The RAV4 has been around since 1996. Its longevity can be attributed to many factors, including a comfortable cabin and smooth ride. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is part of the fifth generation, which launched in 2019. Although no significant changes are made for this year, this SUV still feels fresh and offers enough modern technology to remain highly competitive.
Interior Comfort and Quality
There is room for up to five people in the RAV4. While many vehicles make this claim, it is actually true in this case. The headroom and legroom are generous in both rows and the wide door openings make it easy for everyone to ride in the 2021 RAV4. Further adding to the appeal is the positioning of the driver's seat, which allows for excellent visibility and easy access to the necessary controls.
A major perk when it comes to the RAV4 has always been the amount of cargo space it offers. Behind the second-row, drivers have 37.5 cubic feet. Folding down the rear seat will give them access to 69.8 cubic feet, a great number for this segment of the market.
Despite coming in six different trim levels, there is only one engine available for the 2021 RAV4. The 2.5L four-cylinder makes 203-horsepower and it pairs nicely with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is more than enough power for daily driving as well as for hitting the highway. Buyers interested in more power or more efficiency will want to explore the RAV4 Prime or the RAV4 Hybrid. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is found on select models.
Even buyers who stick with the gas-powered models of the RAV4 should be pleased with the efficiency it offers. Front-wheel-drive models get 28mpg in the city and 35mpg on the highway. Sticking with the entry-level model but upgrading to AWD will mean seeing 27mpg city and 34mpg highway. Higher models have more advanced all-wheel-drive systems that negatively impact the fuel economy. The least efficient model is the TRD Off-Road, which still manages to get 25mpg city and 32mpg highway.
The RAV4 did well in testing conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, earning five out of five stars. It got five stars in side crash testing and a respectable four stars in frontal crash and rollover testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not officially tested the 2021 model. That said, it was named a Top Safety Pick Plus in 2019 when it got its last major redesign.
Advanced driver aids are found in all models of the new RAV4. This SUV will not stray from its intended path, thanks to standard lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and lane trace assist. All models also come equipped with road sign recognition, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. Automatic high beams are included as well.
A 7-inch touchscreen along with a Wi-Fi hotspot is found on the equipment list of all 2021 RAV4 models. Drivers can stay connected with the things that matter thanks to standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. Satellite radio, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, and a single USB port also are included.
Toyota also offers more advanced technology on the RAV4, depending on the trim level. An 8-inch touchscreen along with a 7-inch digital instrument cluster can be added. Other available upgrades include navigation, wireless charging, and a JBL sound system with 11 speakers.
The LE is the first option when it comes to the 2021 RAV4. It gives drivers quite a few highly desirable features, including LED headlights. The XLE is the next level up on the trim ladder. Here, the RAV4 adds dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustment for the driver's seat, and extra USB ports. It also throws in blind-spot monitoring.
For the XLE Premium trim level, the sophistication level is noticeably raised. This model has a sunroof, power liftgate, and simulated leather for the upholstery. The XLE Premium is also slightly more off-road capable as the result of its slightly raised suspension. The Limited trim builds off of these features, further adding heated front seats, chrome accents, and a digital rearview mirror.
The Adventure trim loses quite a bit of luxury. What it gains is hill descent control, selectable drive modes, and even makes the roof rails taller. The TRD Off-Road is even more capable. It gives the RAV4 all-terrain tires, along with unique exterior and interior accent pieces. This is also the model with the off-road-oriented suspension.
For drivers after an SUV that offers practicality and comfort equally, there are few better options than the 2021 Toyota RAV4.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here)
Note: All Toyota RAV4 MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.