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The Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling passenger vehicles today. It's easy to understand why: This small SUV has a smooth ride, plenty of space for passengers and cargo, and many standard advanced driver safety features. No doubt the RAV4's long-running status — it debuted all the way back in 1996 as one of the first crossover SUVs — and Toyota's name recognition help too.

\n

But this popularity doesn't necessarily mean it's the best. In fact, we rank a few other small SUVs ahead of the RAV4, including the equally popular Honda CR-V and the upscale Mazda CX-5. If you want a RAV4, we're more inclined to recommend the RAV4 Hybrid or the new RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid. They are more powerful and easily justify their higher initial cost. Check out our Expert Rating for our in-depth take on the 2021 RAV4.

","datePublished":"2020-09-25T12:00:00","description":"Review, Pricing, and Specs","headline":"2021 Toyota RAV4","thumbnailURL":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/toyota/rav4/2020/oem/2020_toyota_rav4_4dr-suv_xle-premium_fq_oem_1_175.jpg","publisher":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Organization","name":"Edmunds","logo":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/images/logos/edmunds-logo-200x200.png","width":200,"height":200}},"author":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Person","name":"Mark Takahashi","jobTitle":"Senior Reviews Editor","image":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/img/about/editorial-photos/team/mark-takahashi.jpg","url":"https://www.edmunds.com/about/authors/mark-takahashi.html","worksFor":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Organization","name":"Edmunds","logo":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/images/logos/edmunds-logo-200x200.png","width":200,"height":200}}},"reviewRating":{"@type":"Rating","ratingValue":"7.7","bestRating":10,"worstRating":1}}},{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","contentUrl":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/toyota/rav4/2019/evox/2019_toyota_rav4_4dr-suv_adventure_tds2_evox_1_500.jpg","url":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/toyota/rav4/2019/evox/2019_toyota_rav4_4dr-suv_adventure_tds2_evox_1_500.jpg","name":"2021 Toyota RAV4","author":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Organization","name":"Edmunds","logo":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/images/logos/edmunds-logo-200x200.png","width":200,"height":200}}},{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"VideoObject","description":"Carlos Lago and Elana Scherr compare four of the most popular and best small SUVs in America to find out which is the best SUV for sale in 2020. In this video, we evaluate the 2020 Toyota RAV4, 2021 Nissan Rogue, 2020 Toyota RAV4 and 2020 Mazda CX-5 to give you all the information you need, including mpg, cargo space, interior features, specs and more. Join us for this ultimate SUV comparison test and find out which of these compact SUVs is the right choice for you and your family.","name":"Toyota RAV4 vs. Nissan Rogue vs. Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5! Best SUV for 2020 Comparison Test","transcript":"CARLOS LAGO: If you're looking for an inexpensive and compact SUV for yourself and the family, odds are you're looking at one of these. Currently we rank the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 highest and recommend them to most shoppers. \n\nELANA SCHERR: We don't rank the Toyota RAV4 quite as high. But it remains wildly popular with buyers, as does the Nissan Rogue, which was just redesigned-- I mean, so recently, seconds ago-- brand new. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: That's not true. \n\nELANA SCHERR: We're gonna explain what each of these vehicles do well, what they don't, and which one's right for you. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Make sure you click the links below to find out more information about each of the vehicles here. And also visit Edmunds.com/sellmycar to get a cash offer on your car. Each one of the vehicles here has gone through our rigorous and exhaustive ranking process. That includes a standardized road loop, performance and static measurements, and evaluations from professionals who do this for a living. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Each starts at around $25,000 and tops out around $35,000, or maybe $38,000. There are a few exceptions. But we'll address those as it's relevant. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Yes, we know each of the vehicles here don't necessarily lineup apples to apples. But we have logged thousands of miles in various versions of most of the vehicles here. So think of them as ambassadors from their respective model lines. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Representatives. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Representatives. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nThe Honda CR-V has been a longtime favorite of our team. We've ranked it number one among small SUVs for the past few years now. We validated that decision by buying one and running it in our long-term test fleet for 40,000 miles. As far as fuel economy, you can expect around 30 MPG for most models, though the hybrid gets up to 38 MPG. And like all the SUVs here, the CR-V is available with all-wheel-drive. \n\nELANA SCHERR: We've had a Mazda CX-5 in our long-term test fleet. And we liked it. In our rankings, it came in just below the CR-V. While that SUV got high marks for interior space and usability, the CX-5 focuses more on driver experience and material quality and overall style. \n\nWhile the CX-5 is not available in a hybrid, it does offer a 250-horsepower, turbo-charged, four-cylinder engine, which is more powerful than any of the rest of these. The trade off, of course, is fuel economy. In its most efficient offering, you're only gonna get 28 MPG combined from the Mazda. And if you get that turbo engine, 24. Personally I think it's worth it. