Go On an Off-Road Adventure with Toyota’s RAV4 Configurator

Happily, vaccinations are helping bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. People shut-in for the better part of a year and a half are looking to get out, and Toyota wants to help with the RAV4. Today, it’s time to spec out the ultimate cheap off-roader you can still drive every day. There’s plenty of trim levels and options to choose from, so no matter the budget Toyota has a RAV4 for you.

Toyota RAV4 Trim levels

The front of a Lunar Rock Toyota RAV4 with black TRD wheels on a white background
My 2021 Toyota RAV4 with TRD wheels and Lunar Rock paint | Toyota

It’s frankly absurd how many trim levels there are on a 2021 Toyota RAV4, seven to be exact. So, to make things easier I chose to focus on the two most outdoorsy trims: the Adventure and the TRD Off-Road. Both offer terrain-focused drive mode selectors and a host of safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring and Toyota Safety Sense which includes radar cruise.

However, only the TRD RAV4 offers some real off-roading benefits with TRD-tuned suspension and stabilizer bars. For only $2,000 more, the TRD seems worth it just for the suspension alone, although the included sunroof is a plus. After spending the last year or so inside, it’s hard to imagine prospective buyers won’t want a little something to let the outside in. There’s only one powertrain option for the RAV. Not to worry, as it’s a plenty-potent 2.5L four-cylinder making 203 hp.

2021 Toyota RAV4 paint and interior

The interior of a Toyota RAV4 with "TRD" stitched into the headrests.
The “TRD” on the headrests is a nice touch | Toyota

RELATED: The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Has a Nicer Interior Than Its More Expensive Sibling

Paint options are where things get interesting, per usual. Toyota offers eight color choices on the RAV, and three of them are interesting two-tone combinations that can be had for an extra $500 on top of the base price of $35,980. There are some interesting ones in there, including Toyota’s amazing Lunar Rock color with a white roof, but I chose to pass and save the money, wanting to keep mine under $40,000. With this in mind, I chose to keep my RAV Lunar Rock from head to toe.

Interior spec is largely determined by the trim level you chose, and the TRD pack does a nice job of sprucing up the interior of the RAV4 a bit. Toyota’s fake leather material “SofTex” seats are a nice touch, and the material covers the steering wheel, dash, and doors too. It’s not terrible as interiors go, but I chose to option my RAV with the “TRD Off-Road Weather Package” for $1,015 to get the heated and ventilated seats.

Is the 2021 RAV4 worth the money?

A build sheet showing options on a 2021 Toyota RAV4, including the off road weather package, blacked out emblems, and roof rack bars.
My 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Pack with options | Toyota

Lastly, Toyota offers some odds and ends like alloy wheel nuts, cargo nets, and a tablet holder. Those are all pretty frivolous, so I only chose three frivolities. Everything in moderation. Blacked-out emblems ($129) were up first; you simply cannot have an off-roader with chrome badges and be taken seriously on the trails anymore. Next up were the roof rack bars ($315) so I can mount a sick roof basket for….. things? Joking aside, they are a must-have if you want to use the RAV4 for any sort of sporting activity like skiing and mountain biking. Last were mudguards ($129) so people take me seriously when I put a wheel over the curb in the McDonald’s parking lot.

All said and done, my Toyota RAV4 came out to $38,743. Not bad considering the RAV4’s stellar fuel economy and decent off-road chops. However, the destination charge would take this RAV4 just a touch past the $40,000 mark. The RAV4 is a solid option for anyone looking to spend some time outdoors this summer, and at that price, it’s a solid alternative to Toyota’s own 4Runner.