Toyota's new 2018 RAV4 Adventure is a special trim with one key difference from the rest of the RAV4 line. It rides higher and has more ground clearance. Apart from those two mechanical changes, the RAV4 Adventure is strictly an appearance package. Toyota does give the RAV4 Adventure 18" wheels with 55-series low-profile rubber and somehow comes to the conclusion that makes this RAV4 "...ready to play in the dirt." Taller lower-profile tires do exactly the opposite.
The popular crossover with the most ground clearance in this class is the Subaru Forester. Its 8.7 inches of ground clearance still top the 6.5 inches that the RAV4 Adventure now has, up from the conventional RAV4's 6.1 inches.The RAV4 Adventure is seen by Toyota as between its SE and XLE trims. The new AWD price for 2018 is $30,495 including the heated seats in the Cold Weather Package.
Price Comparison - RAV4 Adventure vs. Forester
We priced out the 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium, AWD and automatic, the same way the RAV4 comes. To the base vehicle, we added the All Weather Package and the Eyesight Driver Assist package that most closely matched the RAV4's standard package. Both selections also include Rear Cross Traffic and Blind Spot Detection.
The Forester priced out at $28,805. Subaru does offer 18-inch wheels for the 2.5i Premium in its Black Edition Package, but the package conflicts with the more important Eyesight packages. Given that more sidewall is always better off-road, the smaller 17-inch diameter wheels of the Forester are actually an advantage in this comparison of "adventure-oriented" crossovers.
Conclusion - Forester vs. RAV4 Adventure
Our conclusion is that the Forester offers more off-road preparation than does the RAV4 Adventure at a slightly lower price point.