Crossover & Midsize

The Toyota RAV4 Seems Overrated

What is so great about the Toyota RAV4? Does it really deserve to be one of the best selling SUVs? Is it really necessary for the Nissan Rogue and Chevy Equinox to be going after it so hard that they even look like it? Well, let’s solve this mystery and go over the Toyota RAV4 in close detail. 

Is the Toyota RAV4 A Good SUV?

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 starts around $25k, making it seem pretty expensive. Not many families can shell out the cash for a second or third vehicle that costs that much. However, at least it has a fair fuel economy.  

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime on display during the AutoMobility LA event
The 2021 Toyota RAV4

It gets up to 26 mpg in the city and up to 35 mph on the highway, making it an economical choice as a daily driver and for family vacations if you don’t need a third row of seats. but, it sports an off-road capable performance, that ups the price. 

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All-wheel-drive doesn’t come standard with the base model, but it does in the Kia Seltos. Adding all-wheel-drive raises the base model starting price to about $27k, making it really expensive to add the ability to drive in snow or other slippery conditions. 

Toyota RAV4 Performance 

The Toyota RAV4 only comes with one engine option, limiting your choices. However, it’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is pretty beefy with 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Be sure to add the towing package for the ability to tow up to 3,500 lb. 

With the higher priced trim options that quickly raise the price towards $40k a little more power would be nice. However, the Toyota RAV4 is still able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. 

The base model comes with a standard driving mode, a sport mode, and an eco mode. For off-roading driving modes for mud and snow, you will have to spend at least $35k for the TRD off-roading trim. 

2019 Toyota RAV4 driving in the country
2019 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

According to the test drivers at Edmunds, the Toyota RAV4 doesn’t have the most comfortable driver’s seat, the RAV4 has an underwhelming amount of power, and the engine can be pretty loud when you hit the gas. 

Toyota RAV4 Features 

The base model of the Toyota RAV4 does come with roof rails and privacy glass on the rear windows. But for the motion active liftgate, panoramic moonroof, and fog lights you will have to spend more. 

Toyota RAV4 interior
Toyota RAV4 interior

We’re surprised that for $25k, you still have to use a key to start the Toyota RAV4. There is no remote start function, but higher trim options do have a push-button start available. It may be worth it to upgrade from carpet to all-weather mats as well. 

Also, we were shocked to learn that the base model doesn’t come with blind-spot monitoring or rear-cross traffic alerts. Parking assist and vehicle proximity sensors also don’t come standard. But you do get adaptive cruise control. 

2019 Toyota RAV4 driving on a winter morning
2020 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

We expected the 2020 Toyota RAV4 to have more awards too. It’s a 2019 IIHS top safety pick, but it hasn’t won best SUV for the value, the most reliable SUV, and more. It seems like you might be paying for the Toyota RAV4 name. Sure, it has a lot of cargo space and you can load it up with convenience and safety features, but it does seem slightly overrated.