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Toyota continues to bring the heat in the compact SUV segment with newer and better RAV4 models. Saying you can’t live without something is a stretch. But here are six features that make the 2023 Toyota RAV4 a standout in a crowded class.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 finally gets a TRD-tuned suspension

2023 Toyota RAV4 Climbing a Steep Trail
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Toyota took long enough to show it could best most compact SUVs by giving the RAV more off-road juice. That starts with the TRD-tuned suspension, seen in most larger Toyota trucks and SUVs. The models wearing the TRD Pro badge are more capable than their non-TRD counterparts. This new suspension is refreshing and provides the previously missing oomph in the RAV4.

This Toyota compact SUV’s off-road capabilities are much better

Many compact SUVs must stick to driving between the lines on paved roads. You wouldn’t take a Nissan Rogue Sport or a Mazda CX-5 on a trail unless you wanted to get stuck. Most 2023 Toyota RAV4 trims have all-wheel drive, making them more capable off-roaders. But the RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition adds TRD suspension, all-terrain tires, and an off-road “Trail” mode.

The RAV4 is surprisingly quick

You’ll probably never need to hit the gas for much more than getting up to highway speeds, but it’s nice to know you can reach that speed quickly in the 2023 Toyota RAV4. The plug-in hybrid RAV4 Prime sprinted to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds in Car and Driver testing. Most other compact SUVs can’t touch that. This Toyota SUV isn’t a speed demon, but it’s not sluggish, either.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has a larger infotainment screen

Dashboard View - 2023 Toyota RAV4 Featuring the Large Infotainment Screen
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Move over, Honda CR-V — the Toyota RAV4 has a larger touchscreen right out of the gate. It measures 8.0 inches in the base model and replaces the old 7.0-inch system. Toyota also nixed the available 9.0-inch screen for a 10.5-inch version. Although Honda redesigned the CR-V for 2023, it kept the seven-inch display in the lower trims, giving the RAV4 an edge in screen size.

Toyota hits all the right safety marks with this compact SUV

The newest RAV4 offers numerous advanced safety features, including but not limited to the following:

  • Lane departure warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-tracing assist
  • Road sign assist

Those systems helped this Toyota SUV earn a five-star NHTSA safety rating and an IIHS Top Safety Pick designation. That makes the 2023 Toyota RAV4 one of the safest compact SUVs you can drive.

A disconnecting rear axle boosts the RAV4’s fuel economy

This compact SUV doesn’t leave drivers high and dry with the AWD versions. Instead, one of the best 2023 Toyota RAV4 features is a new disconnecting rear axle. It enables front-wheel-drive mode for daily driving. That saves fuel and provides the quality drive desired. When you need power to all four wheels, the rear axle reconnects for the desired AWD capabilities.