2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
For this model year, Toyota has developed a new trim. It's the XLE Premium, and it's another mid-level option that customers could consider.
Though it won't be covered in this overview because it can stand on its own as a separate model, the RAV4 Prime is new for this year. It's a plug-in hybrid that's the most powerful RAV4 available.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
Toyota makes five RAV4 Hybrid trims. The first one is the LE Hybrid. Like the others in the lineup, it has an on-demand all-wheel-drive system. It has a seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone compatibility, and it has a comprehensive safety package that includes multiple driver-assist systems.
Equipped with a few more advanced features, the XLE Hybrid is the next available trim. It has LED headlights, fog lights, and a smart key system that works with the front doors and rear liftgate. Its climate system is upgraded to accommodate two different zones, and when there are more than a few people riding in the XLE Hybrid, the four additional USB ports will definitely be appreciated.
New to the lineup, the XLE Premium Hybrid has many sophisticated upgrades. For instance, it has 18-inch wheels instead of 17-inch ones, and it comes standard with a power moonroof. Rather than having seats trimmed with fabric, the XLE Premium Hybrid has SofTex upholstery. Its steering wheel is wrapped in leather, as is its shift lever.
The XSE Hybrid is a more athletic RAV4 and the only hybrid trim to have sport-tuned suspension. Thanks to its two-tone exterior color scheme and blue shock absorbers, it can really stand out. Another place in which blue has been integrated into the XSE Hybrid's design is in the cabin. The seats have SofTex upholstery with blue stitching, and more blue stitching is on the dash and doors.
The most advanced RAV4 Hybrid available is the Limited Hybrid. It has a memory function built into the driver's seat to make it easier to get into the optimal position. It's the only trim to offer the option of getting a bird's eye view camera, and it's the only one that comes standard with a parking assist feature. The Limited Hybrid has the best infotainment package, as it comes with dynamic navigation and a full set of JBL speakers.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
The XSE Hybrid is a fun vehicle to drive, and it will appeal to a lot of people with its bold exterior stylings. If customers are looking to treat themselves to the very best, though, then the Limited Hybrid has to be the choice.
That begin said, the reality is that most customers are on more limited budgets. In this case, either the XLE Hybrid or XLE Premium Hybrid would be ideal. They have some nice amenities while still having relatively competitive costs.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
Toyota has given the RAV4 Hybrid a standard seven-inch touchscreen, but the higher trims have eight-inch touchscreens. Regardless of screen size, the SUV has Amazon Alexa, SiriusXM, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. These components make the infotainment system quite attractive, especially since many other competitors don't have all of these as standard features.
More advanced systems with integrated navigation and premium audio systems are available on the higher trims. Toyota has chosen to incorporate JBL speakers into the upgraded sound systems, and with 11 total speakers, the sound can come through very clearly. Most trims have five USB ports so that there can always be access to a charging port.
How Does It Perform?
This vehicle uses an electric motor and a 2.5-liter engine. These two components do a great job and can pump out 219 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. When equipped with this hybrid powertrain, the RAV4 has standard all-wheel drive. The system is able to monitor performance and make changes to power delivery whenever necessary. The RAV4 Hybrid has a towing capacity of 1,750 pounds.
Drivers can choose from five modes depending on the situation and their preferences. Normal, Eco, and Sport mode are similar to what the traditional RAV4 has. The RAV4 Hybrid also has an EV mode so that a driver can exclusively use electric power for a limited amount of time. Finally, Trail mode can be selected when the terrain is particularly rough.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is the name that the company has given to its safety package. The RAV4 Hybrid has the ability to sense potential frontal collisions, know when it's veering out of a lane, and turn on the high beams when the road is especially dark. If certain issues are detected, the Toyota can warn drivers and potentially take action to avoid accidents.
Further, the safety package comes with adaptive cruise control and road sign assist. This latter component means that drivers can be reminded of certain road signs in case they missed them. Adaptive cruise control is a modern system in which the RAV4 Hybrid can adjust its speed so it can stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it. Most trims also come with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
What's the Interior Like?
Customers have a choice of fabric or SofTex when it comes to seating material. Many trims have heated front seats, but the Limited Hybrid is the only one that has available heating and ventilation. Leather can be found on the steering wheel in select trims, and some models have bright accent stitching to add other visual elements.
In the RAV4 Hybrid, there's plenty of interior space. Rear-seat leg room is almost 38 inches. Cargo capacity with the rear seats in position is about 38 cubic feet, and it expands to almost 70 cubic feet when the seats are lowered.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
Those looking into the RAV4 Hybrid may also want to check out the Kia Sportage, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Volvo XC40, and Mazda CX-5.
Note: All Toyota RAV4 Hybrid lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.