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: The 2021 Nissan Rogue is the newest vehicle in this group. Now, historically the Rogue's been a favorite-- not through the attributes of the vehicle itself, but due to the pricing. That's all changed for this year. \n\nThe pricing hasn't. But the interior is much nicer and newer and has more modern features. What hasn't changed though is the engine and transmission, or at least they haven't changed much. They're still behind the rest of the field when it comes to power and fuel economy. \n\nELANA SCHERR: The Toyota RAV4 comes in a ton of varieties, including a hybrid, a pricey and powerful plug-in hybrid, and even one that's all dressed up for off-roading. Fuel economy and price ranges vary accordingly. But the regular version hovers around 30 MPG. And the hybrids are around 40. \n\nWe've evaluated most versions of the RAV4. In fact, the Edmunds team once drove a RAV4 nonstop through all the lower 48 states, which was very fun and meant that we spent a lot of time with it. Through all that, we found most parts of the RAV4 agreeable. \n\nIt's a solid choice that has received continuous improvements. It's just that some of its competitors put together a package that we like better overall. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: When we're looking at the cargo areas of these vehicles, we're considering the actual cargo space, how easy it is to load, how functional that area is; is it easy or difficult to lower the second row; are there power ports back there; and things along those lines. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Tailgate party! \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Yeah. When it comes to cargo space, this is really the CRV's biggest bragging right. It has the most space here, and some clever features to go along with it too. What really makes the space usable though is this low lift-over height. On the other side of that, you actually have a height adjusting floor that buys you additional space. \n\nBut I think most of the time, you would just drive around in this position anyway. Why would you have it higher up? And then the second row folds down really easily. If you can reach these levers, that's one way to do it. But if you can't, there's also levers on the side that flip them down just like that. The only thing that's missing back here is a power port. But otherwise, this is a really nice cargo area. \n\nELANA SCHERR: All right, if you are planning on starting a moving company, the CX-5 is not the way to go. It has considerably less cargo space than the other three SUVs in this test. And the load floor is high, with a lip that you have to lift things over. It's just not super-convenient. Plus it doesn't have very many of those cool cubbies like the other guys do. \n\nWell, that's not totally true. It does have these little winglets in the corner. I don't even know why they're hidden. It doesn't make sense to me. But I will say that it has very convenient handles for putting the seats down. And it's the only one that lets you put the middle down. Which means-- say you're taking two kids and the family skiing, put the skis in the middle, hit the bunny slopes. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: The Nissan Rogue may not have the most space here, but it does have a really neat party trick. And that's the Divide-N-Hide system. The load floor is split into two pieces. So you can raise and lower one section at a time. And you can also flip this one up like that to have a space set up like that for groceries on either side. It's pretty nice. \n\nOne thing I will call out though, because I am sensitive to having a clean car, is there are a lot of crevices up here that dirt and Cheerios and little Goldfish crackers will inevitably populate. Folding the second row is really easy as well, because you have releases that drop it just like that. And there's also a 12-volt power port right here. \n\nELANA SCHERR: The Toyota RAV4 hybrid can brag that it has the same amount of cargo space as the non-hybrid, which means it beats the CR-V in that metric because the CR-V hybrid has less cargo space than the non-hybrid. One thing about the RAV4 is there are no easy, convenient handles for lowering the rear seat, which means if you're short like me it's really annoying. Also the seats don't fold all the way flat, which is also annoying. It's fine. It's just not gonna win cargo hold of the year. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Interior space and functionality is massively important for these kinds of SUVs because the people and the families that own and operate these vehicles have diverse needs for them. We're not just looking at the overall interior space here either, but how functional that space is. As far as the interior goes, in terms of functionality, the CR-V is our favorite. \n\nGetting in and out is really easy thanks to large door openings and a low step-in height. And it's really helpful from the back, when you're getting kids in and out. As far as interior measurements go, the CR-V is generally above average in all measurements. And that makes for an overall large-feeling, roomy interior. You can easily sit four adults back here. \n\nAs for storage options, you have a ton. The door cubbies are massive. You can fit a big water bottle and a bunch of other stuff all at the same time. And the center console remains one of our favorites. Not just because of the space, but because of the adjustability. \n\nYou can have it in this configuration, which leaves a ton different room. You can also slide this guy down and out if you want to secure stuff underneath. Now, this is slightly less functional than previous versions of this generation. But it's still among the best. \n\nReally, the downside of the CR-V is the feel of the materials. This is the top level trim of the CR-V. And it doesn't have the richness that you'll find in other vehicles here, like the Mazda and the Nissan. \n\nELANA SCHERR: The interior in the CX-5 is like a little black dress. It's simple. It's clean. It's classy. I like it. Everything about it is very driver-focused, from the way that all of the controls are slightly angled over towards the driver, as they should be. The seats are comfortable, a little bit firm. But again, that's that whole driver thing. You want to stay in place. \n\nOne of the things I really like is the shifter in the Mazda. It's kind of old school. It has a manual transmission feel, with the leather surround. Headroom is good for tall people-- I mean, I assume. And seating position is highly adjustable for tall and short folks. \n\nOne place where the CX-5 is kind of weak sauce is in small-item storage. There just isn't very much of it. There's an angled pocket up here for a phone. But it's kind of hard to reach. And there's a fairly large pocket here on the side. I mean, it will fit my regulation size capybara succulent planter. \n\nBut the console, oh, not so much. I mean, you really need to be able to carry these sort of things with you when you've got a car like this. The backseat has plenty of room though. You could fit several of these back there. Overall, I'm gonna give the interior of the Mazda high marks, just for being easy. