2015 Toyota RAV4 SUV

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Throughout the past decade, compact crossover SUVs have rapidly grown in popularity with drivers in Meridian, MS, as well as the rest of the United States. People have come to appreciate this class of vehicles for its versatility in everyday driving conditions and applications for a broad range of needs.

While this added demand has created more competition, the Toyota RAV4 remains one of the best compact crossovers on the market. Smaller than the 4Runner SUV, but larger than the FJ Cruiser, the RAV4 is the happy middle of the SUV family in the Toyota vehicle lineup. The experts at John O'Neil Johnson Toyota compiled this article to highlight some of the features that distinguish the 2015 Toyota RAV4 from other compact SUVs on the roads of Meridian, Brandon, Laurel, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The 2015 Toyota RAV4 Basics

Leading the class in passenger and cargo space, the 2015 Toyota RAV4 boasts comfort in nearly all driving situations. If you're carpooling to and from Meridian Naval Air Station, up to five passengers will have more than enough space to enjoy the ride.  Even taller companions will have plenty of space, with ample room overhead, thanks to the RAV4's low-mounted, reclining back seats. 

However, if you decide to spend a solitary day at Bonita Lakes Park, or visit family and friends in Livingston, Alabama, the 2015 RAV4 has the most generous cargo area in its class. Anything you choose to bring on your trip will fit neatly in a cargo bay that measures an impressive 38.4 cubic feet. If that still isn't enough, the rear seats fold down to expand the cargo space to a whopping 73.3 cubic feet.

Although the above measurements make it seem otherwise, the 2015 Toyota RAV4 is still a compact SUV. This means that gas mileage is an important factor for customers who are shopping for vehicles in this class. The RAV4 usually exceeds the most fuel conscientious expectations with estimated miles per gallon (mpg) ranging from 24 in the city and 31 on the highway. In other words, a family trip to Bienville National Forest, or even Jackson, MS, won't hurt your wallet at the fuel pump. 

Powertrain and Drivetrain

All 2015 Toyota RAV4 models come with a six-speed automatic transmission and are powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 176 horsepower and 172 lbs./ft. of torque. 

There are two drivetrains available for all 2015 RAV4 models: the front-wheel drive version has a combined city/highway fuel rating of 26 mpg while the all-wheel drive version is rated at a combined 25 mpg. Deciding between the two drivetrains depends greatly on individual driving needs and habits.

In our opinion, the all-wheel drive RAV4 is definitely worth the loss of one mpg combined fuel economy, given the added power, quickness and security. When the weather is nice and you're driving on a paved surface, an all-wheel drive RAV4 will essential act like a two-wheel drive. However, if weather turns for the worse, or if you need to travel down a muddy back road outside of Meridian, the AWD kicks in and transfers power to wheels with the most traction. Simply put, an AWD compact SUV is a 4x4 vehicle that you don't need to manually switch to four-wheel drive. Instead, the on-board computer instantaneously does the work for you.  

Trim Levels and Options

The 2015 RAV4 comes in three trim levels: LE, XLE and Limited.

The base LE model comes packed with luxuries and latest technologies such as full-power accessories, a rearview camera and Bluetooth connectivity. A 6.1-inch touchscreen controls the six-speaker sound system that features a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and USB port.

The upgraded XLE trim has the same features as its predecessor, but also adds 17- inch alloy wheels (these are 17-inch steel in the LE). Additionally, the 2015 RAV4 XLE comes equipped with heated side mirrors, a sunroof, dual-zone climate control and satellite, HD radio with traffic and weather.  A height-adjustable power liftgate, a navigation system and Toyota's Entune smartphone app integration are all options that can be added to the XLE package.

The premium Limited trim expands on everything from the previous two levels. A Limited 2015 RAV4 will come equipped with larger, 18-inch, alloy wheels. It will also have keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats with an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with memory settings. A navigation system comes bundled with an 11-speaker JBL audio system, available as an option for the Limited trim. Customers of John O'Neil Johnson Toyota can also upgrade their Toyota RAV4 Limited with the Technology Package that features a long list of tech upgrades, or they can select the Blizzard Pearl Premium Package that further distinguishes the RAV4 with Blizzard Pearl paint and machine-finished wheels with black accents.

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