We would all love to buy a new car, truck or sports utility vehicle, but prices these days don’t fit into some people’s carefully planned out budgets. That doesn’t mean you can’t afford a decent vehicle, though. Consumer Reports released their list of cars and SUVs that have plenty of standard features to please most buyers while staying under the $20,000 price tag. If you’re looking for a small SUV, they recommend the 2016 Toyota RAV4.
What you can find on Consumer Reports list of vehicles under $20,000
Consumer Reports consulted data from many surveys and tons of tests they conducted to find the best vehicles you can get for under $20,000. They split them up into their different categories to give you options for small and midsize cars and SUVs that fit your budget.
The vehicles that landed on their list not only cost less than $20,000 but they each come with standard electronic stability control and have at least a handful of safety features – features that you might not have been able to afford if you chose to buy a new car or SUV off the lot today.
To go one step further, Consumer Reports also only added vehicles that had consistent reliability ratings that spanned a few years. They included the models that have above-average scores.
The list they came up with includes many Toyotas – the Corolla, Camry, and even the RAV4 just to name a few.
Why did they choose the 2016 Toyota RAV4?
The 2016 model was from a redesign year where improvements made the cabin quieter and it offered a smoother ride. Plus, it’s the year Toyota introduced the eco-friendly hybrid model of the RAV4.
This model came with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that they mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. That powertrain combo allowed the Toyota RAV4 to pull in a modest 24 mpg combined EPA rating. The hybrid version could get a whopping 31 mpg overall.
Consumer Reports liked the 2016 model because the handling was responsive, dash controls were easy to use, and its rear seats had tons of room to stretch out during long-distance traveling. It also had high marks for reliability, and the price range is great too. You can expect to pay around $14,000 to $19,000 for a RAV4 from this model year.
How does the 2016 model compare to the 2020 version?
The 2020 model starts at an estimated base price of $27,000, according to Car and Driver’s review of the RAV4. Each trim level offered brings a heftier price tag, though. The highest package, the TRD Off-Road, will cost around $36,000.
The 2020 version has the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine you’ll find in the 2016 model. But purchasing new will get you an eight-speed automatic transmission instead of the six-speed seen in the 2016 version.
The Toyota RAV4’s interior is still roomy, and its inside controls also continue to be user-friendly as they are with the 2016 model. One thing the 2020 model will give you that the previous models won’t are the standard SiriusXM satellite radio and Android Auto connectivity.
Also, the current model of the RAV4 brings new trim levels, one of them being the off-road package. This model gets you a lot of features to enable you to enjoy adventures in rough-terrain areas.
The 2016 may not have the latest and greatest features available, but it does come with plenty to keep you occupied and comfortable on the road. With the right price, you can get enough to satisfy even the toughest of critics.