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: The interior in this top-trim Nissan Rogue is impressive for a lot of different reasons. But first we'll talk about getting in and out. What's nice is that the second-row doors in this open to basically 90 degrees. So that's gonna be really helpful if you're loading bulky items or kids or car seats. It gives you a lot of space to do so. Also the privacy shades in the second row are a really nice feature to have. \n\nWhen it comes to overall space, the Rogue gives an impression of being a much larger SUV than it actually is. There's an impression of roominess that's really nice to have. In terms of interior measurements, they generally fall on the larger side. So this is an interior that feels spacious. \n\nNow, this is again a fully-loaded Rogue. And you really sense that in the type of materials used throughout the interior. This, you could say, over-delivers on design and style. And that's really the strength. You sense that your money is going further in this to get these materials than it is in some other examples in this segment. \n\nWhen it comes to interior functionality, that's where things are not as great as some other vehicles in this segment. Specifically, the door pockets aren't as big as the CR-V, for example. It's something you can live with. But just be aware. \n\nThe center console also follows a different strategy, where you have this floating top layer where your cup-holders is. And your storage is underneath the arm rest right there. On the bottom though, you have this open pad that has a rubberized and texturized floor that's gonna prevent things from sliding around. But it isn't big enough to accommodate even a medium-size handbag, as I found out with my wife. Overall though, the appearance and feel and spaciousness of this Rogue is really the highlight. \n\nELANA SCHERR: I'm gonna start talking about the RAV4 interior with what I don't like. Because there isn't very much I don't like, so we'll be done with it quickly. Basically it has to do with the seats. They're comfortable. They're nice and soft. But they don't have very much adjustability. \n\nIn fact, this is as low as the seat will go. And it kind of feels like driving while sitting on a barstool. If I were a tall person, I think this would bother me. The only other negative, and that's really depending on how much you like to caress your interior, is that most of these materials are kind of rubbery and plastic. \n\nOn the plus side, it makes them very easy to clean. Overall I really like the RAV4 interior. I think it's so unique. It has all of these cool details like rubber knobs and patterning in all the shelves and cup-holders. And you can see by my t-shirt matching the seats that I'm kind of down with the fashion they've got going on here. \n\nWhen it comes to small-item storage, the RAV4 has little shelves, very clever. And it has a nice big console that absolutely fits my regulation capybara plant and planter. It doesn't even squish the leaves. \n\nUnfortunately these side pockets-- oh, that's like half a capybara. So, all right, not as good there on the side. But he's nice and comfortable right in here. Your friends and children will be comfortable in the backseat as well, because there's lots of room there too. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Speaking of backseat space, each of these SUVs are generally roomy and easy to access. The CR-V and the RAV4 boast the largest interior measurements, while the CX-5 and the Rogue garnered small complaints from taller test drivers. \n\nWhether you call it an infotainment screen or a center touchscreen, this area of a vehicle is becoming rapidly more popular and more important for our evaluation process. Because outside of driving, this is the part of the vehicle that you're going to interact with the most. Now, all the SUVs here have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. And that takes away all of the frustrations you may have with the systems that automakers generally have in these vehicles. \n\nBut what happens when you don't have cell phone service? And what happens if you just don't like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay? How do these systems work? When it comes to higher trim levels of the CR-V, you do get additional connectivity. There's two USB ports in the back, two up front. \n\nThere are no USB-C ports. There are just the older style. But they do have the amps of each port written right above them. And that's nice if you have a phone that's really sensitive to that kind of thing when it comes to charging. \n\nYou also have a wireless charging pad that you can turn on and off for reasons. The entertainment center touchscreen itself is where the CR-V begins to show its age relative to the other vehicles here. It's slightly small. The resolution is low. And the graphics just look dated. \n\nFunctionality is a touch cumbersome too, especially when it comes to the voice commands. And the long-term CR-V we had in our fleet and put 40,000 miles on it had a number of glitches that were pretty frustrating. Overall this is a system that you just want to ignore. Plug in your phone and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Also when it comes to cameras on the exterior-- you have this backup camera, which has a wide-angle view, but also looks fairly dated relative to other vehicles here. \n\nELANA SCHERR: When it comes to tech in the Mazda CX-5, if you're the kind of person who wants everything to be the most cutting edge and every single technological advance that is available, that's not this car. It's pretty simple. It's pretty basic. Most of that I find actually a plus on the CX-5 because it's really easy to figure out how to use. \n\nBut there are just some things where it's sort of lagging behind some of its competitors. For example, the backup cameras-- they do have multiple different views, which is very helpful. But the quality of those views is kind of fuzzy. So if you were planning to use this to record your student film, it's going to be pretty low quality. \n\nNow, this is a touchscreen, but only when you're parked or you're at a stop. So right now, while we're parked, I can touch it. But if I was driving, it