Toyota’s RAV4 Adventure brings a rugged look to an understated crossover

Why it matters to you

If you love Toyota reliability but want a more rugged look and extra ride height, the Rav4 Adventure crossover for you.

We have Subaru to blame/thank for this. While crossovers took the automotive market by storm, Subaru went a step further to make its all-terrain vehicles actually look like all-terrain vehicles. As people began pouring into Subaru dealerships (their sales have been off the charts for the last couple years), other automakers caught on to the rugged design craze.

Since then, crossover utility vehicles, or CUVs, have adopted styling cues that suggest they can tackle any unpaved road, even if that’s far from the case. Toyota’s latest model, the RAV4 Adventure, almost certainly meets those standards. Revealed at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, the 2018 RAV4 Adventure applies some macho bodywork and unique interior accents to the understated crossover.

More: 2017 VW Alltrack First Drive

Starting with the exterior, Toyota added flared wheel arches, black headlight and foglight surrounds, underbody chin and side sills with a painted silver finish, and black 18-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels. The Tow Prep Package is standard on both front- and all-wheel drive versions (yes, you can still have a RAV4 Adventure in FWD for some reason), and increases the CUV’s ride height slightly, updates the radiator, and improves cooling for the engine and transmission oil.

Untouched is the RAV4’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder powertrain, meaning the same 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque is served up via a six-speed automatic. While that’s sufficient juice for running about town, it’s not nearly enough for any moderate to demanding off-road exploration. If you’re worried about power and want to stay within the Toyota family, you’ll probably need to upgrade to the 4Runner.

Inside, Toyota announced unique interior trim accents, a leather-wrapped shifter, 120-volt outlet in the cargo area, and Adventure branding throughout. Pricing has yet to be disclosed, but we can expect it to check in somewhere in the high $20,000 range when it goes on sale in September.

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