAR UPDATE + 5 THINGS I LOVE AND 5 THINGS I HATE ABOUT MY TOYOTA RAV4 LE

How practical is the space inside? 7/10

The RAV's interior dimensions are nothing to sneeze at. While size isn't everything in this segment, it certainly helps. Our interior photos illustrate a roomy cabin with good storage space for passengers and luggage capacity, with particularly good rear legroom.

Toyota RAV4 2018 review (5) The RAV4 sports a roomy cabin with plenty of legroom.

The question of how many seats is easily answered - the RAV4 is a five-seater, there is no third row seat option. Passengers are well-looked after with places to put their things, with four cup holders, bottle holders in each door and on the GXL and Cruiser a decent sized front centre console. The glovebox easily swallows the owners manual.

Toyota RAV4 2018 review (6) Boot size is 550 litres with the seats up, 1760 litres with the seats down.

The boot size is 550 litres. Dropping the seats obviously brings an increase in boot space dimensions and an increase in volume to 1760L. It's a big space once you remove the standard retractable cargo cover. If you trawl through the accessories list you can also add a rubber boot liner and cargo barrier and the roof is ripe for bike racks with roof rails on the GXL and Cruiser. You can have the dealer fit roof rails to the entry-level GX for a price.

Similar Cars

Kia Sportage Mazda CX-5 Toyota Camry Hyundai Tucson

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission? 7/10

The range has three engine options and a choice of 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains along with three gearbox types. Absent from the range are full EV, plug-in hybrid or LPG versions. Not all engines are available in all specification grades.

Toyota RAV4 2018 review (11) There are two petrol four-cylinders available, a 2.0-litre producing 107kW, and a 2.5-litre producing 132kW.

The two petrols are both four-cylinder naturally-aspirated engines and available with front wheel drive or AWD. There aren't that many turbo petrol options in this segment, so it's no surprise there isn't one in Toyota's line-up.

The 2.0-litre engine is available in manual or CVTand delivers 107kW and 187Nm. Its towing capacity is listed at 800kg for a braked trailer and 750kg unbraked.

If you want a bit more horsepower or just like a bigger engine size, the 2.5-litre engine is available only in AWD with the six-speed auto. The specifications sheet says it produces 132kW and 233Nm. The 2.5-litre's towing load capacity jumps by quite a lot, with a trailer ratings of 1500kg braked and unbraked at 750kg.

Finally, the 2.2-litre diesel knocks out 110kW and 340Nm. The diesel models are all-wheel drive only but are available in manual if you like a clutch, or a six-speed automatic for those lazy left-leggers out there.

The turbo-diesel, curiously, has less towing capability than the 2.5 petrol, with a 1200kg braked and 750kg unbraked rating. Usually the diesel vs petrol argument is settled on what you can drop on the tow bar, but not here.

Timing belt or chain? The diesel and petrol engines all have timing chains. Each RAV4's battery can be found under the bonnet but is easily accessible. Oil types differ by model, each with varying capacity.

How much fuel does it consume? 7/10

As there are so many drivetrains from which to choose, fuel consumption is a big question.

Claimed fuel economy on the 2.0-litre petrol is rated at 7.7L/100km on the combined cycle, 8.5L/100km for the 2.5 and the diesel is good for 6.7L/100km. If you want to flip that around, you'll get about 13km/L for the 2.0, 11.76km/L for the 2.5 and just under 15km/L on the diesel.

The fuel tank capacity is 60 litres in all variants.

In our testing, the eco mode doesn't do a great deal for the mileage.

(Video) 2018 RAV4 XLE Honest Review

What's it like to drive? 6/10

The RAV4 is a classic Toyota - well-built, solidly engineered but not particularly exciting to drive. Let's get the complaints out of the way first, because there aren't many.

Road noise is a little higher than on most of the competition, the former owner of the noise crown being the old Mazda CX-5. While it isn't hugely noisy, it isn't as quiet as most of its competitors. The diesel is a bit clattery around town and when you accelerate for, say, an overtake, it really lets you know what kind of fuel it is drinking.

It also took me a while to find a driving position I liked and the electric power steering is a bit inconsistent and hard to read. Lastly, it's not a lightweight, either, with kerb weights between 1465kg and 1635kg and gross vehicle weight between 2000kg (GX manual) 2280kg (Cruiser diesel auto).

There, that's the worst of it out of the way. In every other way, the RAV4 is an agreeable machine. While not fitted with off road tyres, its off road capabiliity is better than most of its rivals. Part of that is down to the centre diff lock (activated with a button) and a fairly traditional sort of all-wheel drive system.

Toyota does not quote a wading depth so proceed with care should attempt a water crossing.

