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The aftermost bunched crossover advised on Jalopnik, the 2017 Honda CR-V, generated a massive 96,000 views. That’s 66,000 added than the analysis of that beauteous Miami Blue 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S attempt in advanced of the Golden Gate Bridge. Jesus, that’s like the agnate of an absolute burghal bridging the gap amid those two articles.

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20 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Is Agile but Annoying – Consumer Reports – usa car buyers review | usa car buyers review

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(Full disclosure: Toyota Canada bare me to analysis the 2017 RAV4 so bad, they abounding it up with a abounding catchbasin of gas, and done it and waxed it so abundant I could about accessible the doors due to the actuality that they had about arctic shut from the baking cold.)

Welcome to Jalopnik everyone, the car enthusiast website area a big amethyst crossover with a CVT transmission, attempt in the average of a abandoned Canadian winter, spawns added absorption than a alley analysis of one of the best iconic sports cars of all time—the Porsche 911.

So, aback you all assume to be absolutely adequate crossovers and affairs them by the masses, I’ve absitively to charge your throats with yet addition one of them catnap mobiles. This time though, it’s the absolute 2017 Toyota RAV4, that added bunched crossover everyone’s buying. Besides, afterwards active that able Honda, I was analytical to acquisition out how this crumbling RAV4 is captivation up. So actuality goes.

Sigh.

It’s absorbing that I alveolate the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V back-to-back, because these two car-based account cartage were analytical in popularizing the crossover articulation aback aback they were appear in the mid-1990s. The RAV4 came first, so it gets the arete of actuality the ancestor of this somewhat acid vehicular domination. I’m not abiding if I should acclaim the RAV4 or abhor it because of this, but at atomic it’s accusation ass at something.

I’m abiding you’ll accede with me that this trend of active a aerial all-wheel drive auto that’s acceptable at aggregate but excels at annihilation charcoal a actual fascinating, if not difficult to appreciate phenomenon. But with the RAV4, Toyota absolutely knows what it’s doing.

Because although the Honda CR-V holds the appellation for the acknowledged SUV in America, this RAV4 isn’t far abaft in additional place. And actuality in Canada, it happens to be our best-seller, with a absolute of 49,103 units awash in 2016. Meanwhile, Volkswagen is still absent of affairs that abounding Tiguans.

It’s additionally arguable how “compact” the RAV4 and CR-V absolutely are these days, accustomed that they’re bigger than anytime and actuality like the HR-V exists now. But that’s what they alarm ‘em. I don’t accomplish the rules here.

And at aboriginal sight, it’s not like the RAV4 seems to action annihilation added than all the added “compact” crossovers accessible out there. Think Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Jeep Cherokee, Chevrolet Equinox, and that VW Tiguan. There’s a able crop of 7-passenger account cartage now too, affluence ones, aberrant coupe-like ones, electric ones, and now, auto ones that are additionally acceptable crazily popular.

This is our automotive industry, area the car is absolutely acceptable extinct. Don’t accusation me, I’m not the one affairs those abuse things!

That actuality said, several of the crossovers I listed up there are absolutely absolutely attractive, and in some cases, added fun to drive (I never anticipation I’d say this about this blazon of vehicle) and bigger appointed than the RAV4.

But none of them, except maybe the Ford Escape, can alike appear abutting to the Toyota’s sales numbers. And this is area things aback become actual interesting.

I charge say, from the outside, I absolutely adopt the RAV4’s accommodation and all-embracing architecture than the actual automated and aggrandized CR-V, and anytime aback the RAV4 was accustomed the able LED analysis advanced and rear, as able-bodied as adapted advanced and rear bumpers, it still manages to absolutely attending decent—and about compact.

Under the hood, again, annihilation revolutionary. It’s the approved and activated 2.5-liter four acceptable for 176 application and 172 lb-ft of torque, numbers that are somewhat black compared to the CR-V. No turbo or absolute bang is available.

This is sad, because there acclimated to be a time aback you could buy a V6-powered RAV4 that could outrun a Lexus IS. The aforementioned goes for the transmission, it’s a accepted 6-speed automatic, and although I did adore Honda’s CVT, I charge say, alike the best arid of automated transmissions feels added automated than that added gearless system.

But the agent is absolute anemic. Alike if you apperceive it will accumulate on activity forever, it absolutely gives the RAV4 that sluggish, mid-1990s access akin faculty of dispatch area you consistently charge to accumulate that appropriate basal buried to get any overtaking accomplished.

The CR-V at atomic had some acceptable old Honda fun injected into it. Aback you punched the accelerator, it got up and went.

None of that absolutely happens in the RAV4. Smash the go pedal and that 2.5L buzzes through the agent bay as the 6-speed slushbox attempts to acquisition the best accessory to save ammunition instead of absolutely accelerating. To Toyota’s credit, the manual works accurately and calmly – it’s fine.

The 0-60 mph times allege for themselves: the RAV4 takes 8.4 abnormal to accomplish the stunt, about a abounding additional abaft the Honda. Steering is additionally absolutely asleep and vague. Basically, there’s aloof no fun that can be had from this crossover. But then, is that what buyers will absolutely appetite from it?

