Good Car, but Awful Driver's Seat
October 29, 2018
I have 17,000 miles on my 2017 Limited Hybrid. Car has been problem-free and gets an average of 32.8 mpg in warmer weather, mid to high 20s in cold weather.
The hybrid system adds power in addition to saving gas, so acceleration is there when you need it. The brakes are good, but not as strong as other hybrids I've driven. Car drives very smoothy, but there is no feeling of attachment to the experience - very appliance like and boring.
Visibility leaves a lot to be desired with terrible rear visibility and forward visibility hampered by thick windshield pillars that are far forward, interfering with the view of other cars and pedestrians at right angles at intersections. If it weren't for the rear camera and parking sensors, backing up would be a real adventure, hence the dents you see on the backs of so many RAV4s (it doesn't help the rear bumper is useless).
All the safety tech works well. The pedestrian detection already warned me of a person about to walk behind me as I was about to reverse. Supposedly it has auto-braking, but Toyota doesn't make it clear. It may or may not help brake if needed. It will beep at you though!!!
The first few months of owning, the driver's seat was ok... but has gotten more and more uncomfortable. An hours drive and I am in pain. I limp when getting out of the car. I keep a gel cushion now. I am not a huge or heavy person at all. The seat has a weird mix of support that is too soft in the middle and too hard and narrow at the hips. Maybe only designed for tiny people. Also, even though it is an 8-way power seat, it acts more like a 6-way as you raise it. The passenger side has no height control and is a bit low. The telescoping steering wheel barely telescopes... still too far away for long legged drivers.
Cargo area is good, but the hump from the battery is annoying (the 2019 will be flat). The split rear seat is designed for Japan, not USA. The large part should be behind the passenger side!!!! The power tailgate is very slow and sometimes doesn't work the first try. I can open and close a tailgate 5 times in the amount of time it takes for this thing to work. And turning it off, it's still very hard to open.
The tech is good, but could be better. Voice command is a joke. "She" can't understand almost anything you say, unlike Siri. The steering wheel controls for calling work well... but you can't scroll through phone numbers using them! You have to still press your finger on a tiny number on the screen... makes no sense. There is only two choices for NAV screen brightness; super bright or black at night... it won't let you dim to medium at night.
Wipers work well, with many speed choices. Radio sound is good, but took some time to get used to the brassy sound and you need to keep most of the sound in the rear speakers.
Only one window switch is lit at night, the door lock and other switches are a guessing game. There are no puddle lamps in the door bottoms. I can understand this cost-cutting on the cheapest trim, but not on the Limited or Premium, with sticker price pushing $40,000.
Car rides well.... but the 18 inch wheels make you feel the small bumps, especially if you add a few more psi to the tires to get better economy.
Would I buy this car again? Not sure! Maybe not. Not with these seats and not for what I paid!!!