2021 RAV4 New Car Test Drive
The Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular crossovers made. The good-looking RAV4 brings the rugged 4Runner SUV and Tacoma truck looks into its compact dimensions.
For 2020 it adds a new model, the TRD Off-Road, which makes the RAV4 even more capable than it already is. The new TRD Off-Road adds twin-tube shocks, chunky 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, a fake skid plate, and gray exterior accents.
Since there is already a hybrid, the versatility of this little SUV with a big history is now complete, and vast.
The base engine is a 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 203 horsepower and is mated to an 8-speed automatic. The power is fine although the engine's refinement reaches its limit when you ask for too much from it. The ride is also fine. Four adults fit well in the cabin, although five might be a squeeze.
The EPA rates the front-wheel-drive 2020 RAV4 at 26 mpg city, 35 highway, 30 combined, while most all-wheel-drive models get 25/33/28 mpg; the RAV4 LE with all-wheel drive gets about 2 mpg more, at 27/34/30 mpg.
Naturally, the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid gets the best mileage; with all-wheel drive, it's rated at 41/38/40 mpg.
The RAV4 earns five stars overall for safety from the NHTSA, with four stars in front and rollover crash safety. The IIHS gave the 2019 RAV4 its top 'Good'? scores in all crash tests. It also named one model of the RAV4 a Top Safety Pick+; that was the most expensive model, the Hybrid Limited with an optional safety package including a front crash prevention system rated 'Superior,'? and headlights rated 'Good.'?
Every RAV4 is equipped with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitors are standard on XLE and higher trim levels, while a surround-view camera system is optional.
The 2020 RAV4 is available in LE, XLE, Adventure, TRD Off-Road, and Limited trim levels. The RAV4 Hybrid comes in LE, XLE, XSE, and Limited trim levels.
The front-wheel-drive LE costs about $27,000 including destination, and includes cloth upholstery, 17-inch wheels with hubcaps, a split-folding rear seat, the 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability (new for 2020), one USB port, and the active safety features. All-wheel drive is optional and costs $1,400.
The all-wheel-drive XLE costs $28,265 ($30,515 for the Hybrid) and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a power-adjustable driver's seat, keyless ignition, five USB chargers, and more available options including heated seats and safety add-ons.
Adventure models add 19-inch wheels, roof rails, dual-zone climate control, an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, digital instrument cluster, synthetic leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, orange accents inside, soft interior materials, and a household-style power plug.
TRD Off-Road versions wear chunky all-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels, and have red interior accents, twin tube shocks, a moonroof, and power liftgate.
For $36,900 with all-wheel drive, the RAV4 Limited adds synthetic leather upholstery, premium audio, 19-inch alloy wheels, and unique bumper.