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2021 Toyota RAV4 Review: Prices, Performance, Features

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If you’re in the market for a new Toyota RAV4, you’ll want to check out our review of the 2021 model. We cover everything from its exterior design to its performance on the road.

Plus, Carcareportal tell you what we think of its value compared to other SUVs in its class. So, if you’re considering buying a RAV4, read our review first.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Review

Its 2021 Toyota RAV4 is a significant competitor in compact crossovers. This is not surprising. It has a great feel with excellent safety scores and a generous equipment standard with plenty of space inside and can handle and ride more like an automobile than a high-riding truck.

The RAV4 has good power and fuel efficiency, particularly its hybrid versions. The biggest news of the year is the arrival of the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid (PHEV) offering 42 miles range powered by batteries. It’s available in an SE and XSE version. The model was previously offered at four different trim levels. This trim level, which was previously known as the “regular” hybrid (reviewed separately) is now also available in the XLE Premium trim.

It is now in the fifth version and was launched for the model year 2019. The Toyota RAV4 competes with other great contenders, such as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and the Nissan Rogue, although its prices can be higher than those rivals when options are added.

Pros

  • Toyota quality & reliability
  • Large interior
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Ability to light off-road

Cons

  • Costs more than similar rivals
  • Cabin noise levels
  • Navigation is only available in top trims
  • There is no option for leather upholstery

What’s New?

  • RAV4 Plug-in Prime hybrid version launches
  • TRD Off-Road version TRD Off-Road version features a new front skidplate

1. What Features in the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Are Most Important?

Standard features include:

  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Fabric upholstery
  • Seven-inch touch screen multimedia device
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Auto high-beam headlights

Available features include:

  • 17- 18- or 19-inch alloys
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • The front passenger seat are heated and ventilated.
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Navigation
  • JBL premium stereo
  • Wireless device charging
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Blind spot warning and rear alerts for crossing traffic

2021 Toyota RAV4 Review Pricing

2. Pricing

The 2021 front-drive Toyota RAV4 LE has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail price of $26,050. The destination fee of $1,175 adds up to $27,225.

With this new generation of RAV4, Toyota is making a vital value assertion. With its essential equipment, the entry-level RAV4 is priced at a competitive rate against similarly equipped Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Subaru Forester.

Beyond the basic LE trim, however, the RAV4’s price is higher than any of the others. The most expensive version can be its RAV4 Prime in XSE trim, which costs $42,600. When it’s not available all-wheel drive is $1,400.

Before you purchase, look up before you buy, and check KBB Fair Purchase Cost to determine what others in your neighborhood pay for their latest RAV4 small crossover/SUV.

In terms of resale value, The RAV4 isn’t the leader in its class it once was, with 5-year prices that are not as good as that of the Subaru Forester, but close to the Honda CR-V, and better than the Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape as well as the Chevrolet Equinox.

3. Which model is right for You?

2021 Toyota RAV4 LE

  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0
  • 7-inch touchscreen infotainment
  • Satellite radio
  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • Roof rails
  • LED headlights with automatic high beams

2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE

  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s chair with 8-way power-
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Blind-spot monitoring with the rear alert for cross-traffic
  • Mirrors with heated side windows
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Five USB ports
  • 17-inch alloy wheels

2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium

  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • A powered moonroof
  • Tailgate with adjustable height
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheels and shift lever

2021 Toyota RAV4 Adventure

  • All-wheel drive that torque-vectors
  • 7-inch digital driver information display
  • 19-inch alloy wheels with matte-black accents
  • 8-inch touchscreen for infotainment
  • AC power outlet deck mounted 120-volt/100W
  • Panoramic rearview camera that has dynamic gridlines

2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

  • 18-inch alloy wheels with TRD alloy
  • All-terrain tires
  • Off-road suspension TRD
  • LED fog lights
  • A powered moonroof
  • Interior trim of TRD with red accents

2021 Toyota RAV4 Limited

  • 11-speaker JBL audio system
  • Navigation with 8-inch touchscreen
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Puddle lights
  • Blue accent lighting for the interior
  • Front seats heated

