Travel In Style With Toyota

My Experience Driving The 2018 RAV4

There’s a little something you might not know about me: I love driving.  I don’t mean the 20 minute hike into the city to run an errand when you were just there yesterday or battling horrendous traffic during your daily commute.  I mean driving on the open road.  For me, that is freedom.  It’s a quiet place for reflection, a time for you to rock out to your favorite music, or a journey that makes the destination even more worthwhile.  Back when my now husband and I were in high school we used to just go for a drive, windows down, winding up and down the mountain roads listening to music and enjoying the feel of the cool mountain air on our faces.  It is one of my fondest memories with him.  So you can imagine how excited I was to partner with Toyota by test driving the brand new 2018 Platinum RAV4 during my recent trip to Raleigh, NC.

This is the fashionable, yet highly affordable Toyota Platinum RAV4 in Blizzard Pearl.  It features a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission.  The 18″ alloy wheels are stylish and sleek, which makes for a great first impression.  But the best part is when you open the doors and see the beautiful cognac and black two-toned leather interior.  It blew me away!  Not only are they nice to look at, but the seats are incredibly comfortable.  I was pleasantly surprised by the level of luxury in the Platinum RAV4’s interior.

Throughout my trip I found that the 2018 Platinum RAV4 fit all of my needs: it was versatile, a smooth ride, had plenty of space for all of my things, got good gas mileage (average 28 MPG on the highway, 22 MPG in the city) and most importantly it was stylish!  As a blogger, I’m on the road a lot hopping between meetings or traveling to photo shoot locations. Most of the time my car has to double as a dressing room, too.  I could easily see this car making blog life much simpler!  The space, comfort and luxury of the interior, safety technology, and plenty of options to keep my electronics charged throughout the day checks a lot of big items off of my list when shopping for a car.  Read on to learn more about some of my favorite features.

Foot Activated Power Lift Gate.  This was so great for traveling and as you can see the roomy trunk had plenty of space for all of my luggage (and me!).  By waving your foot under the rear bumper of the car, it activates the power lift gate so you don’t have to worry about struggling with a armload of groceries or a heavy item that you just can’t put down.  If for whatever reason you don’t want to use the foot activation, there is also a button on the key fob.

3 12V Power Outlets and 1 USB Port.  As a blogger and entrepreneur, my electronics go everywhere with me.  I’m always carrying my computer and more likely than not I’m running on the last 10% of my phone’s battery life.  Having all of these options to power my tools on the go helped make sure I was always prepared and never in need of an outlet.

Heated Seats and Steering Wheel.  There are many vehicles out there that offer heated seats, which are especially helpful in the Winter months.  But you know what I really needed?  A heated steering wheel.  Forget trying to warm your hands up in front of the air vent or driving with icicles for fingers, this feature helps you defrost while you drive.  Raleigh was surprisingly cold during my trip, so this came in especially handy! (See what I did there?)

Lane Departure Alert. Anytime the vehicle starts to move out of it’s lane, a beeping signal will go off to alert the driver.  This was especially helpful toward the end of the trip when I started to get tired.  I know it would be even more important at night.  This safety feature is intended to help reduce the risk of accidents and it definitely does that!  However, the roads in Raleigh can sometimes be narrow and the alert would go off unnecessarily.  Thankfully, you have the option to turn it off.  So I kept it on while I was on the interstate, but turned it off on city roads.

Blind Spot Monitoring.  This is another great feature!  Fairly self-explanatory, but essentially it is a blinking icon that appears on either side-view mirror whenever a vehicle is passing or driving alongside the RAV4.  It helps make sure you know when it is and isn’t safe to change lanes.

Push Button Start.  No more fumbling around with keys!  All you have to do is have the key fob in your purse, your pocket, or in one of the console compartments.  Then just put your foot on the break and push the button!  It’s a little detail that makes life seem a bit easier!

Bird’s Eye View Camera. While I didn’t catch a picture of this, the “Bird’s Eye View” camera was incredible!  Using four cameras, one in the front of the car, one on each side mirror, and one in the rear, this technology allows you to see an overhead view of your RAV4.  It even includes your immediate surroundings!  This made parking an absolute breeze.  You can see more about the Bird’s Eye View Camera in this video.

Adaptive Cruise Control.  Last, but certainly not least, the adaptive cruise control was the MVP of this road trip!  Seriously, it felt like the car was driving itself.  Essentially, when cruise control is activated the vehicle will hold the chosen speed, but then automatically adjust that based on the speed of the vehicle driving in front of you.  That means no more pumping the breaks or constantly re-adjusting your cruise control when the person in front of you is driving 2 MPH slower.  You can also adjust the amount of space that you want to keep between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.  There are three different settings that can be changed anytime while cruise control is activated.  It was amazing! 

I can honestly say that if you’re looking for an affordable crossover SUV with some fun bells ‘n whistles, the Toyota RAV4 is a great option!  The Platinum is the highest trim level, but they have plenty of other options to fit your budget including Hybrid models. I highly recommend that you give one a test drive at your local Toyota dealership so you can try out all of the features for yourself.  For now, thank you for reading my review of the 2018 Toyota Platinum RAV4.  I hope you enjoyed it!

Thank you to Toyota for partnering with me on this blog post.  As always, thoughts and opinions are my own!

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