2020 Toyota RAV4 Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
With a new design, the 2020 RAV4 could get by on its newfound good looks. Multiple hybrid trims and two off-roading versions give this Toyota a broader trim range than most rivals. Cutting-edge technologies ensure entertainment and safety in equal measures.
What's New for 2020?
For the first time, the 2020 RAV4 has the three most important connectivity tools: Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa. This is just one way that the automaker has added value to each trim level.
XLE models pick up a power driver's seat. It also becomes eligible for the Weather Package with heated seats, a wiper de-icer and rain-sensing wipers. A leather-clad steering wheel and shift knob are added to RAV4 Adventure standards. Limited editions now have a JBL Audio system. The new RAV4 TRD Off-Road will make adventure lovers happy.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Toyota RAV4 – The Pros
1. Best-selling Non-pickup Small SUV
Not only is the RAV4 a best-seller for Toyota, but it also outsells every other small SUV on the market. This suggests good resale values, and it represents the many ways that the RAV4 is a good package. Few products deserve the hype, but this one comes close.
2. New Architecture
Recognizing that 2020 RAV4 buyers are activity minded, the SUV has been made over with the Toyota New Global Architecture platform. Overall it is lower with a wider wheelbase. The wider front and rear tracks add stability. New front and rear overhangs are tighter to permit more trail driving. A new look echoes this bolder stance by leading with a strong nose. Robust shoulders anchor a dynamic, athletic profile.
3. Sportier Design
Making more of a statement, the 2020 RAV4 is competing directly with rivals such as the Jeep Cherokee. It's also stepping away from more sedate competition such as the Honda CR-V. Black Softex may be exchanged for mocha. Orange dash accents provide a complement for orange stitching. In another combination, Black SofTex is accented with red stitching and other red cabin elements. The XSE Hybrid has blue accents on the seats and in the cabin.
An Ice Edge-colored roof is a fun accent on the Adventure and TRD Off-Road models. These trims also sport aggressive bumpers and grille designs as well as large over-fenders. The Off-Road dresses up even more with dark gray front and rear lower fascias. Perhaps the most striking, XSE Hybrid models offer a black roof, piano-black fender arches, and piano-black lower rocker panels.
4. Two Off-Roading Models
If you want to go on the trail less traveled, you now have two off-roading RAV4 models to choose from. Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Adventure and TRD-Off-Road trims. This system can move 50 percent of the system torque to the back wheels to gain traction. It can even target the left or right wheel as needed to keep the RAV4 moving. Rear driveline disconnect reduces fuel waste when all-wheel drive isn't needed.
Adventure trims have 8.6 inches of ground clearance and are suitable for lighter off-road duties. Ready for action, the TRD Off-Road adds exclusive red-colored coil springs with its TRD suspension. Re-valved, the twin-tube shocks have internal rebound springs. To improve wheel travel, there are special bump stops. Bigger, tougher tires wear lighter, flow-formed matte-black wheels. Drivers can choose Road & Dirt, Mud & Sand, or Snow modes. When the fun is done, exclusive TRD all-weather floor mats make it easier to clean up the cabin.
5. More Power
Many SUVs today are under powered. Then there's the new RAV4. It generates 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. That's 19 more horsepower than the Honda CR-V and 23 more than the Jeep Cherokee. It's a whopping 33 more horsepower than the Nissan Rogue or Chevrolet Equinox.
6. Leading Fuel Economy
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 hybrid has remarkable fuel economy. It can earn 40 miles per gallon in combined driving. The hybrid, available as an LE, XLE, XSE, and Limited, earns 41 miles per gallon in city driving and 38 miles per gallon on the highway. You won't find Cherokees, CR-Vs, or Rogues with that kind of gas mileage.
If you stick with the gas engine, the RAV4 earns 30 mpg combined. That breaks down to 27 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway. Once it moves into gear two, the transmission can use direct-lock to maintain the torque converter and reduce power loss. Fuel economy exceeds lower-powered competitors by as much as 4 mpg highway (Chevy Equinox, Jeep Cherokee). It bests the Jeep Cherokee by 5 mpg city.
