This post was created in partnership with Toyota, who provided a RAV4 for our trip. All thoughts and opinions are always my own.
We had the opportunity to test out the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure Edition on a recent trip to Utah. The trip started off in Salt Lake City and moved up the mountains to Park City, where the real adventure took place. We found that the RAV4 really is a crossover SUV for the city and the mountains.
Traveling with a small family that includes an 18-month old can be a challenge. There's a lot of "baggage" that comes along with a toddler. Having a "compact" car really isn't an option if we want to be comfortable while still enjoying the ride.
This wasn't our first experience with a RAV4. We took a 5 state road trip last Fall and our rental car was upgraded to a brand new RAV4. We kinda fell in love with it and even took an extra drive through town before reluctantly returning it as it was time to head back to San Diego.
I can still remember when the first Toyota Rav4 was released back in 1995. It was back when Windows 95 was out and the internet was really starting to get interactive. Toyota was sending out CD-ROM disks that you could order from their website. The CD gave a gave a 3D tour of the RAV4 both inside and out, and I thought that was so cool. The RAV4 has come a long way since it was released, but the originals can still be seen driving around.
We have a small car at home (Mini Cooper Countryman). It works for us for now but with a toddler and a dog; road trips become more of a battle to fit everything we want to bring with us and still have room for the dog to be comfortable. The RAV4 seems like the perfect size SUV to give us just the right amount of room to be comfortable and fit everything we need.
The Bluetooth phone integration was really easy to set up and worked great for playing Pandora and voice navigation through the speakers.
We set off on a scenic drive outside of Park City towards Mirror Lake in the Wasatch National Forest. We found ourselves on an unpaved road more than once when we were exploring the vista points. It wasn't really off-roading, but it was a bumpy road that was surprisingly comfortable in our Rav4 Adventure model that had all-wheel drive and increased ride height.
The all-wheel drive (AWD) mode kicks in automatically by distributing drive torque between the front and rear wheels to improve the traction and control depending on the condition. When the AWD isn't needed, the RAV4 operates as a normal front-wheel-drive vehicle for improving the efficiency.
Comparing to full-size SUV's, the RAV4 might be perceived as small, but it's actually a great size and really roomy on the inside.
What we loved:
- Comfortable smooth ride
- Interior design is easy on the eyes and controls are easy to reach
- Plenty of cargo space for our luggage and stroller
- Roomy back seat
- Power outlet in the cargo area - 120v/100W power outlet in cargo area
- Adventure cargo and floor mats are easy to clean
If you have a small family and are looking for a comfortable SUV with room for luggage and the ability to venture off the paved road, the Toyota RAV4 Adventure Edition is a solid choice.
Specs of the Adventure We Tested
- Engine: 2.5-Liter DOHC four-cylinder with dual VVT-i
- 176-horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
- MPG: 22/28/25 AWD\
- MSRP: $28,500 (AWD Adventure Grade Starting Price)
- 73.4 cu. ft. of cargo capacity and available Cold Area Package
- Tow up to 3,500 lbs
Thank you to Toyota for providing us a RAV4 for the trip. All thoughts and opinions are always my own.