Is the Toyota RAV4 Quiet?

Enthusiasts credit the Toyota RAV4 as the pioneer of the crossover SUV class. The RAV4 remains popular today because it can suit almost any driver’s needs. But some often wonder, is the Toyota RAV4 quiet?

The RAV4 and its “raucous-sounding engine”

2020 Toyota RAV4 driving on the highway
2020 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Toyota’s RAV4 stands outs from other crossover SUVs because of its varied trim levels and modern features. And while the RAV4 has much to offer, it’s not exactly the most serene ride. Many respected critics consider the 2020 RAV4 as one of the best crossovers of the year but also warn that its 203-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine gets loud.

Reviewers at Consumer Reports are among those who call out the RAV4 for its “raucous” engine. In its road test for the 2020 model, CR gave the RAV4 a two out of five score for noise. This rating reflects the vehicle’s interior noise level during everyday drives. 

[The RAV4 has a] gritty throb that’s very pronounced and unbecoming of a $30,000 vehicle. It’s hardly a consolation that road and wind noises stay in the background. Most competitors are far quieter. The hybrid version is fortunately quieter with less engine noise, though just average overall among peers.

Consumer Reports

Is the RAV4’s engine noise a dealbreaker?

2020 RAV4 TRD edition driving on dirt road
2020 RAV4 TRD | Toyota

Like we mentioned earlier, if you want an exceptionally quiet crossover SUV, the RAV4 isn’t the best option for you. Instead, we would refer you to the Mazda CX-5. That said, the RAV4’s excess noise doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. In fact, CR still recommends this Toyota.

On a brighter note, the RAV4’s engine returns a combined 27 mpg, which is great for its class. Furthermore, the RAV4 provides sufficient power, and critics also like its smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2021 RAV4 will carry over the same powertrain as the 2020 model. But if you wish for a quieter and more fuel-efficient version, consider the RAV4 Hybrid or the RAV4 Prime variants. 

The interior is still pretty comfortable too

The Toyota RAV4's all-black interior.
Toyota RAV4 interior | Toyota

2020 Toyota RAV4 vs. RAV4 Hybrid: It All Comes Down to Preference

Even though the RAV4’s interior can be noisy at times, it still provides a comfortable experience. Toyota completely redesigned the RAV4 for 2019, and models from this generation have sharper-looking cabins. Some might not like the SUV’s plastic finishings, but that’s not a real dealbreaker either.

You’ll appreciate the RAV4 for its accommodating seats and its spacious second-row. The RAV4 comes standard with cloth upholstery; faux leather is available as an option. What’s more impressive is the SUV’s standard tech features.

The RAV4 comes with a suite of active safety features, including traffic sign recognition, forward-collision warning, and lane-tracing assist. Other features like front and rear parking sensors are available. This Toyota also pleases when it comes to infotainment. A 7-inch touchscreen and a wifi hotspot are standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can also upgrade to a larger display and with a navigation system.