I’ll make this short and sweet! We headed down to North Carolina for the Easter weekend and I have a ton of National Free Days to use up by June so we figured we would rent something. I was happy to find this guy on the Emerald Aisle.

It definitely feels bigger both inside and out than the outgoing RAV4. It’s Recreational! It’s Adventure-y! Oh and it’s definitely Vehicle-y!

The addition of AppleCar play is a huge plus! thank you Toyota for catching up to 2019. The dashboard was well thought out and everything has it’s place. The XLE comes with Dual Zone Automatic Air which was very nice.

Photo: Toyota

The Tach can be customized and you can look at your Fuel Economy, AWD status and a variety of other information. The rest of the interiors very nice though. the one we had only had cloth seats. I wish it had the Softex seats. Those are nice.


Above you can see the many modes that you can select from. I only played with them on a dirt road so I don’t have any great feedback. One other note, there is a Parking Brake release, even though the car automatically sets the Parking Break when you shift to park and disengages it when you shift out of it. Pretty cool!


I promise I know how to park. Though this image is proof of the contrary.

Overall, this would be a great buy for a smaller family (like ours; we have 1 baby). It was definitely roomy and got great fuel economy (I averaged between 35-40MPG)


My only critique would be that the little 2.5L engine isn’t quite enough power. It was perfect for cruising around town but it didn’t love doing hills at highway speed. This thing could use a 2L Turbo like the Ford Escape.

If I were to buy one today, I think I would get this one.  The auto air is a must for me.   I would also spring for the upgraded seats.  Overall, it knows its place and it does its job well.