Chose FWD as my wife usually has the day off if we have snow and ice. Schools are closed.
She is not a fan of leather seating, so we didn't want to go beyond the XLE trim level. But we wanted the Technology Package that has the push button start and other features. Our dealer had to peek into an adjacent region as our region doesn't offer that package on the XLE trim level.
We've enjoyed the vehicle and the Toyota Entune infotainment system. It seems to work better with my Samsung Galaxy S5 compared to my wife's iPhone 6+ but no real problems with either.
We've put about 8k miles on the vehicle since October 2016 and it's been a solid performer. I can manage a solid 30mpg in highway driving if I stay at 70mph or below. Expect mid 20's for mixed urban freeway driving and low 20s around town.
While the RAV4 may not have all the latest tech such as a CVT, direct injection, a small turbo charged engine, it's tried and proven technology should give you hundreds of thousands of miles of life.
If it's anything like the 2003 Camry we traded in with 277k miles, we'll get our money's worth out of it with relatively few repairs.
The body is attractive. Like most vehicles, it has a high belt line. I appreciate the smaller 17" wheels as tires should be less costly when replacements are needed. Entry and exiting the vehicle is easy. You can adjust the liftgate lift height to clear your head and the garage door. The keyless entry isn't as good as Nissan. There isn't a button you press. The door handle detects your touch and opens. Having had a 2010 Nissan Altima, I like the button as you can press it once or twice to open just the driver door or all doors. Seems the button gives the user a bit more control than the handle that detects your press. It's a minor inconvienience and perhaps we can change the programming so that it will unlock all the doors from the drivers door handle. But we haven't yet looked to see if we can change the behavior. Other than that, it's been a great vehicle. As I said, we've put 8k miles on it during our first four months of ownership. Our goals were a solid performer, not cutting edge technology or expensive consumables such as tires. I.E. vehicles with extremely low profile tires on large wheels were out. As were vehicles with a CVT. I never really came to enjoy the CVT experience in the Nissan, so we ruled out the Nissan and Honda offerings in this segment. The only thing that would really make this vehicle better for me would be an available manual transmission. But I realize I'm a dinosaur and few others share my enthusiasm for rowing my own gears.
If you want a good solid, proven performer and don't need to be on the cutting edge of technology or don't really need 20" wheels with 35 profile tires, then the RAV4 just may be your cup of tea.
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