would no longer work when I touch it. Although it won't tell you that it won't work. It just won't work. And you actually have to know that from the owner's manual. \n\nAnd then you can use the controls down here to scroll through and pick things. But I don't understand why this down here is any safer than just reaching across and touching it. So if someone at Mazda wants to call me and explain that, I would really appreciate it. I think control should work the same all the time. Otherwise it's confusing. And when I get confused, I get angry and it just ruins my day. \n\nA lot of the in-car things, like Nav aren't really that important anymore because everybody's using their phones. And you have both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the Mazda. And there are a lot of places to charge that phone up. There's no wireless charging. And there's no wireless Apple CarPlay. \n\nOne minor complaint about the charging is that the ports are all here in the console, which means you got to do that whole \"all the way over with the cord\" thing. And it takes a while to get your phone to read to the screen. 1, 2, 3. There we go, 3, that's not too bad. \n\nAnyway those are pretty minor things. And like I said, overall, it's simple. It's clean. It's responsive. And if you're not the kind of person who wants the latest, you're going to be perfectly satisfied. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Infotainment and connectivity in this fully-loaded Nissan Rogue is fairly strong. For USB ports, you have four-- two in the front, two in the back. One on each side is USB-C. So if you have a phone that takes advantage of it, that's a really helpful thing too. \n\nAnother thing is you get not only wireless charging, but wireless Apple CarPlay is available. And that's something you don't get in any other SUV in this group. The screen itself is the larger 9\" screen that's available on higher-end Nissan Rogues. \n\nAnd from the perspective of graphics and resolution, it looks good. It's fairly modern and crisp. It's not as responsive as some other screens that you can get among small SUVs. But it generally works well if you need to use it. \n\nThe only thing we'll call out is the voice commands. They require you to use specific prompts in order to get stuff done. And in 2020, we expect a bit more-- a lot of other SUVs do that. But because this is the newest one on the block, we would prefer more natural language. But again, that's something you can do with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. \n\nThe screen is nice and attractive until you put on polarized sunglasses. And then it gets really weird and splotchy. And that's kind of unfortunate. But you can live with it. I'll also point out too, the exterior camera system is really strong. \n\nNot only does it give you a view of everything that's happening around you, but the individual cameras the Rogue uses are really crisp. And when somebody moves, or something moves next to you, it actually highlights and beeps at you and highlights that portion of the screen. Really nice stuff, I think the best of the vehicles here. \n\nELANA SCHERR: All right, what does Toyota offer us for tech in the RAV4? Well, we've got a touchscreen. It works all the time, unlike the Mazda. And it also has all the buttons that run alongside of it. They're tiny little buttons. But they're there. And buttons are great. \n\nIn general, the controls in the RAV4 are easy. I mean, everything is separated. So it's like, oh, this is climate control. It's got its own little island. That's great. And, oh, their modes are here for changing things. This button says \"push normal.\" But I pushed it, and I'm still weird. So I think it's broken. \n\nWe've got Apple CarPlay. We've got Android Auto. We have a wireless charging port, which is cool. And you can turn it on and off. And it has a sort of no-slip surface, although it's still a little slippy. USB port right here next to the phone resting pad, conveniently placed. And you've got a 12-volt as well. \n\nI would say the Toyota system looks a little behind the times. I mean, just the layout looks old school-- and not in the cool way. And the backup camera is [BEEPING NOISE] warning me that the sound guy is there, but also not a great picture. But it all works. And it's all easy to understand. \n\nThe best thing about the RAV4's infotainment system and technology is that it has a lot of buttons. And they're very clearly marked. You don't have to figure out what any symbols mean. It just straight up tells you-- \"Audio,\" \"Menu,\" \"Home.\" So if this is the sort of thing that bothers you-- if you don't like getting in a car and being confused or having to open the owner's manual to figure out how to use stuff, Toyota RAV4-- that's the infotainment system for you. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Now, when it comes to talking about how these vehicles drive, we know they aren't supposed to handle and feel like sports cars. What we're most interested in is if any of these vehicles do anything particularly good or bad when it comes to on-road refinement and comfort. \n\nWhen we talk about driving impressions, yes we aren't expecting the sports car-like behavior from small SUVs. But what we feel is important is how they blend ride and handling, steering field, and how their drivetrains react to the needs of normal day to day driving. Do they do anything particularly good or bad? \n\nWhere the Honda CR-V excels in my mind is how it marries ride comfort, handling, and steering. They make this thing pretty pleasurable to drive around town. Yeah, you're not going to get a lot of fun out of the driving experience. But the steering goes where you point it and feels good doing so in the process. \n\nWhen you take this thing around a freeway off-ramp or a highway interchange, you don't have to search on the wheel to find your ideal line. You just can intuit it pretty easily. Ride comfort is another area where the CR-V feels really strong. It's not super-plush. But it isn't overly brittle either. It relays appropriately the texture of the road and impacts you drive over. \n\nThe engine is a turbo 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder. And it's married to a continuously variable transmission. Power is adequate. Where you may sense some slowness or delay in acceleration is mostly attributable to that continuously variable transmission. It doesn't have traditional gears. So you don't get traditional feeling gear-changes. It just blends from one ratio to