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE

  • Powered/height-adjustable tailgate
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear alerts for crossing traffic
  • Keyless entry/ignition
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 7-inch digital driver information display
  • Upholstered in leather with a cloth-covered steering wheel and shift lever
  • Front seats with heated heating
  • 8-inch touchscreen infotainment

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Wireless charging
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Paddle shifters
  • 8-inch touchscreen infotainment

2021 Toyota RAV4 Engine, Transmission, and Performance

4. Engine, Transmission, and Performance

An eight-speed auto transmission powers Toyota’s 2.5-liter engine. Most buyers looking for a compact SUV will be pleased with the engine’s performance and the transmission’s performance and eagerness to increase the speed in search of the highest efficiency in fuel consumption.

A few road noises and vibrations are noticeable. However, the amount of wind noise is typically meager. The suspension is a good balance between comfort and handling skill. The seats are comfy, even for long drives.

The Adventure model has a tall posture and comprehensive wheel/tire combination and comes with torque vectoring technology that allows up to 50% of power toward the back wheels. It also regulates torque distribution between the right and left rear wheels.

This is particularly beneficial off-road but also gives greater confidence in the face of inclement weather conditions and improves handling and cornering. This feature is also present within the TRD Off-Road model, with larger tires and specially designed off-road suspension.

The TRD Off-Road offers more capabilities and capability to this Adventure trim’s already impressive off-road capabilities, making it an ideal combination with Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

DrivetrainFront Wheel Drive (FWD)
Tow Prep Equipment100-amp alternator; Automatic transmission fluid cooler
Drive ModesSPORT, Eco, and NORMAL drive modes
EngineEmission rating: Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV); Compression ratio: 13.0:1; 2.5-Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder DOHC D-4S Injection with Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), with SPORT, Eco, NORMAL Modes, 203 hp @ 6,600 rpm; 184 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm; Induction system: (D-4S) Dual-Injection (Direct-Injection and Port-injection) EFI with Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i)
TransmissionDirect Shift – 8-speed Electronically Controlled automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) and sequential shift mode
Body ConstructionReinforced unitized steel body
SteeringElectric Power Steering (EPS); power-assisted rack-and-pinion
SuspensionIndependent MacPherson strut front suspension with stabilizer bar; multi-link rear suspension with stabilizer bar
CapabilityHill Start Assist Control (HAC)
BrakesActive Cornering Assist (ACA); Power-assisted ventilated 12.0-in. front disc brakes; ventilated 11.1-in. rear disc brakes, Pre collision system

5. Interior Comfort

It’s one of the most luxurious cabins within the compact crossover class. It is stylish and comfortable and has plenty of soft-touch surfaces on the dash and the central armrest.

The central stack of the device is highlighted by a clear, bright 7-inch display (8-inch for Limited, Adventure, and TRD models) with buttons that are physical on both sides, as well as acting as the control center for navigation, audio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto as well as Amazon Alexa. There are also volume controls, temperature, and tuning controls beneath.

The options for upholstery for the 2021 RAV4 include cloth or fake leather (no genuine leather). The XSE trim spices things further with blue accents, stitching and blue accents. The Adventure version is adorned with the addition of orange. Unfortunately, there’s no power adjustable driver’s seat.

The rear seat area is 37.5 cubic meters of storage space. You can see 69.8 cubic yards of storage space by folding the seats. Both figures differ from the Honda HR-V, but they are generous nevertheless. The RAV4 Prime makes do with 33.5/63.2 cubic feet.

6. Exterior Styling

There are no more generic lines of the 4th generation RAV4. The new model features a bold, truck-like front and grille, with geometric designs inside the car, the squared-off wheel arches, for instance.

Certain trims’ two-tone paint patterns and slick wheel designs make it stand out more. Black body cladding with black accents, big over-fenders and model-specific front bumpers are featured on this Adventure and TRD Off-Road models.

