I haven’t been reviewing cars for a little while now. I was finding that my work hours were clashing a bit with the pickup and drop off times. That doesn’t mean I was done with cars for Crunchy Carpets. I love to drive and I love finding family friendly vehicles that I can imagine the Crunch clan sliding into. Especially when our poor Pacifica is getting older. Thus I was thrilled when the folks at Destination Toyota offered me a chance to kick the tires of the 2017 RAV4 SE for them. I have not tried a Toyota since the Highlander back in 2012, which was a very nice mid-size SUV that fit our family of 5 with car seats very nicely.
The folks at Destination Toyota are really great. I was given a fantastic walk through by Product Adviser Michael. He brought me up to speed on the changes to the RAV4 and what especially impressed me, is Toyotas dedication to safety with their standard Star Safety System and now, their Toyota Safety Sense package which is being rolled out to pretty much the entire inventory as we speak. The TSS includes all the things I love about modern cars:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
- Lane Departure Alert WITH steering assist
- Automatic High Beams
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
The 2017 RAV SE is pretty much right in the middle of the packages available and comes with things WE love like a sun roof, keyless entry and push button start, heated leather seats, totally adjustable steering wheel, an incredibly comfortable fully adjustable driver’s seat, back up camera and much more.
The back fits 3 and has loads of leg room. The seats have a 60/40 split and Tara had no problem with her booster seat in there. If you just have two in the back, you can fold down an arm rest with additional cup holders too. The cargo space is nice and roomy and I can’t imagine the dogs complaining about it, though we just managed groceries with this review.
Voice controls for the phone and audio is like a magical unicorn for someone driving a 2005 car. The stereo was given the nod of approval by the teens too. The only things we found a bit lacking, were the size of the steering wheel for one. It felt a bit small to me. We also found it odd that the passenger seat was not electronically adjustable. We also noticed that the ride was a bit bumpy, and I would love to hear from more mechanical car testers out there and their experiences.
The SE is very versatile when it comes to dealing with a variety of road conditions too. One button will switch you to AWD. If you are watching the gas mileage, you can switch between their ECO setting or SPORT if you need a bit of oomph on the freeway. You can of course, pick their Hybrid model, which I would love to try too.
The SE model starts around $37K I believe. But don’t take my word for it, drop by Destination Toyota and check out their inventory and see for yourself.