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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
“RAV4 earned a perfect five stars for driver protection in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger” in NHTSA testing
“Antilock brakes, traction control and Vehicle Stability Control are standard”
“dual-stage frontal airbags, side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags” standard
“Good,” top rating for frontal-offset and side-impact crash testing
The 2008 Toyota RAV4’s standard list of safety features won’t leave you wanting for occupant protection.
Standard safety equipment on the RAV4 is comprehensive. Anti-lock disc brakes at all four wheels, Toyota’s VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), traction control, front seat side airbags, and the ever-important full-length side curtain airbags are standard on every RAV4. Importantly, the side curtain airbags will deploy if the vehicle’s sensors detect an impending rollover, a great feature in any SUV where the center of gravity is naturally higher. Crucial to both tire wear and proper safety performance, tire pressure is monitored electronically in every RAV4.
“Vehicles equipped with the V6 and/or the optional third-row seat also come with hill-start assist and downhill assist control,” reports Edmunds. These features probably won’t be used much by soccer moms in suburbia, making them a bit superfluous for most RAV4s, but they certainly lend an air of greater control to drivers who venture onto snow and engage in light-duty off-roading.
The RAV4 performed admirably in both National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests. The NHTSA awarded the RAV4 five out of five stars for driver protection in frontal impacts, and for front- and rear-occupant protection in side impacts. It earned four stars for front passenger protection in frontal impacts, as well as rollover resistance and rollover crash protection. The IIHS gave the RAV4 its top rating, “good,” for both frontal-offset and side-impact crash testing.
The 2008 Toyota RAV4 deserves a second look for anyone shopping for a safe, secure, and solid SUV.