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Traveling with the Family Friendly Toyota RAV4

The very first new car I purchased was a Toyota RAV4. That was in 2000, and we still have it! While our CUV is now 16 years old, it still drives great and we love using it. When we traveled to Orlando earlier this year I was able to test the new 2016 Toyota RAV4 for the week. We remembered why we love this car, and here’s why it works well for families.


The RAV4 is considered a compact sport utility vehicle, giving it space but keeping it small and maneuverable. With our 2000 RAV4, the back row seems a bit tight, and when we had rear facing car seats it was a bit too tight. This new 2016 RAV4 seemed much more spacious in the back row, our girls even commented on it. They’re used to riding in the back of ours, so I thought they probably were the best voice to decide.


Even the front seats seem more open and spacious. The dash design looks clean and modern, and the powered sunroof opens up the whole front seating area. For being a compact vehicle, it certainly feels comfortable.


The part I was most excited about to share was the cargo space. With vehicles this size and seeing the spacious back row, I was a little concerned about how all our luggage would fit during our trip. Here’s what it looked like for our family:


As you can see we had 4 suitcases, 4 carry-ons, and 2 extra totes and it all fit in the back, plus we had clear visibility. The storage space really did surprise me, and made me excited to share with you all since it’s an area I worry about with compact vehicles.


My only gripe about our test drive is the infotainment dash system. We found it clunky and the navigation design was not user-friendly, with the map having too much information on it, plus we couldn’t find an easy way to view more of the route. This wasn’t a surprise to me as we didn’t love the system in the 2016 Toyota 4Runner we tested recently, but I keep hoping that Toyota will improve this aspect of their cars. I will say the back up cameras were perfect, and made backing this RAV4 into parallel parking spots an ease!

If you’re looking for a compact vehicle that’s long-lasting, and great for families, I highly recommend checking out the Toyota RAV4!


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