2015 Toyota RAV4 Limited Review – Stalwart SUV Offering

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Throughout every automakers lineup there are the Halo cars and then there are the run-of-the-mill, high-volume sellers. For the 2015 Toyota RAV4 Limited, it is one of the high-volume sellers and it is pretty easy to see why.

2015 Toyota RAV4 - Stalwart SUV Offering

More stylish than previous generations, the 2015 Toyota RAV4 is a solid offering.

Redesigned for the 2013 model year, the big change for the RAV4 was the new exterior lines and putting the spare tire under the SUV. These two big changes are not only easy ways to distinguish one model year from the other, they also make a big difference on the visual appeal.

2015 Toyota RAV4 - Stalwart SUV Offering

The rear is really where you can distinguish the previous models. While replacing a flat tire is a bit more of a pain, getting easier access to the rear outweighs this concern.

Historically, I’ll admit, the RAV4 was one of my least favorite vehicles in Toyota’s lineup. Why? It is always been just OK to me and I think it resembles the “old, bland” Toyota far too much. On the 2014 model and in the Limited trim, the exterior is a step in a good direction, yet I think timing hurt what it could be.

Now, before I get too far, let me back up and say, the 2015 Toyota RAV4 is a solid SUV offering. My test model had a MSRP of $33,808 and returned 22/29/25 city/highway/combined with AWD. It was pretty roomy inside, the rear offered ample cargo room and it was easy to drive. A 2.5L mated to a six-speed automatic provided a steady drive with 176 hp at 6000 RPM and 172 lb-ft of torque at 4100 RPM. Ultimately, there was nothing outstanding about it besides it being a solid SUV.

2015 Toyota RAV4 - Stalwart SUV Offering

The interior of RAV4 is nice and pretty comfortable. Nothing really stands out.

That last point gets me back to my original statement on timing. In June 2009, Akio Toyoda came to the helm of Toyota and started making changes to how Toyota designers built cars. Over the last several years, Toyota has taken some real chances with styling (the large chrome grille on the Tundra, for example) and this has resulted in much more interesting/polarizing designs.

We have seen these changes becoming evident in the 2013 Toyota Corolla and 2013 Toyota 4Runner. The 4Runner especially was much more polarizing with the facelift Toyota gave it. Yet, the 2015 Toyota RAV4 didn’t get that facelift.

2015 Toyota RAV4 - Stalwart SUV Offering

Driver sitting position is pretty good as well as visibility. All the knobs are easy to get to and it responds well to driver input.

How can I be certain, check out the headlights on the RAV4 versus those on the 4Runner, Tundra or Tacoma. Also, check out the grille on the Highlander versus the RAV4. The signature “styling language” changes just aren’t there on the RAV4. They could be coming though.

Again, looking at timing, the current generation RAV4 was unveiled in November, 2012 and this November makes it three years since it was unveiled. With that segment getting increasingly competitive and the quick turnaround Toyota just redid the Camry, we could see a new RAV4 pretty soon.

Driving Impressions

Ok, enough about styling. What is it like driving it? Easy, it is Toyota. It corners well, accelerates smoothly and is fairly quick. Yet, don’t take just our word for it. Recently, Toyota unveiled a Rally America RAV4 with Ryan Millen (professional driver, one of the drivers of the 2014 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO BAJA 1000 run) made this comment.

“I’ve driven just about everything Toyota has to offer,” said Millen. “And I’ve been very impressed with the RAV4’s tight, compact body and smooth handling. I’m looking forward to putting it through the paces this season.”

2015 Toyota RAV4 - Stalwart SUV Offering

While the 2.5L is OK, this SUV screams for the Lexus turbocharger.

Precisely my thoughts.

One final thought, with Toyota starting to offer more variants of all its vehicles like the Camry TRD and Tacoma TRD Off-road, it isn’t out of the realm of thinking we could see Toyota offer a TRD version of the RAV4. While that would be pretty interesting, we hope Toyota brings their Lexus turbocharged engine to the RAV4 first. Then, do the Rally version with a “high-output” turbo. Now, that would be a LOT of fun.

Model – 2015 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD

Engine – 2.5L, 4-cylinder

Transmission – 6-speed automatic

HP/Torque – 176 HP at 6,000 RPM and 172 lb-ft at 4100 RPM

Fuel Economy – 22/29/25 city/highway/combined


  • Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation – $785
  • Technology Package – $725
  • Paint Protection Film – $395
  • Roof Rack Cross Bars – $315
  • Remote Start – $499
  • Carpet Floor Mats/Cargo Mat – $225
  • Mudguard – $129

Price as tested – $33,808 with $885 delivery and processing fee

Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com


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