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Why Is The 2020 Toyota RAV4 A Best Seller?

The Toyota RAV4 SUV seems to be hitting America’s sweet spot. It’s the best-selling SUV in the compact crossover class and sells over 400,000 a year. Sales have steadily risen each year since the 1990s, so Toyota knows what its RAV4 customers want. There might be less expensive compact crossovers, and there may be some with more options. Still, you can’t go wrong with a RAV4.

Redesigned in 2019, the 2020 model has added some features worth noting. Android Auto is now available along with Apple Carplay. You can now order satellite radio in some of the lower-priced models. A power driver seat is now available in the LXE package. But the biggest news is the addition of the TRD off-road package.

New for 2020 is the TRD Off-Road RAV4

The 2020 Toyota Racing Division RAV4 is available with off-road bits and features that make it adaptable to trails and gives a more rugged pre-runner look. The package includes a TRD Off-Road suspension kit that features red coil springs, all-terrain tires wrapped around special 18-inch wheels, and TRD identification inside and out.

2020 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota
2020 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

There are seven models available for 2020. The entry-level LE comes in at $27,000. The XLE at $29,000, LE Hybrid at $30,000, and XLE Premium at $31,000. At the upper end of the RAV4 offerings is the Adventure at $34,000, Limited at $35,000, and TRD Off-Road at $36,000. 

Though faux-leather interiors are available in numerous models, there is no leather option. This is something that has been missing, and it has yet to appear in a RAV4. Power liftgate, dual-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shift knob, and 19-inch wheels are all options found on the higher-level packages. So we beef a bit about the leather, but there are a lot of premium options Toyota makes available.

The only hybrid in the compact crossover segment

2020 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota
2020 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

The standard engine is a 203 hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine hooked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A hybrid combo is also available. No other compact crossover offers a hybrid version. You can get a RAV4 in either two- or all-wheel-drive. 

Fuel economy with the hybrid is a combined 38 mpg. The front-wheel-drive versions get a combined 35 mpg, while all-wheel-drive delivers 33 mpg. All of these figures match or beat others in its class, which is another reason why it outsells the others.

The XLE Premium RAV4 is where you begin to get a better interior

A silver Toyota RAV4 on display at an auto show.
Toyota RAV4 | Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg via Getty Images

Both the base LE and XLE are a bit lean on interior appointments. It’s when you jump to the higher-trim XLE Premium and up that you see finer details and finishes like the faux-leather, stitching on the padded dash and center console, and things like power seat adjustments. 

Automated emergency brakes, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control are all standard in the 2020 RAV4. Blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert are both optional. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the RAV4 a Top Safety Pick +, its top rating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rates the RAV4 a five-star.

RAV4 is all about convenience and versatility

Though the Subaru Forester has a bit more interior volume, the RAV4 matches or beats the others in this segment. The rear seats fold and stow for extra space when needed. Beyond that, there is a multitude of cubbies and recesses to store things, in all utilizing every inch of space.

The convenience, higher driver position, and versatility of crossovers like the RAV4 and Honda CRV have made them the preferred choice for today’s driving needs. Toyota continues to improve on the top-seller in this most-popular segment.