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The Toyota RAV4 is nothing short of legendary in its vehicle segment. The RAV4 has become small SUV royalty because it outsells all competitors. Japanese automaker’s small SUV has consistently been the best-selling SUV in America for several years. It makes sense that the best small SUV for 2023 would be a RAV4 trim level. Is the 2023 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium the best small SUV for 2023?

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium brings the value

A white 2023 Toyota RAV4 is driving through the water.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium starts at $31,975. It comes standard with SofTex-trimmed seats, a smart key system, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. The small SUV also includes a height-adjustable power liftgate, a power tilt/slide moonroof with one-touch open/close, and heated outside mirrors with turn-signal indicators and blind-spot warning indicators.

The RAV4 XLE Premium is the best RAV4 trim for the money because it comes standard with great features despite its affordable price. The RAV4 XLE Premium is loaded with creature comforts as well as features that improve the overall driving experience.

Small SUVs are becoming pricier than ever before. The base model RAV4 LE provides decent value for the money, but it’s too barebones for many drivers. The RAV4 XLE Premium provides a luxury feel at a price that’s hard to beat. The small SUV is known to be long-lasting. The XLE Premium is better suited for long-term ownership than other RAV4 trim levels. Car and Driver calls it the best RAV4 trim.

If a buyer plans on owning the 2023 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium for at least the average new vehicle ownership period (8.4 years), then the small SUV is a steal. It can easily last for over 200,000 miles or over 14 years when well-maintained. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium is the best new small SUV on the market because it provides incredible value over time.

What small SUVs rival the 2023 Toyota RAV4?

A gray 2023 Toyota RAV4 is parked.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

The Toyota RAV4 may be the undisputed best-selling small SUV, but it’s far from the only game in town. In fact, several reputable automotive publications consider the RAV4 to be below other small SUVs on ranking lists.

Some of the RAV4’s fiercest rivals include the Honda CR-V, the Mazda CX-5, and the Hyundai Tucson. The Honda CR-V has regularly acted as a reliable alternative and competitor to the RAV4. It has been redesigned for the 2023 model year. The Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson have recently risen in small SUV rankings in recent years. The CX-5 is known for being incredibly refined. The Tucson’s 2022 redesign made it one of the most competitive models in its segment.

The Toyota RAV4 could be dethroned in 2023

A gray 2023 Toyota RAV4 small SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

The small SUV vehicle segment is the most competitive vehicle segment in America because the most popular vehicles compete in it. Competition has only gotten stiffer as other automakers close the gap that Toyota has created in small SUV rankings. Several small SUVs have a shot at dethroning the Toyota RAV4 in 2023. Will 2023 be the year that another small SUV finally outsells the RAV4, or is its victory already guaranteed?