the next. \n\nNow, in theory that should make for smooth shifts. But when you step on the gas pedal, it can make for a sensation of acceleration that's a little bit slurred and less than ideal. Overall though, you have enough power in this car to maneuver around traffic, get away from a stop sign or a stoplight, and make a pass on a two-lane road. \n\nThis CR-V is equipped with adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and so on and so forth, also frontal collision warning. Our experience with our long-term CR-V that we had for 40,000 miles-- we learned to really dislike the frontal collision warning system. We actually turned it off because it was overly sensitive. The adaptive cruise control worked generally as you'd expect. So just keep that in mind when you're considering the safety features of the CR-V. \n\nOverall when it comes to driving the CR-V, this does an appropriate job at everything you might expect on the road. Its real strengths are its steering and its ride. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Out of the four SUVs that we're testing, the CX-5 is the one that I would choose to drive just for the fun of driving. So not to get anywhere, not to listen to the radio, not to haul stuff-- just because I enjoy being in it and driving. When car reviewers talk about driving enjoyment, handling, steering, sometimes it ends up sounding sort of snobby. \n\nAnd if you're just looking for a daily driver, you might be, like, why do I even care about that? But even if you don't want to be a racecar driver, the things that the Mazda does well, like changing lanes-- see, it's just so smooth. And accelerating, at least with the optional turbo-charged engine-- hecks yeah. \n\nThat's the kind of stuff that's going to make passing on the freeway easier. It's going to make on-ramps and off-ramps or curvy driveways up mountain roads just feel better. You may not want to drive the car like a racecar driver. But you're going to feel more confident no matter how you're driving. \n\nI think visibility has gotten better in crossovers in the last few years. This front pillar tends to be more narrow now. So you can see around it when you're turning. And they don't lock in the back quite as much as they used to in the designs. But all of that almost doesn't even matter because there are so many driver aids that can help you with backup cameras and blind spot monitoring. \n\nSo even if you didn't have any windows, you could probably almost drive this car. Oh, God, that would be so depressing. Automakers, do not do that. That would be sad. \n\nAll of the things that I like about the CX-5-- the steering, the braking, the way it goes around corners, that applies no matter which engine you get. But I do recommend the upgrade to the turbo-charged one, even though you'll take a hit in fuel economy. Because it is just so much more satisfying. \n\n[ENGINE ACCELERATING] \n\nHey! Get some. Yeah, that's a lot better. The base engine is kind of sluggish. And you'll really have to plan ahead if you want to overtake someone. Go for it. Get that horsepower. You deserve it. \n\nEverything about this CX-5 design is really about the driver. Everything's just laid out in front of you, simple. You're in the car to experience the road. You don't need to have a whole bunch of distractions. \n\nIt's really no surprise that Mazda's SUV is a good handling machine. I mean, after all, have you ever heard of a little car called the Miata? Yeah, Mazda knows how to make a car that's fun to drive. I don't recommend getting the CX-5 in place of a sports car. But out of the crossovers on our list, it's definitely the sportiest one. And it's not just sporty by default. It's genuinely fun to drive. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Two things I need to call out with the Rogue immediately-- one doesn't matter. The other one does. The one that doesn't matter is the shifter. Instead of rocking back and forth when you shift a gear, the whole thing moves front and back. And that's just strange. It doesn't change anything, but you should know. \n\nAlso whoever thought it was a good idea to put heat conductive material on the window up and down switches should rethink that decision. It's not a good one. As for the way the Rogue drives, here's the thing. It does everything just fine. If you genuinely do not care about how a car drives, you can disregard everything I'm about to say. \n\nIf you do find enjoyment in the experience of driving, particularly with regard to steering, the Rogue is going to let you down. Not that there's anything bad per se. It's just that vehicles like the CR-V and the Mazda CX-5 have a nicer experience when it comes to steering. \n\nAnd it's one of those things that's hard to put language again to describe why. But when we drove these vehicles back to back, each one of us got out of the Rogue asking, what's the deal with the steering? My particular complaint was with the way it returned and behaved on-center, when the steering wheel's straight. It's a little loose, a little vague. It behaves in a way that made me have to pay extra attention to the steering wheel in order to keep the wheel straight. Not ideal. \n\nLet's talk about driveability. In the Rogue, you have a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder and, like the CR-V, a continuously variable transmission. The engine is slightly outgunned in this group when it comes to power. Although you don't really sense it on the road. It doesn't become that apparent. It's mostly apparent in the figures themselves that we got when we test these vehicles. \n\nThe continuously variable transmission, much like the Honda CR-V, can feel somewhat strange when you really step on that gas pedal hard. Like the CR-V, you don't have specific gear ratios to shift from one to the next. So you just have this surge of acceleration that doesn't really turn into anything that you might expect. It's just different. \n\nLet's talk about safety equipment, because the Nissan Rogue comes fully featured, like many of these vehicles, with auto emergency braking; with front collision warning; adaptive cruise; and so on and so forth. The adaptive cruise in the Nissan works fairly well. It accelerates and slows down naturally, in a way that doesn't make you want to step on the gas pedal yourself or the brake pedal yourself. And the lane-centering generally works pretty well too. \n\nThe version that we're driving actually incorporates navigation instructions into that system. So it will, in theory, adjust speeds before approaching a corner if your navigation is programmed. Neat idea, but kind of wonder how often people will experience it. \n\nOverall the Rogue, I say, is about average when it comes to the driving experience, particularly because of how that steering feels. There's really nothing extremely bad here. But you could find a better experience elsewhere. \n\nELANA SCHERR: All right, RAV4, it's so cute. And it's so disappointing to drive. The steering in the RAV4 is both falsely heavy and vague. You know when you're talking to your kids or a co-worker and you ask them to do something, and they're like \"yeah, no, OK?