The 2012 Toyota RAV4 is offered in three different trims—each with a choice of the four or V-6—so families are covered in seeking whichever model best meets their needs, ranging from basic and fuel-efficient to luxurious or sporty and powerful.
The base model includes a Lexus-like electroluminescent instrument panel, remote keyless entry, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power mirrors, three 12-volt outlets, ten cup holders, and cruise control. On the other hand, the top Limited model can be optioned like a luxury model, with leather seating areas, heated front seats, and the SUV-requisite rear seat DVD entertainment system to keep the kids entertained.
For 2012, sound systems have been completely revamped, and all models now include Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. With the new Display Audio systems, Bluetooth music streaming is also included, while in Limited models HD Radio with iTunes tagging, text-to-voice capability, and XM satellite radio are added. Also wrapped in is Toyota's Entune suite of services, with a range of data services and apps like Pandora streaming.
Hill Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC)—useful driving aids on- or off-road at low speed—are standard on V-6 models and four-cylinder models with the optional third-row seat. And on V-6 models, towing capacity can be increased to 3,500 pounds.
If you choose the right model, you can do without the external spare; a Sport Appearance Package remains available, creating a more carlike silhouette by deleting it. Just that one change, combined with some other minor changes, make the RAV4 look much more like the crossover wagon it is.