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2017 Toyota RAV4: What's Changed

img885059634 1470318699200 jpg 2017 Toyota RAV4 | Manufacturer image

CARS.COM

  • Most significant changes in the 2017 Toyota RAV4: All models of the Toyota SUV have standard pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beam headlights. The gas RAV4 adds a new top-line Platinum model and the hybrid version will gain a lower-priced SE trim level, though pricing for it hasn’t been announced.
  • Price change: Base prices increase by $320 to $560 on gas-only models and by $420 to $660 on the RAV4 Hybrid (excluding the SE model). The destination charge increases $40 to $940.
  • On sale: August
  • Which should you buy, 2016 or 2017? 2017. The value of the newly standard safety features more than offsets the price increase, plus you get the higher resale value of a newer model year.

Related: What’s the Best Compact SUV of 2016?

Toyota has upped the RAV4’s safety features game for 2017 by adding pre-collision braking, lane departure warning with steering assist, and adaptive cruise control as standard on all models while keeping the corresponding price increases modest.

Among other changes, a new Platinum Toyota RAV4 model joins the gas-powered lineup with standard equipment that includes a premium audio system with navigation, heated steering wheel, motion-activated power liftgate, bird’s-eye-view camera for parking and other features. The starting price, though, is an eye-popping $37,090, including destination.

The Toyota RAV4 competes in a highly competitive market segment against numerous compact SUVs and holds a narrow sales lead over the Honda CR-V for most popular in class through July. Some of the RAV4’s sales success is due to the brand’s reputation for quality and durability, not because the RAV4 is head-and-shoulders better than its many rivals.

Because there are several worthy alternatives to the RAV4 in the same size and price range, including the CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester and others, shoppers would be well-advised to look elsewhere before making a decision. On the other hand, buying a RAV4 is a pretty safe bet in terms of occupant protection, the 2016 model having earned a Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

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