Crossover & Midsize

Toyota RAV4: You Don’t Have to Spend an Arm and a Leg for Fuel Efficient Towing

Summer is on the way, and while many states are still under lockdown due to COVID-19, there are a lot of places loosening those restrictions. That means doing things like towing your boat to the lake may offer some much-needed relaxation in the great outdoors.

If you’re looking for a reliable SUV to haul your boat or camper with, then there are a lot of choices on the market. The problem is that many of them can eat up your spending money at the pumps. Automobiles like the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford Expedition, and even the Kia Telluride made CarFax’s list of vehicles that can tow heavy loads while still remaining fuel-efficient. The No. 1 vehicle on the list was the Toyota RAV4, and here’s why.

Why the Toyota RAV4 is perfect for towing

There are several reasons why the Toyota RAV4 stands out from the crowd when it comes to it’s towing capabilities, but the biggest reason has to be its fuel economy. The RAV4 gets an astonishing 27 mpg. Most SUVs get 20 to 24 mpg on average, so for owners who can’t afford to splurge on extra gas, the RAV4 is the ultimate dream vehicle.

Toyota was able to achieve this due to the powertrain. It has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The RAV4 also has all-wheel drive, making driving over rugged terrain easier than ever. 

When shopping for a new RAV4, keep in mind that different trim levels have different towing capabilities. For example, the standard Toyota RAV4 can only tow up 1,500 pounds. Many owners will find this more than adequate, but if you want an SUV that can tow a camper, you’re going to need something with some more power to it. The Adventure and TRD trim levels are able to tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is far more useful. 

Is the Toyota RAV4 good for daily driving?

Anyone who has ever driven a Jeep Wrangler knows that its ability to drive off-road is wonderful, but it may not be great for daily driving. That’s one of the problems that plague many SUV owners. It may be great for vacationing, but driving to work every day can prove to be frustrating. On the other hand, it may be perfect for driving to the soccer game with your kids, but it’ll also get stuck in two inches of snow. Thankfully the Toyota RAV4 offers the best of both worlds.

It may not get much love from reviewers, but that hasn’t stopped the RAV4 from dominating the marketplace. Some of the features owners love include the large amount of cargo space and the smooth ride.

Car and Driver stated, “Perennially a best-selling SUV, the Toyota RAV4 offers a trim for every budget. The price-leading LE trim is pretty basic, but the high-end Limited can challenge the Lexus NX with its many luxury features.” Starting at $27,070, the RAV4 may not be the cheapest SUV on the market, but it offers something for everyone. 

How does the competition stack up?

The SUV segment is often referred to as crowded, and that’s a bit of an understatement. From small crossovers to full-size SUVs, there’s an SUV for just about anything you could ever want.

For those who need some serious towing capability, the RAV4 may not be enough. If that’s the case, then the Ford Expedition or the Chevrolet Silverado might be a better option. The Expedition can tow up to 9,300 pounds, and the Silverado can tow up to 13,400 pounds.

The drawback for these vehicles is that fuel efficiency is a little lackluster. The Expedition gets up to 19 mpg, and the Silverado gets 17 mpg. When trying to decide what you want to buy, it really boils down to what matters more – fuel efficiency or towing capability.