To put it plainly, the driving experience was all wrong. On paper, it should be better.
You get more power and the vehicle is more efficient, managing 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, according to the EPA.
However, the vehicle felt less connected to the road and honestly felt sloppy on a twisty road. The transmission connecting the power of the engine to the wheels also spent a good amount of time choosing which of its eight gears to use.
The vehicle didn’t drive horribly, but the competition from Honda, Mazda, and Ford all provide a more engaging and enjoyable driving experience.
Also, the RAV4 feels bigger than those models but has slightly less room on the inside. The Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Nissan Rogue all offer a little more legroom and either the same or more cargo room. In short, these other vehicles are packaged slightly better than Toyota’s RAV4.