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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
Four stars overall; four stars frontal, five stars side impact
'Good,' frontal, side, rear impact; 'good,' roof strength; 'poor,' small overlap frontal impact
Optional on Limited models is a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
A blind spot monitor with the rear cross traffic alerts is a $500 option.
class-leading eight airbags
The 2014 Toyota RAV4 has a respectable safety roster, with eight airbags as standard equipment, including knee airbags. A Bluetooth hands-free interface and a rearview camera are also standard across the board, and blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts are available on the top trim level.
That's the good side of the story. Safety ratings aren't quite top-notch; they're definitely sullied a bit, first by a single 'Poor' rating in the new IIHS small overlap frontal test, then by an imperfect four-star performance in the federal test, in a class where there are quite a few five-star vehicles.
In NHTSA's tests, the RAV4 received four out of five stars overall, with four stars for frontal impacts, five stars for side impacts, and four stars for rollovers.
The all-new Toyota RAV4 received safety ratings of 'good' across the board from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in that agency's tests–for frontal, side, and rear impact, along with roof strength; but in the new IIHS small overlap frontal test, which simulates the offset frontal collision with a tree or pole, the RAV4 doesn't do nearly as well—with 'Poor' results that indicate a higher likelihood of injury. The Subaru Forester, on the other hand, achieves the top 'Good' rating in that test.
Bluetooth and a rearview camera are standard on all models; but in crash-test safety, the RAV4 isn't in the top tier.