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In a crowded segment, the Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling compact SUVs in the world. Currently in its fifth generation, the top-rated crossover debuted in the United States in 1996.

With five trim levels and gas, hybrid, and PHEV models of the RAV4 available, it has become a vehicle that meets the needs of many drivers. However, despite its vast popularity, many argue it may be time for an overhaul of the beloved crossover, suggesting there may be cracks starting to appear in the Toyota RAV4’s armor.

Three Toyota RAV4 small SUVs are parked.
Three Toyota RAV4 small SUVs are parked | Toyota

Is it time for the Toyota RAV4 to get an overhaul?

J.D. Power reports, “At this point in its lifecycle, the RAV4 is due for an overhaul, which industry observers expect it to get in 2024.” They explain that despite changes to the exterior styling and significant improvements to tech and safety features, “the SUV feels a bit stale compared to brand-new rivals.”

The only notable change since last year’s 2022 model of the RAV4 has been new headlights and an upgraded infotainment system, which was a long time coming.

The current generation of the compact SUV has been on the market since 2018. As rumors swirl regarding a redesign coming to the 2024 RAV4, it is most likely the next generation will not appear until late 2024 or early 2025. According to CarBuzz, some people believe the Japanese automaker “will drop the gas-only model and make the hybrid standard, but this is unconfirmed.”

Toyota has not yet released any official information on the anticipated overhaul of the 2024 RAV4. It is unknown if the sixth generation will be a carryover from the current model design or have significant changes to its design, standard features, specs, and color options.

Toyota may have some competition 

As industry insiders anxiously await news on an upgraded RAV4, competitors such as Honda and Nissan are attempting to push ahead of the pack with innovative features and stylish designs.

The reinvented 2023 Honda CR-V is new and improved with a spacious interior cabin that includes increased legroom, more cargo space, redesigned seats, and state-of-the-art technology upgrades for quality and comfort.

Meanwhile, the 2023 Nissan Rogue, which has an MSRP range of $27,360 to $38,640, including a $1,295 destination fee, has added a Midnight Edition. The new package, available on the SV trim level, replaces the chrome trim with gloss black accents. It also features black leatherette upholstery and 18-inch gloss black wheels.

While the Toyota RAV4 has a loyal customer base and is considered the best-selling crossover SUV, without an overhaul in the near future, rival brands may start to have the advantage with unique features not offered in the current generation of the RAV4.

Despite the need for an overhaul, Toyota may be holding off on making changes to the current model of the RAV4 since most of the elements have proven to be reliable, which consumers like.

With a strong resale value, exceptional reliability, and everlasting longevity, the Toyota RAV4 has staying power. While it may be showing cracks in its armor, there is no doubt the automaker will implement the necessary changes to keep the popular crossover at the forefront of the battle for crossover dominance.


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