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On 2016 Toyota RAV4 mid-size crossover safety is still expensive

The top-rated mid-size crossovers still charge extra for the safety they advertise.

Mid-size crossovers are now the family car choice of many families. If trends continue, this will become the largest segment by sales overall within a few years. Safety is an important consideration for family buyers, and almost every leading seller now offers excellent crash integrity as proven by IIHS testing. The leaders in the category now offer active safety in the form of forward crash prevention (FCP) with emergency auto braking (EAB). However, our analysis of the “build” tools consumers use to shop for these popular family vehicles reveals that only top trims have this important technology standard, and adding it to a more moderately priced trim adds thousands to the cost of the vehicle. It is important to note that in order to earn the highest safety rating of Top Safety Pick Plus from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a vehicle must have this technology. Without it, the crossover does not have this rating, which many automakers advertise and highlight in press releases.

As of the last calendar month, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 was the number one selling family crossover. The RAV4 does have FCP and EAB standard on its pricey Limited Trim, but shoppers will pay $2,460 extra to get these safety features as part of the Convenience Package on the $29K XLE trim. The $32K SE Trim is even more costly to add FCP and EAB to, at $3,120 for the Advanced Technology Package. The upshot is it is better just to opt for the $34K Limited.

Compared to the 2016 Subaru Forester, which offers its EyeSight FCP and EAB on its $26K 2.5i Premium trim for $1,500, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 looks quite pricey if a shopper wants to enjoy the peace of mind of a Top Safety Pick Plus rating.