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5 Things You Need to Know – 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum

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5 Things You Need to Know - 2017 Toyota RAV4 PlatinumThe 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum is filled with luxury-like features in the compact SUV. Here are 5 things you need to know about it while shopping for one.

1. New Exterior Design

If you haven’t shopped or seen a Toyota RAV4 Platinum in a few years, you maybe surprised by the new design. Chief among these changes is moving the spare tire from off the rear hatch door and putting it back underneath the vehicle. This change allows the door to be opened more easily as well as reduces long-term wear and tear on the door hinges.

Also, new for the 2017 model, is a redesigned front fascia including better fog light placement. This gives it a more refined look and helps the front clip.

Speaking of the front clip, it does still jut out and can be odd to see on the sides. However, from the front quarter panel back, the compact SUV is well styled.

5 Things You Need to Know - 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum2. Toyota RAV4 Platinum Trim Offers Styling/Technology Upgrades

The new top-tier level for the RAV4 is Platinum. This new trim level offers a variety of styling and technology upgrades over lower trims like:

Exterior:

  • Height-adjustable, foot-activated power liftgate with jam protection
  • Color keyed to body color fender arches, lower rocker panels, and lower bumpers

Interior:

  • Platinum door sill protectors
  • Platinum floor mats
  • Ambient footwell lighting
  • Smart Key System on all doors and liftgate with Push Button Start  
  • Unique interior ornamentation (window switch plates, center shifter plate)
  • Bird’s Eye View Camera – Perimeter Scan, Overhead 360-degree view in drive and reverse, and curb view
  • Heated steering wheel

Audio/Infotainment:

  • Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite – includes the Entune™ Multimedia Bundle
  • 7 in. high resolution touch-screen with split screen display
  • 11 JBL® GreenEdge™ speakers including subwoofer
  • USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control
  • Advanced voice recognition
  • Hands-free phone capability

Price: $34,750 starting MSRP (base model is $24,410)

5 Things You Need to Know - 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum3. Roomy, Quiet Cabin

One of the truly surprising things is how roomy and quiet the cabin is for a compact SUV. Toyota engineers and designers have really pushed the boundaries on providing maximum space while ensuring it is still structurally sound. 

While it is still a small SUV, there are plenty of cup holders and storage options for a variety of items. It can feel crowded if you load it up with five people, but it is what you would expect from a vehicle of this size.

On the road, the noise seems quieter than prior generations. It isn’t whisper quiet by any means, like a luxury SUV, but it is quite good for an entry-level SUV.

5 Things You Need to Know - 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum4. Loaded with Safety Features

All Toyota products these days come with a standard suite of safety features making them all much safer to drive. Toyota calls is Safety Sense P and it contains many great features:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function (LDA w/SA)
  • Auto High Beams (AHB)
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)

There is additional safety systems offered through the Star Safety System:

  • Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Traction Control (TRAC)
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Brake Assist (BA)
  • Smart Stop Technology (SST)

5 Things You Need to Know - 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum5. Powertrain Lacks Excitement

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum comes standard with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic. It comes in both FWD or AWD. 

While this powertrain returns good fuel economy with the FWD model rated at 23/29/25 city/highway/combined and the AWD rated at 22/28/24 city/highway/combined MPG, it doesn’t exactly wow anyone.

Off the line, turning and accelerating for passing, the RAV4’s powertrain isn’t great. While it isn’t a heavy vehicle, the powertrain’s 176 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque feels slow. Even though this isn’t a race car by any means, the driving excitement of this model could be vastly improved.

5 Things You Need to Know - 2017 Toyota RAV4 PlatinumThe 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum is on sale now at dealers and is a great option for those looking at a near-luxury compact SUV without the Lexus price tag. 

If you are looking for something slightly larger, more luxurious and with a better driving experience, check out this review of a Lexus RX 450h.

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