\" And you're, like, wait. Does that mean you're going to do it or you're not going to do it or when you're going to do it? \n\nIt's sort of the same in the RAV4. It's like sometimes the steering feels really like it's going to take a lot of effort. And then when you're at slow speeds, it feels super-light. It doesn't always come back to center exactly. \n\nAnd it's, like, are you paying attention to me or not? Of course, it is. I mean, there's no problem driving this car. It just doesn't give you the feeling that it's going to do what you asked. Pay attention to me. \n\nNow, the hybrid is probably one of the better drivetrains you can get in the RAV4. But it's still not a horsepower monster. And if you get the base engine, it is really slow. It's also loud. I mean, they're all loud. Like-- [ENGINE ACCELERATING] I don't know. It doesn't really bother me. But you're definitely going to know it's there. \n\nVisibility in the RAV4 is great because it has these little wing windows, which I love because they give you a little extra bit to look around between the mirror and the A-pillar. And I think that's a great idea. It's also got a big back window and big side windows. So even if it didn't have driver aids, which it does, you'd still be able to see out all around you. \n\nAnd the visibility is probably one of the reasons why people like the RAV4 so much for camping and off-roading. Because when you can really see where you're going, you're not going to drive off a cliff or run over a bush. I find the gauge display disappointing in the RAV4, especially here in the hybrid. It's got this huge digital center screen. But there's really nothing very pretty happening on it. \n\nAnd there's also nothing very interesting to put on it. And the actual gauges are off to the side. And they're little tiny things. And I don't know. It just doesn't really do anything for me emotionally. \n\nThere are a lot of easy to use controls on the steering wheel. But the controls in the console and screens over here are actually a little bit far away. I mean, I'm sitting pretty close up. And I can't really reach the tuning knob. And even the shifter is a little bit of a stretch. The overall complaint I have about driving the RAV4 is just that nothing seems very well-matched. The steering, I already talked about, feels heavy. \n\nThe throttle is a little laggy. And it just sort of feels like-- all right, you know when you're hungry and there's not really anything to make a good meal-- nothing that really goes together? So you end up eating Ritz crackers and some dried fruit and a half of a cold piece of pizza. And you're, like, OK. It was fine. But it wasn't really a well-matched meal. I'm not going to put that on Instagram. That's what driving the RAV4 is like. \n\nIt's not bad. It's just outgunned. The RAV4 does many things well. It's a simple, easy car to live with. And it deserves praise for that. It's also got a lot of personality, which might seem like a silly reason to buy a car. But it's actually really nice to feel like your vehicle represents what an interesting, outgoing, outdoorsy person you are-- even if you're just running errands. \n\nThe reason the RAV4 doesn't rank higher is because everything that it does-- haul stuff, offer driver aids, connect to your phone-- its competitors do just a little bit better, or with a little more style. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: The Nissan Rogue makes for a very compelling vehicle, especially as we have it here in the fully-loaded trim. It over-delivers on features and qualities. I mean, just look at the quilted leather inside. It's really attractive. \n\nOK, we were disappointed with a couple of things with regard to interior functionality and driveability, especially the steering. But if you really don't care about how a car drives-- I mean, if you really don't care-- the modern and plentiful features in this make it worth consideration over basically any other vehicle here. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Here's the problem with the CX-5. By most of the metrics we use to measure things, it falls short. It doesn't have the most cargo space. It doesn't have the best tech. It's not the most options for the money. So why do we rank it so highly? Well, at its core, at the true spiritual center of cardom-- that would be driving enjoyment-- the Mazda is in a different league than its competitors. \n\nIt drives well on curvy roads. It drives well on straight roads. It looks good standing still. It doesn't have very many gimmicky options, useful or otherwise. But it just drives great. I mean, it's fun to drive. And we'd be remiss as automotive enthusiasts if we didn't reward Mazda for taking that road, when most of the segment focuses on utility. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: So where do we end up after all that? Well, we end up with the CR-V remaining our top pick of small SUVs. First the bad, and primarily it's with to do with age. The CR-V feels old, especially with regard to the infotainment system and the technology inside. And also, at this top trim level, you really don't see your money in the interior like you do in the Rogue and the CX-5. \n\nBut then there's everything else. And the CR-V does everything else really well. From the pleasant on-road experience, to that really nice pleasurable steering too, to the interior, which is massive but also highly functional and easy to use. Combine that all together and you end up with a vehicle that remains a really easy recommendation for most shoppers. Stay up to date with the latest SUV rankings by going to Edmunds.com/SUV. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING]","thumbnailUrl":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/honda/cr-v/2020/ot/2020_honda_cr-v_group_ot_101620_175.jpg","contentUrl":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a43V7pGMDdM","uploadDate":"2020-10-16"}]

