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2015 Toyota RAV4 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: I'd say this is a great SUV, good mpg's, and of course Toyota quality! by stevefromtheburbs

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Reviewed: 2015 Toyota RAV4

4dr SUV 176-horsepower 2.5L I4 6-speed shiftable automatic AWD

Why the 2015 Toyota RAV4?

Fuel economy

The area I live in always yields the city MPG rating, or less. It is suburbia, USA and that means you hit lots of stop lights and have to get up to 45, just to stop for another stop light. Rarely is there ever any real highway driving, in which you go for 5+ miles at highway speed. So all in all, a 23-25mpg in this situation is great. At higher highway speeds, for long periods, I say 28mpg (acutal measured using miles and gallons calcs) vs. trusting the car computer. For the size and weight of the car, I'd say that is great! And I leave it in the ECO mode, to save more MPGs though there is a normal mode, and sport mode. The car has plenty of power, even in ECO mode, so don't be fooled by fancy ads, the mpg's are great!

Driving position & visibility

In this car, you sit in a good position to be able to see things around you. All of that with visiiblity is good, except the low hanging rear view mirror. My wife's GMC Terrain has the rear view mirror mounted to the very top of the windshield and that is briliant. For a taller person, or a shorter person who raises their seat, that mirror can impair visibility. But, all other aspects are good with visibility and driver position.

Reliability & durability

Doesn't everyone who buys a Toyota expect it to just run? With 7500 miles on the odometer, I can say I've got no issues nor do I expect any. No weird noises, nothing to take back to the dealer for, it all just works, and has been since I got it. That is a reassuring start, but something I've come to take for granted with the Toyota products.

Cargo capacity

You'll be surprised when it comes to cargo capacity, because it can hold way more than you first expect. You'll notice that the cargo area extends out a bit, giving you some serious extra advatage. I was really impressed. Then, the back seats fold down flat, so that is a great way to put more cargo into this car. While not a huge SUV, the cargo area seems much bigger than others I've tried in this class. Go see for yourself, and you'll notice the wheel wells don't protrude into the cargo area like most. And you can get the seats flat, giving you that big car feel. If I recall correctly, I got 8-10 of the 12 gallon totes in the back with the 2nd row seats folded flat. That is amazing.

Off-road capability

I don't know how "off road" this will be, more than driving in snow or rain. But I will say they included something really cool. There is a switch to latch into AWD mode, for up to 25mph. That means power can and will go to all 4 wheels when in this mode, and up to 25mph. That alone makes this a car that I know isn't afraid of the snow, or else they would not give you that feature.

Why Not the 2015 Toyota RAV4?

Ride smoothness

At first, you don't really care too much about ride smoothness. But over time, it does drain on you. It is like that dripping faucet that wreaks havoc with your brain. They say the 17" wheels on the LE/XLE are less prone to this issue; again, not the biggest thing, and you should expect this in an SUV, it just seems like this is a bigger issue than it should be.

Other Features of the 2015 Toyota RAV4

Audio & nav systems

The high end Entune system, with nav, has HD radio, XM radio, and something unusual, which is no cost HD radio traffic and HD radio weather. It comes on the backbone of the HD radio network, and it is free. That said, there is always a catch, right? The weather always loads quickly, but the traffic can take 15-30 minutes to download. I use the nav and traffic to get to work, and home, so I can see if traffic is an issue. The problem is, in many cases, the traffic can take so long to update, I've already run into an issue that I could have avoided if it had updated more quickly, like if this used XM traffic. Now, the flip side is XM traffic is something like $4 month, and that is on top of the XM radio subscription. Not a deal breaker, just be aware of it. There is a way to supposedly get traffic by having the entune app open on your phone, however I've never seen that actually work. As for the sound, the limited comes with the upgraded JBL speakers with energy efficiency. What I don't like about that is the sound seems to all come from the front center speaker area - not that there is one, but it sounds like it. You can fade the speakers so it is louder in the back, but that just sounds like the front is missing out. You do however, get used to it. The XM radio, the aux radio, HD radio provide a great sound however, no static, no problems wit audio, it works great. The NAV system is a bit goofy, sometimes telling you to turn 4 times yet it is straight ahead. Or it will take you to a wrong address, not often, but sometimes. All in all I'd give the radio/nav a rating of 8

Conclusion

I like this car alot! There are still some annoying things that pop up, like the fake leather marks easily with white streaks when impacted. This is a pain. And how the ride is bumpier than it needs to be. But, you'd be surprised at the room and features available. I'd buy it again, so far, so good.

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