The suspension can handle a fair bit of punishment and puts the car high in the air, with a ground clearance figure of 197mm. Front suspension is McPherson struts and the rear trailing arm double wishbones with coil springs, which is fairly advanced but mighty good for on-road manners and ride quality. Live rear axle fans will have to look at the Fortuner.

The turning radius is reasonably tight, resulting in a turning circle of 10.6m

None of the models are known for its 0 100 acceleration or top speed performance, but obviously it's not that kind of car. The 2.0-litre in either manual, CVT (FWD) or auto (AWD) form is never going to set the world alight and if you want to tow even a modest load, it's not for you.

Stepping up to the 2.5 petrol fixes the towing issue and, bizarrely, tows the most of any of them. It's a refined, unstressed unit and when matched with the unfussy six-speed automatic, is probably the most relaxed - if not cheapest to run - of the RAVs.

The turbo-diesel is punchy and economical but, ultimately, it would probably come down to range requirements - you won't have to fill up as often in the diesel but it is also the most accomplished on the highway. As mentioned, it's a little noisy and its figures aren't earth-shattering when viewed in comparison with Hyundai, Mazda and Volkswagen.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / 100,000 km warranty

(Video) 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE Review and Test Drive

ANCAP Safety Rating

Toyota RAV4 2018 review (12)

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating? 8/10

The recent MY18 update brought with it a stack of safety features in additional to the seven airbags, ABS, stability control (VSC), traction control and brake assist.

All RAVs now come with Toyota Safety Sense which includes a basic lane assist technology in the form of lane departure warning. Safety Sense also adds auto high beam, forward collision warning and auto emergency braking (AEB).

The RAV4 GXL and Cruiser variants pick up a blind spot monitor system.

As far as park assist technology goes, you have reverse cross-traffic alert and front and rear parking sensors depending on the model.

Your baby car seat can be fitted using the three top-tether anchor points or two ISOFIX points.

The RAV carries a five star ANCAP safety rating, the highest available.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered? 7/10

Toyota offers a standard three year/100,000km warranty, which will give you peace of mind should any problems or issues arise. Toyotas enjoy high reliability ratings and the RAV4 is no different, but should any defects or problems arise, the dealer network is extensive. An extended warranty is also available from dealers.

As for servicing, service cost is dependent on the model and capped price servicing is available, including labour, oil, fluids and some parts. Service intervals come in at six months or 10,000km. Servicing for the petrol-engined cars is capped at $180 per service and for the diesel at $240 per service.

Toyota offers a service called Express Maintenance at some dealers, which puts your car at the front of the queue to get it done while you wait.

Resale value is strong, with few common faults reported in the usual places. Occasional transmission issues or automatic transmission problems have been reported, but generally in older models before 2010. The same goes for power steering issues, but again, these appear on earlier versions of the car. A second hand RAV4 is rarely a bad buy when properly looked after and serviced.

Verdict

The RAV4 remains a dependable medium SUV with a spacious interior, excellent build quality and a good range of features and options. It's also an expensive option when compared like-for-like against its main rivals from Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai and even Volkswagen. None of them have the pedigree or reputation of the Toyota and that's clearly worth money. But some of them will throw in floor mats.

The best of the RAV4s has to be GXL 2.5 petrol AWD. It tows the most, has the best specification level and is the most competitively-priced.

The RAV4 is almost the default choice in the medium SUV market. Where does it come on your list?

FAQs

Is 2018 a good year for Toyota RAV4? ›

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is a good option if you're shopping for a used compact SUV. The RAV4 has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating and a good safety score, making it a solid everyday commuter vehicle.

What problems did the 2018 RAV4 have? ›

Adaptive cruise control also caused concerns, causing the SUV to continue to accelerate despite other vehicles ahead. In an unrelated issue, a new class-action lawsuit alleges 2013–2018 Toyota RAV4 SUVs have battery defects that can cause electrical power loss, stalling, and fires, CarComplaints.com reports.

Are there any recalls on Toyota RAV4 2018? ›

Summary: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Toyota 4Runner and Tundra, 2018 Toyota Highlander, RAV4 and Lexus GX460 and 2017 Toyota Sienna and Tacoma vehicles. These vehicles may have incorrect load carrying capacity modification labels.

Is the 2018 Toyota RAV4 good in the snow? ›

The 2018 RAV4 is fully equipped to create a formidable presence on snowy roads. It starts with poise: this model has 6.1 inches of ground clearance. Not only does that give you an exceptional vantage point to see the road, but it also helps you rise above the road conditions that would do harm to lesser vehicles!