Driving this RAV4 was absolutely absolutely a adumbration at how acceptable Toyota is at architecture solid-feeling machines on wheels. Alike if the RAV4’s belvedere is a few years earlier than the CR-V’s, I was afflicted at how quiet and bland it is abaft the wheel. Sound insulation is superb, arguably the best in the segment.

There’s a Lexus-like all-embracing faculty of able body affection that’s instantly acquainted throughout the absolute cabin. And the suspension, while actuality bendable and wobbly, does a absurd job at demography on Montreal potholes.

Unfortunately, that’s the alone acceptable affair I can say about the RAV4’s active dynamics – because there aren’t any. I ambition I could accept at atomic approved it in the snow to sample Toyota’s Torque-Control all-wheel drive system. But there’s aloof no added snow larboard in Québec anymore. Which is alarming.

Inside, the RAV4 is able-bodied appointed and comfortable, at atomic my tester was, because of course, Toyota lent me a absolutely loaded Platinum model. That agency I had awe-inspiring leather, chrome all over the place, and ambiguous faux marble trim on the doors and centermost console.

I absolutely achievement Toyota was aggravating to actor marble, because I accept no abstraction what abroad that’s declared to be.

I’m abnormally addicted of the stitched covering that crosses the dashboard. I’m not a big fan of how you sit cocked in this affair though, but that’s because I’m huge. I’m abiding ancestors moms or dads will feel safe in the RAV4 because of that.

The infotainment arrangement is that archetypal Toyota interface begin in all their cars which is, to be fair, assuming its age added than a little bit. It’s added arresting and anachronous than best of its competitors, but still, the controls abide a lot easier to acquisition than in the CR-V.

Also, some of the vehicle’s controls, such as active modes or acrimonious seats sit low beneath the centermost stack, authoritative them adamantine to reach, abnormally for bodies with dwarf-like accoutrements like my columnist Myle. Finally, I can’t say the dashboard architecture is attractive—it looks added like the aftereffect of a architecture antagonism area anybody somehow won.

Yes, there are absolutely drive modes in the RAV4—Sport and Eco. Sport does absolutely annihilation added than accomplish the manual aback become agitated and Eco aloof cuts off any array of ability the RAV4 already doesn’t have. I swear, I never noticed a aberration in ammunition abridgement aback active about in Eco.

My RAV4 did appear with a actively air-conditioned 360 amount aegis camera to see if there’s a blackmailer cat-and-mouse for you alfresco the car to abduct your money. I like that. And it’s absolutely activity to be a hit with soccer moms.

Really, what you should apperceive about the RAV4 is that it’s annihilation added than a applied and alive account vehicle. It’ll apparently never breach down, the rear bench is ample and comfortable, and aback it’s lowered, it’ll accord way to 73.4 cu. ft. of burden space, 2.6 cu. ft. beneath than the CR-V, but still not negligible.

When the rear bench is bankrupt aback up (because I apperceive you’ll ask me this in the comments), the RAV4 gives way to 38.4 cu. ft., still 0.6 cu. ft. beneath than the Honda. And the RAV4 gets a block attic that can be positioned in two altered heights which adds an added band of practicality. Hooray.

Pricing for the 2017 Toyota RAV4 starts at $24,910 for a abject LE 2WD model. AWD RAV4s alpha at $26,310, with the ultimately able Platinum archetypal you see actuality topping the ambit at $36,150.

Toyota will additionally advertise you a amalgam RAV4, an advantage over Honda that doesn’t action any amalgam crossovers in its calendar at all. That one sells for $29,030.

So, let’s sum it all up: the 2017 Toyota RAV4 has appropriate looks, but doesn’t attending added agitative than the blow of the crossovers on the market. It’s additionally beneath ammunition able (compare numbers at the basal of this post), beneath fun to drive, and not that abundant added applied than its absolute competitor, the Honda CR-V, but it’s added expensive? So, why are we affairs them?

Truth is, no amount how midpack the RAV4 will be, bodies will still run beeline into a Toyota dealership with their eyes shut to buy one instead of a Tucson or a CX-5. Because it’s a Toyota. Their parents had one. Their grandparents had one. And the guy on TV told them to buy one.

This is absolutely a acceptable and honest vehicle. Cost of buying is additionally actual low, and its assurance array are through the roof – arguments that absolutely amount in this segment. It’s aloof arid as hell. The funniest allotment out of all this, is that Toyota knows absolutely what it’s selling, and understands that a agent that’s able-bodied accumulated and lasts always will outsell anything—even if it excels at nothing.

Can I amuse get aback to reviewing air-conditioned bits now?

Engine: 2.5L inline fourPower: 176 HP at 6,000 RPM / 172 lb-ft at 4,100 RPMTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-60 Time: 8.4 abnormal (claimed)Top Speed: 108 MPH (governor limited)Drivetrain: Advanced or all-wheel driveCurb Weight: 3,678 poundsSeating: 5 peopleMPG: 22 Burghal / 29 Highway (from EPA)MSRP: $24,910 abject 2WD, $36,150 for Platinum AWD

William Clavey is an automotive announcer from Montréal, Québec, Canada. He runs claveyscorner.com, and does some collaborative autograph over at rightfootdown.com.

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