This XLE, as well as Limited models, comes with attractive single-color paint and chrome-plated alloy wheels. The RAV4 is available with 17-inch wheels. 19-inch and 18-inch wheels are also available.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Factory Options

7. Factory Options

Improvements come with a panoramic sunroof with 19-inch alloy wheels, contrast roof color and heated side mirrors, hands-free tailgate operation, dual-zone temperature control (rear vents that weren’t available on the earlier RAV4 are now also offered) and imitation leather upholstery as well as heated and cooled front seats with memory settings, a digital rearview mirror as well as navigation, a 360-degree camera system with push-button start and five USB ports, blind-spot tracking with rear cross-traffic alert the head-up screen (in the RAV4 Prime) 8,-inch touchscreen wireless charging, as well as the JBL 11-speaker/800-watt sound system.

The All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is available on gasoline-only RAV4 models and is standard on models like Adventure and TRD Off-Road. The AWD system also features torque vectoring and an all-terrain select system that lets drivers alter the vehicle’s settings according to conditions.

8. Engine & Transmission

In its most basic model, it is the Toyota RAV4 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which delivers up to 203 horsepower for the front axles (FWD) via an eight speed automatic transmission.

The fuel-saving stop/restart feature is standard in the top models. The all-wheel drive (AWD) is an option and comes standard on Adventure TRD Off-Road and Adventure TRD Off-Road versions. The average fuel efficiency can be at least 30 milliliters per gallon, close to the top line.

The new model for 2021 is it will be available in 2021. RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is also equipped with a 2.5-liter gasoline engine with four cylinders and two electric motors, but with a bigger lithium-ion battery.

When in electric automobile mode (the EV section of the description of PHEV), it is said that the RAV4 Prime can travel up 42 miles, which is superior to any other small hybrid PHEV that is a crossover.

The EPA has a method for calculating miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe) energy consumption, putting the new RAV4 Prime at 94 MPGe. If used as a standard hybrid (without an EV range), it’s Prime averages 38 milliliters per gallon.

  • 2.5-liter inline-4
  • 203 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm
  • 184 lb-ft of torque at 5500 rpm
  • EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/35 mpg (LE FWD), 27/34 mpg (LE AWD), 28/35 mpg (XLE/XLE Premium FWD), 27/22 mpg (XLE/XLE Premium AWD), 25/33 mpg (Adventure AWD), 25/32 mpg (TRD Off-Road AWD), 27/35 (Limited FWD), 25/33 mpg (Limited AWD)
  • 2.5-liter inline-4 engine plus electric motors (RAV4 Prime PHEV)
  • 302 HP @ 5,700 RPM (peak output using gasoline and electricity together)
  • The torque is 165 lb-ft at 3,600- 5,200 RPM (engine only)
  • EPA highway and city fuel efficiency (estimated) 40/36 mpg

9. Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the RAV4 five stars. In addition, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named it the top safety Pick+.

The RAV4 lineup comes with a range of standard driver assistance features. Customers can also add blind-spot tracking and rear-cross-traffic warning. However, these features are priced higher on the base version. Important security features include:

  • Standard automated emergency brake with pedestrian detection
  • Standard lane-departure warning, with the help of lane tracing assist
  • Advanced cruise control for standard vehicles.

10. Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Toyota’s warranty is in guidelines offering three-year bumper-to-bumper coverage and five years of the powertrain. Every model comes with two years of the normal factory scheduled maintenance, which is rare in this class.

Limited warranty for three years, or 36,000 miles.

Powertrain warranties last for five years or the equivalent of 60,000 miles.

The maintenance service is included up to two years, 25000 miles

Is the Toyota RAV4 a Good SUV?

Yes, there is a good chance that this Toyota RAV4 is an excellent small SUV. The well-rounded utility vehicle has an incredibly spacious cabin stuffed with high-end materials, various essential features, and a fuel-efficient engine that can provide plenty of power.

The RAV4 won the 2021 Best Compact SUV for Families award due to its impressive combination of passenger and cargo space, Safety and dependability ratings glowing reviews by automotive journalists, and a variety of families-friendly features.

Should I Buy the Toyota RAV4?

The RAV4 is among the most comprehensive SUVs and should be on your list of options. The price is higher than what is typical for a small SUV. Its competitors like Kia Sportage, the Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage are more affordable, but you’ll pay to get the standard features on this Toyota.

If you’re fond of the RAV4, you may be interested in its more fuel-efficient Toyota stablemates, such as The RAV4 Hybrid and the all-new hybrid plug-in RAV4 Prime.

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