How long will a 2018 RAV4 last? ›

How Long Does a Toyota Rav4 Last? The Toyota Rav4 is a leading SUV when it comes to longevity, clocking in at between 200,000 miles and 250,000 miles on average, with higher numbers for owners who take good care of their Rav4.

Is the 2018 RAV4 noisy? ›

The engine is pretty quiet at idle (sometimes it's hard to even hear it), so that makes up for the road noise. It's a good vehicle overall.

Which is the best RAV4 model to buy? ›

Here's The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For Toyota RAV4 Are: The best Toyota RAV4 models ever made include the 2009, 2010, 2016, 2017 and 2018 model years. On the flip side, the models to avoid are the 2002, 2007, 2008, 2013, and 2019 models.

How long does a 2018 RAV4 battery last? ›

Your 2018 Toyota RAV4 battery will naturally last between 3 to 5 years, but that can vary heavily depending on type of battery, weather conditions battery size, and driving habits. Even still, just because your battery isn't completely dead, doesn't mean it's operating at optimal levels.

What goes wrong with Toyota RAV4? ›

According to reports, there were six recall issues for the 2019 RAV4 for problems such as leaking engine coolant, separating suspension arms, backup camera issues, and more. Surprsingly, there weren't any recalls for transmission problems. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 transmission problems were well documented.

What should I pay for 2018 RAV4? ›

2018 Toyota RAV4 base price starts at $24,660 to $36,400. Invoice price goes from $23,057 to $34,033.

Is RAV4 a reliable car? ›

Toyota RAV4 Reliability Rating Breakdown. The Toyota RAV4 Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 3rd out of 26 for compact SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $429 which means it has excellent ownership costs.

Do Toyota RAV4 have transmission problems? ›

There have been a handful of reports of 2020 Toyota RAV4 transmission problems. These problems typically include a stumbling transmission, one that is delayed and then lurches forward, and a leaky transmission.

Which is more reliable Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4? ›

Honda CR-V is more reliable than the RAV4

Also, a reliable vehicle results in less hassle and expenses from not needing as many repairs. For J.D. reliability ratings, the CR-V earned a score of 84/100, compared to 81/100 for the RAV4.

Which is bigger Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4? ›

The CR-V is slightly longer than the RAV4 is. It has an overall length of 182.1 inches, compared with the RAV4's length of 180.9 inches. They have exactly the width as each other, and the RAV4 is less than an inch taller than the CRV is. The RAV4 has a higher ground clearance.

What does the snow button do in a Toyota RAV4? ›

This drive mode provides extra stability by lowering the throttle input, reducing power, increasing traction control and offering more gentle braking power. All of these things combined allow the driver to have more control by helping to prevent the wheels from spinning out on icy roads.

What year is the most reliable Toyota RAV4? ›

2017 is one of the best used Toyota RAV4 SUV years to look for. Consumer Reports thoroughly tests all the new vehicles on the market. 2017 is one of the best used Toyota RAV4 SUV years to look for. With high scores for reliability, this year has proven to be a good buy.

Do Toyota RAV4 hold their value? ›

The RAV4 ranks right up there (Top 20 at years 3, 5 and 7) with all other great value-retaining vehicles, and fits in nicely with the overall value offered by most of the Toyota fleet. With dependability and low operating costs, RAV4s are exceptional values whether purchased new or used.

Which SUV lasts the longest? ›

Toyotas and full-size SUVs are the longest-lasting vehicles that are most likely to reach 200,000 miles or more, according to a new study by automotive research firm and car search engine iSeeCars.com.

How many miles can a 2018 RAV4 go on a full tank? ›

Driving Range

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a gas mileage of 34 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. It also has 14.8-gallon fuel tank. That means that drivers have an approximate driving range of about 503 miles in the city and 444 miles on the highway.

Where is the 2018 RAV4 made? ›

Toyota's fifth-generation RAV4 model is built in three different plants in Japan, one in China and one in Ontario, Canada. The three plants (Obu, Takaoka and Tahara) are located in Aichi prefecture, and will service different world markets (including Europe and Australia).

How much is a new 2018 Toyota RAV4? ›

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE is about $25,500, including the destination charge. The top-of-the-line Platinum model with AWD tops out around $37,200. The XLE Hybrid starts around $30,000.

What is the difference between LE and XLE Toyota RAV4 2018? ›

The XLE builds on the LE's strong core of features with a few extra amenities for both comfort and peace of mind. The steel wheels are replaced with alloy ones, and the model also adds a moonroof and dual zone climate control to the LE features.

Videos

1. Should you buy a 2013-2018 Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid?
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2. 2019 Toyota RAV4 - Review & Road Test
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3. Toyota RAV4 GXL 2018 review: family test video
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4. The Best Toyota Rav4 Ever Made - 2018 Toyota Rav4 Adventure
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