7. Exclusive Safety Systems
While all companies are offering safety systems, Toyota has a longer list of systems than you'll find on almost any rival. This is especially true when you consider which ones are standards. Cornering brake control improves how the RAV4 handles turns, reducing the chances of sliding. Road sign assist can tell you the speed limit and advise you about other road sign information. For the first time, Toyota is offering a Digital Rearview Mirror on the RAV4. The high-mounted camera provides an adjustable wide-angle live feed of what's behind you.
Lane departure alerts can trigger a steering assist. Pedestrians and braking traffic may trigger warnings and, if necessary, collision mitigation braking. An available blind spot system adds more warnings to prevent lane changes when traffic is too close.
8. Improved Driver Assistance
Exclusive to Toyota, Lane Tracing Assist is engaged when the Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is in use. LTA warns the 2020 RAV4 driver with vibrations if the vehicle is steering out of its lane. This is a good partner for the DRCC which can slow and go as traffic allows. Both systems are Toyota standards.
9. Advanced Parking Assistance
Toyota has expanded the many types of parking assistance available on the 2020 RAV4. As you would expect, there's a rearview camera. The available rear cross traffic alert may be typical. Atypical for this class, the alert can trigger automatic braking. This can reduce the chances of a fender bender in parking lot. Toyota's Front and Rear Parking Assist has been strengthened with the addition of automated braking.
10. Larger Panoramic Moonroof
For some people, the large panoramic moonroof is a must have. Well, now the 2020 Toyota RAV4 has got it. It's like free entertainment for the kids. The natural light and air aren't bad either.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Toyota RAV4 – The Cons
The 2020 RAV4 isn't the cheapest on the list in this class. You may be able to save money with a different brand. However, you should definitely do your homework. The price isn't too high, and the standards list is very long.
2. Rear Spaciousness
The 37.6-cubic foot cargo hold is slightly smaller than some rivals. Fortunately, the second-row legroom is good at 37.8 inches. If a third row is your aim, you won't find one in the 2020 RAV4 lineup.
3. Longer Warranty
The Toyota warranty is modest these days when compared to some others. Volkswagen now offers up to six years of coverage. Hyundais, Kias and Mitsubishis offer up to ten years.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are very similar in terms of value, especially when it comes to safety standards. However, the CR-V has exclusive road departure mitigation. This system can guide the SUV back onto the road if it strays off. Furthermore, the CR-V is bigger. It claims nearly three more inches of second-row legroom and about three more cubes of cargo hold spaciousness.
2020 RAV4 Off-road models are sure to be compared to Jeep Cherokee trail-rated editions. There's no doubt that the RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road models can be competitive on the trail. However, Cherokees will have an advantage thanks to the availability of a V6 engine. RAV4s take the lead when it comes to fuel economy, safety features and driver assistance standards. The Toyota has more second-row space and more cargo room than the Cherokee.
If you compare the RAV4 to the Nissan Rogue, you may find the Rogue's design is more appealing overall. The Rogue cargo hold is slightly bigger and has organizational storage that the RAV4 does not. Rogues are offering ProPilot Assist. This actually exceeds what Toyota adaptive cruise control and lane tracing assist can do. However, it requires a higher trim level and, therefore, costs much more than Toyota's standard driver assistance.
For a lower price, you may be tempted to choose the 2020 Chevy Equinox. It saves several thousand at the base level, and you'll find advanced Apple and Android connectivity is standard. However, the Equinox doesn't have standard crash avoidance tech, and the cargo hold is significantly smaller.
The totally redesigned Ford Escape is another option. The fuel economy and power of the base engine don't match the RAV4. However, a 2020 Escape Hybrid has been announced. If you are matching packages, the RAV4 has more dash tech and more safety tech at the entry level than you'll find on the Escape.
There are many price points for this well-liked model. Shoppers won't be disappointed at any level, since Toyota finds significant ways to add value along with the price bump. Consumers do have many other options, but few will pass as many tests as the 2020 Toyota RAV4 does effortlessly.
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