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First of all, we respect the Toyota RAV4, so put down the pitchforks. We’ve spent time in multiple different trim levels and understand the value it has to offer as a reliable SUV. However, there is one crucial drawback to consider before buying the 2023 Toyota RAV4

How does the 2023 Toyota RAV4 drive?

A blue 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid small SUV is parked.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

To some drivers, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 could be tainted because it’s not exactly sporty or athletic. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. This amount of power sounds great on paper, but it’s a bit sluggish. 

As Edmunds notes, the 2023 RAV4 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 9.1 seconds, which is below the class average. The ‘merely satisfactory engine’ is one of the main reasons why the RAV4 is ranked as a top choice. 

You may need to give yourself extra time to pass others on the highway and to merge into traffic. Also, you may notice that it takes a heavy foot to climb steep inclines. 

The steering is a bit vague, which doesn’t inspire confidence around tight bends, and the eight-speed automatic transmission can stumble while downshifting. But it does feel confident and stable. 

Not everyone needs an engaging experience. But if you do, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid reaches 60 mph in about 7.4 seconds, and the RAV4 Prime can get there in 5.6 seconds. 

What do critics like about the 2023 RAV4? 

Aside from the sluggish acceleration, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 provides plenty of benefits. It’s comfortable and convenient o drive. The soft suspension absorbs impacts well for a smooth ride. It’s well-controlled for a low-effort and fuss-free experience. 

Also, body roll is kept at bay, and the interior is peacefully quiet, even at highway speeds. However, you can hear an occasional engine roar upon hitting the accelerator. 

The advanced AWD system includes rear-axle torque vectoring control and more advanced traction control settings. There are selectable terrain modes and hill descent control that provide the RAV4 with above-average off-roading capabilities. 

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road model spices things up with 18-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, an off-road-tuned suspension, and unique black trim elements for the exterior and interior. 

Plus, the 2023 RAV4 is spacious for passengers and all their stuff. You can access 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and up to 69.8 cubes overall. 

How much does the 2023 RAV4 cost? 

2023 Toyota RAV4 interior
2023 Toyota RAV4 interior | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 price starts at $27,957, while the top-spec TRD Off-Road model takes the cost up to $37,59. It’s an affordable and practical option with tons of standard features such as 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, and the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite. 

Plus, the RAV4 features an intuitive layout that places everything within reach. The tech is intuitive, and the buttons are clearly labeled. The RAV4 is also earned the prestigious Top Safety Pick+ title from IIHS. 

The RAV4 is durable and reliable with an excellent resale value too. There are tons of great things to say about the RAV4. It’s a well-rounded option. However, it’s not as sporty as its rivals, like the Mazda CX-5.