2021 Toyota RAV4

MSRP range: $26,250 - $36,180
(28)
MSRP
$29,453
Edmunds suggests you pay
$29,045

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2021 Toyota RAV4 Review

  • Quiet interior and comfortable ride quality
  • Abundant cargo and passenger space
  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Lackluster power from powertrain
  • Uncomfortable front passenger seat
  • Vague steering
  • No significant changes for 2021
  • Part of the fifth Toyota RAV4 generation introduced for 2019
  • The Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling passenger vehicles today. It's easy to understand why: This small SUV has a smooth ride, plenty of space for passengers and cargo, and many standard advanced driver safety features. No doubt the RAV4's long-running status — it debuted all the way back in 1996 as one of the first crossover SUVs — and Toyota's name recognition help too.

    But this popularity doesn't necessarily mean it's the best. In fact, we rank a few other small SUVs ahead of the RAV4, including the equally popular Honda CR-V and the upscale Mazda CX-5. If you want a RAV4, we're more inclined to recommend the RAV4 Hybrid or the new RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid. They are more powerful and easily justify their higher initial cost. Check out our Expert Rating for our in-depth take on the 2021 RAV4.

    EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
    Rated for you by America’s best test team
    The RAV4 is a pleasant SUV that rides smoothly, has a roomy interior that's easy to live with, and offers plenty of utility. It brakes and handles in a confident way, and it's fuel-efficient. The merely satisfactory engine and indifferent steering, however, prevent it from being a top choice for a small SUV.
    The RAV4 doesn't impress here, unfortunately. The engine is willing around town, and passing and merging are drama-free. But if you're in a huge rush, you might notice the engine's ultimately modest power delivery. In Edmunds testing, our RAV4 Adventure test vehicle needed 9.1 seconds to cover 0-60 mph, which is slightly slower than the class average.

    Another gripe we have is with the steering, which is vague at the center point and doesn't have appropriate levels of feel and heft. As such, it's easy to misjudge your level of input. In better news, the RAV4's optional upgraded all-wheel-drive system includes rear-axle torque vectoring and more advanced traction control systems with selectable terrain settings and hill descent control. These systems, plus respectable ground clearance, give the RAV4 Adventure above-average off-road ability for a small SUV.
    The RAV4's suspension is tuned to strike a good balance between control and softness. The body doesn't bound or float when you drive over bumps, and small to moderate impacts are absorbed without much drama. As for the front seats, they are nicely sculpted and padded appropriately, but the seat bottoms begin to feel flat on longer drives. The passenger side's lack of adjustment can also make it difficult to find a comfortable position.

    At highway speeds, the RAV4 is generally quiet. The exception is when you hit the gas for a burst of speed, at which point the engine sound gets rather coarse. We do like the climate system's performance. Air distribution is ideal, with forward vents that can be closed off completely and vents for the rear seat.
    The driving position, roominess, and ease of entry and exit are all good. But the RAV4 would score higher if the front passenger seat wasn't set so high or could be adjusted down. The driver's seat and steering wheel have a good range of adjustment, but tall drivers might want a smidge more of each. Outward visibility is praiseworthy.

    The control layout is intuitive with large, easy-to-read labeling. The audio system and climate system controls are islands unto themselves, and everything else is right where you expect it to be. The big rubberized climate control knobs are nice too. Our only gripe is that the touchscreen is too far away from the driver. The tuning knob, in particular, requires a reach to twist.
    The RAV4's interface has a mix of touchscreen and fixed buttons that are easy to learn without consulting the owner's manual. But even though the RAV4 is relatively new, the touchscreen's graphics look dated. The sound system works well enough, but it's nothing special. You do get standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. It's a good thing too since Toyota's native Entune software remains clunky.

    The standard suite of driver aids is impressive. It includes adaptive cruise control that works down to 0 mph, automatic emergency braking, drowsy driver detection, automatic high beams, lane keeping assist and something called Line Tracing Assist, which is an active (but not hands-free) steering aid.
    The RAV4's cargo hold is nearly the biggest in its class. You get 37.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 69.8 cubic feet with them stowed. The RAV4 is also easy to load thanks to a low cargo floor. Up front, the cabin has numerous shelves and bins to handle assorted road-trip paraphernalia. If you're planning on towing, certain versions of the RAV4 can pull up to 3,500 pounds, which is above average for a small SUV.

    Parents with young kids will appreciate the RAV4. It's easy to locate and connect safety seats to the lower car seat anchors. Likewise, tethering to the three upper anchors is straightforward. Forward-facing seats and boosters fit readily, but installing a rear-facing infant seat on the passenger side will likely require scooting the front seat up. The too-high front passenger seat is the issue.
    The EPA estimates the RAV4 will get 27-30 mpg in combined city/highway driving, depending on the powertrain and trim level. We drove an AWD Adventure carrying three people, equipment and luggage for more than 7,000 miles. And over a variety of road and weather conditions, we averaged 28.6 mpg. Our best tank was 32.3 mpg and the worst was 25.6 mpg.
    The RAV4 is well built inside, with nice layered materials and seams that are invisible because they're built into the styling. It has tactile touches such as rubberized grip surfaces on the interior door pulls and the radio and climate knobs. The RAV4's optional simulated leather upholstery feels soft and pliable, and the stitching is tidy. Toyota's warranty coverage is average, but you do get a generous two years/25,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance.
    Driving a RAV4 isn't a chore, but it's not particularly memorable either. It's at its best when you go with the Adventure or TRD Off-Road trim level. The advanced torque vectoring all-wheel-drive system, capable traction control system with multiple terrain settings, and styling that's a little more rugged help the RAV4 stand out a little more.

    Which RAV4 does Edmunds recommend?

    The RAV4 in midrange XLE Premium trim gets our recommendation. It has enough features and interior upgrades to make it look and feel nicer than supporting models, and delivers it all at a sensible price.

    Toyota RAV4 models

    The 2021 RAV4 is available in six trim levels: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, TRD Off-Road and Limited. All come with a 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on most of the trim levels, and those offer all-wheel drive as an option. The Adventure and the TRD Off-Road come standard with an upgraded all-wheel-drive system that can enhance traction on loose and slippery surfaces.

