2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
As a part of the fifth generation of Toyota RAV4s, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a brilliant mesh of fuel efficiency and comfort. Toyota has certainly stepped up their game by trying to reinvent their infotainment system, and adding Android Auto to the mix was definitely a smart choice this model year. Most other automakers have already made smartphone app integration standard on all trim levels on their full line-ups, so it is odd that Toyota took so long. Unfortunately, there are some issues with the vehicle, such as the front passenger seat not being as comfy as the rest and the brake pedal feeling kind of bland. However, for the money you will be saving at the pump, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a good choice.
What's New for 2020?
A few changes have been made to the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. First of all, Android Auto has been added to the list of standard tech features, so drivers can now integrate their Android phone apps with the vehicle's infotainment system. Also, the XLE trim now comes with a standard power seat.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – The Pros
1. Superb Fuel Economy
For a vehicle in its class, the combined 40 mpg (41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway) that the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets is top-notch. You will truly be hard-pressed to find anything better in this segment. This is actually 10 mpg better than what you get on the gas-only RAV4 models. This impressive fuel economy will certainly help you save money at the pump and is probably the main reason why buyers will choose the RAV4 Hybrid.
2. A Comfortable and Relaxing Ride Quality
The RAV4 Hybrid has a remarkably pleasant ride quality. Whether you are taking it out for a long road trip or a short venture about town, the ride quality remains cozy. The RAV4 Hybrid has a suspension that seems capable of handling most bumps and other road surface imperfections. Very little in the way of bumps make their way into the cabin. You can take this vehicle over any road surface without a loss of ride comfort. The seats hold up well for the most part too.
3. Plenty of Cargo Space
There is plenty of space available in the cargo area. In fact, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets the same 37.5 cubic feet of cargo apace as its gas-only variant. The battery does not eat up any cargo space, and this makes the RAV4 Hybrid one of the best-in-class when it comes to cargo space. You can store bulky items back there without a hassle. The cargo area also has a 12-volt power outlet and tie-down hooks that make the cargo area even more innovative and utilitarian.
4. Only Costs Slightly More Than the Regular RAV4
The gas-only RAV4 has a starting MSRP of just under $26,000, which is pretty decent. The RAV4 Hybrid starts at around $28,100, making it only slightly more expensive than the gas-only version. And, for how much more you will save at the pump, it is the better of the two when it comes to long-term investment. You get all the same things that come on the regular RAV4 but have the benefit of the strong and eco-friendly powertrain.
5. The Sport-Tuned Suspension on the XSE Trim
The XSE trim has an excellent sport-tuned suspension that makes the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid even more enjoyable to drive. This system keeps the RAV4 Hybrid's wheels firmly planted on the ground as it rounds through turns. Even snappy, narrow turns are handled well, thereby inspiring driver confidence. The regular suspension works just fine, but the sport-tuned suspension adds even more powerful dynamics to this ride. It's worth the upgrade.
6. Standard All-Wheel Drive
All-wheel drive comes standard on every RAV4 Hybrid trim level. While this does not necessarily make the vehicle a great off-roader (as it only gets 8.6 inches of ground clearance), it does help with driving during inclement weather. The system handles snow and rain quite well. If you live somewhere that experiences this kind of weather often, the RAV4 Hybrid is a smart choice. It will definitely make you feel secure when the roads are slick.
7. Getting In and Out is Easy
Getting in and out of the 2020 Toyota RAV4 is easy. It is just the right height off of the ground for most people to step in and out without issue. The door frames are tall and wide enough to prevent most people from having to stoop in order to avoid bonking their heads.
8. The Cabin is Spacious
The RAV4 Hybrid has a spacious cabin, which lives up to the expectations for this segment. Four adults can easily stretch their legs out. There will be no bumping elbows against one another or taller rear seat passengers having to slouch down for a lack of head space. Overall, it is cavernous enough and quite cozy.
9. Controls are Easy to Use
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 has some easy-to-use controls. There are enough physical knobs and buttons for the non-tech savvy driver to feel confident using them. Everything is clearly labeled and performs just as expected. Pretty much everything is intuitive, which should make for a quick learning curve on most features.
10. Many Advanced Driver Aids are Standard Features
Toyota adds a lot of advanced driver aids as standard features on the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) is a suite of driver aids now in its second version. This nifty suite bundles features like a road sign recognition feature, lane tracing, a pre-collision system that comes complete with pedestrian detection, a full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, a lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. Available features include a blind spot monitoring system and parking sensors on both the front and rear of the vehicle. To top it all off, Toyota offers a zero-cost maintenance plan (which includes roadside assistance) for 2 years or 25,000 miles.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – The Cons
1. The Brakes Feel Artificial
The one thing that hinders the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is its brakes. They feel pretty squishy and give the driver hardly any feedback when applying the foot to the brake pedal. It will make you feel less confident about coming to panic stops. At least you can count on all-wheel drive to help, and the XSE's sport-tuned suspension makes steering at least feel more secure.
2. The Front Passenger Seat is Not as Comfortable as the Rest
There is one low point in terms of comfort. The front passenger seat is not power-adjustable, and having so few options for adjustment make it hard to find a comfortable sitting position. The driver's seat does not have this problem, the the passenger seat should not have it either. It makes for a bit of discomfort based on a person's size, and a lot of automakers include power adjustment settings on their front passenger seats. Toyota should probably take a hint from its competitors on this.
3. The Infotainment System's Interface Still Looks Outdated
Despite having a revamped infotainment system, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid still has a system that looks out-of-date. The tablet is fairly basic, but it functions well enough. However, the graphics are not the quality one would expect to find on a brand new interface. The Entune software is also pretty horrendous to use. It seems janky and old. Of course, having smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes for a nice, easy alternative.
4. A Few Controls Aren't Easy to Reach
While most of the controls are well-labeled and laid out in an intuitive fashion, some are placed outside of the driver's reach. Drivers will need to stretch their fingers in order to reach the touchscreen, and the tuning knob and buttons located on the passenger's side of the screen are touch to get to while driving. This can be pretty distracting and frustrating for the average driver.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs. 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets stiff competition from the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. The CR-V Hybrid has a powerful turbocharged engine as part of its powertrain, which gives the vehicle a lot of spunk. The cargo area is absolutely huge, and the cabin is equally spacious in its design. The ride is quite cozy but has a bit of zest to it, and there are a lot of neat, innovative small item storage design elements. The CR-V Hybrid's one downfall is that its touchscreen can be tricky to try to use, and there is no physical tuning knob available.
2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs. 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid
The 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is gaining some ground on the RAV4 Hybrid. It is smaller on the inside and does not have the quickest acceleration. It also does not have all-wheel drive. However, the Niro Hybrid gets a strong EV range and a superb fuel economy. It offers a lot of the same standard features and is more affordable than both the RAV4 Hybrid and CR-V Hybrid.
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a pretty solid investment if you are going for a hybrid vehicle this model year. It gets a much better fuel economy than its gas-only variant and gives you everything else that is great about the RAV4. Having standard all-wheel drive is especially nice, and the cabin is, for the most part, as comfortable as the ride quality the powertrain and chassis produce.
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