Summary List Placement

The Toyota RAV4 — a brilliant, highly utilitarian car recently made even more efficient with a plug-in hybrid offering — has one of the greatest interior features I’ve ever come across in a car. And it’s not even an optional feature you have to pay extra for. It comes standard.
Essentially, it’s this: a handy little cubby introduced with the current-generation RAV4, which has been around for a few model years now.

“What’s the big deal?” you snort to yourself. “Plenty of cars have cubbies.”
But do they actually? Or are you just dumping all your knick-knacks into a cupholder and calling it a day?
It’s true that cupholders are for drinks, but drinks aren’t the only loose items we bring into cars. Most of us are forced to stick phones, wallets, sunglasses, pens, change, keys, lip balm, moisturizer, garage key cards, charging cables, hand sanitizer, face masks, ketchup packets, and vapes (hey, I don’t know your life) into whatever free space we can find in our cars for safekeeping while we drive.
More often than not, stuff ends up in the cupholders.

For its fifth and current generation, the RAV4 does away with that forced packing. It gives us two rubber-lined cubbies that run along the dashboard. There’s a long one for the front passenger and a short one for the driver, and it’s a wonderful use of otherwise dead space.
In the 10 or so days that I spent with the RAV4 Prime — which was excellent, and you should read the full review — I made full use of those cubbies. As everyone who carries a purse knows, you don’t always want to take it with you everywhere, especially if you’re just running out for a quick errand. 

Sometimes you just want to bring your wallet and your phone. Both of these fit perfectly in the cubby, as does the RAV4’s key. The cubby is also far more convenient than putting things in door pockets, since those tend to be deep and it’s easy to forget you’ve put something there.
The RAV4’s cubbies are eye-level so you can easily see if you’ve left anything there. The rubber lining makes them both easy to clean and able to keep the items you put there from sliding around so much. A little lip helps prevent things from rolling out onto the floor. 

It’s thoughtful little touches such as these that tell me that someone designed this RAV4’s interior to be used by real people. Real people carry stuff with them, and that stuff needs a place to go.
With the RAV4, you can have a spot for your stuff and both you and your passenger can still have a cupholder apiece. You can have your cake and eat it, too.
The next time I get into a cramped sports car with zero storage space — where I’ve wedged my wallet between the seat and the door, I’m sitting on my phone, and the keys are God knows where — I’ll be thinking back wistfully to a cubby-lined RAV4 that treated me right.
SEE ALSO: REVIEW: The Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid is perfect for those who want an EV but can’t quite commit yet
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