    The RAV4 LE trim may be the base model, but you still get a decent number of features that include:

  • LED headlights
  • 7-inch touchscreen interface
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of safety features:
  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the RAV4 and the car in front)
  • Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
  • Automatic high beams
  • Traffic sign reader
  • The XLE adds more convenience features such as:

  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Additional USB charging ports
  • The XLE Premium dresses up the RAV4 with:

  • Larger wheels
  • Slightly raised suspension
  • Sunroof
  • Power liftgate
  • Simulated leather upholstery (Toyota's SofTex)
  • Soft-touch dashboard materials
  • The Adventure trim goes without the sunroof and power liftgate but adds some off-road appearance and mechanical elements that include:

  • Fender flares
  • Taller roof rails
  • Selectable terrain drive modes
  • Hill descent control
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • The TRD Off-Road trim gets the sunroof and liftgate back and adds more capabilities with:

  • All-terrain tires
  • Off-road-tuned suspension
  • Unique black trim elements and interior trim
  • At the top of the range, the Limited builds on the XLE Premium equipment list and adds:

  • Chrome exterior trim
  • Heated front seats
  • Digital rearview mirror (allows you to see out the back even with a fully loaded cargo area)
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Navigation system
  • Premium 11-speaker JBL audio system
  • Some features are available as options on supporting trims. Other notable options are dependent on trim level and include:

  • Surround-view camera system
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Wireless charging pad
  • CARLOS LAGO: If you're looking for an inexpensive and compact SUV for yourself and the family, odds are you're looking at one of these. Currently we rank the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 highest and recommend them to most shoppers. ELANA SCHERR: We don't rank the Toyota RAV4 quite as high. But it remains wildly popular with buyers, as does the Nissan Rogue, which was just redesigned-- I mean, so recently, seconds ago-- brand new. CARLOS LAGO: That's not true. ELANA SCHERR: We're gonna explain what each of these vehicles do well, what they don't, and which one's right for you. CARLOS LAGO: Make sure you click the links below to find out more information about each of the vehicles here. And also visit Edmunds.com/sellmycar to get a cash offer on your car. Each one of the vehicles here has gone through our rigorous and exhaustive ranking process. That includes a standardized road loop, performance and static measurements, and evaluations from professionals who do this for a living. ELANA SCHERR: Each starts at around $25,000 and tops out around $35,000, or maybe $38,000. There are a few exceptions. But we'll address those as it's relevant. CARLOS LAGO: Yes, we know each of the vehicles here don't necessarily lineup apples to apples. But we have logged thousands of miles in various versions of most of the vehicles here. So think of them as ambassadors from their respective model lines. ELANA SCHERR: Representatives. CARLOS LAGO: Representatives. [MUSIC PLAYING] The Honda CR-V has been a longtime favorite of our team. We've ranked it number one among small SUVs for the past few years now. We validated that decision by buying one and running it in our long-term test fleet for 40,000 miles. As far as fuel economy, you can expect around 30 MPG for most models, though the hybrid gets up to 38 MPG. And like all the SUVs here, the CR-V is available with all-wheel-drive. ELANA SCHERR: We've had a Mazda CX-5 in our long-term test fleet. And we liked it. In our rankings, it came in just below the CR-V. While that SUV got high marks for interior space and usability, the CX-5 focuses more on driver experience and material quality and overall style. While the CX-5 is not available in a hybrid, it does offer a 250-horsepower, turbo-charged, four-cylinder engine, which is more powerful than any of the rest of these. The trade off, of course, is fuel economy. In its most efficient offering, you're only gonna get 28 MPG combined from the Mazda. And if you get that turbo engine, 24. Personally I think it's worth it. CARLOS LAGO: The 2021 Nissan Rogue is the newest vehicle in this group. Now, historically the Rogue's been a favorite-- not through the attributes of the vehicle itself, but due to the pricing. That's all changed for this year. The pricing hasn't. But the interior is much nicer and newer and has more modern features. What hasn't changed though is the engine and transmission, or at least they haven't changed much. They're still behind the rest of the field when it comes to power and fuel economy. ELANA SCHERR: The Toyota RAV4 comes in a ton of varieties, including a hybrid, a pricey and powerful plug-in hybrid, and even one that's all dressed up for off-roading. Fuel economy and price ranges vary accordingly. But the regular version hovers around 30 MPG. And the hybrids are around 40. We've evaluated most versions of the RAV4. In fact, the Edmunds team once drove a RAV4 nonstop through all the lower 48 states, which was very fun and meant that we spent a lot of time with it. Through all that, we found most parts of the RAV4 agreeable. It's a solid choice that has received continuous improvements. It's just that some of its competitors put together a package that we like better overall. CARLOS LAGO: When we're looking at the cargo areas of these vehicles, we're considering the actual cargo space, how easy it is to load, how functional that area is; is it easy or difficult to lower the second row; are there power ports back there; and things along those lines. ELANA SCHERR: Tailgate party! CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. When it comes to cargo space, this is really the CRV's biggest bragging right. It has the most space here, and some clever features to go along with it too. What really makes the space usable though is this low lift-over height. On the other side of that, you actually have a height adjusting floor that buys you additional space. But I think most of the time, you would just drive around in this position anyway. Why would you have it higher up? And then the second row folds down really easily. If you can reach these levers, that's one way to do it. But if you can't, there's also levers on the side that flip them down just like that. The only thing that's missing back here is a power port. But otherwise, this is a really nice cargo area. ELANA SCHERR: All right, if you are planning on starting a moving company, the CX-5 is not the way to go. It has considerably less cargo space than the other three SUVs in this test. And the load floor is high, with a lip that you have to lift things over. It's just not super-convenient. Plus it doesn't have very many of those cool cubbies like the other guys do. Well, that's not totally true. It does have these little winglets in the corner. I don't even know why they're hidden. It doesn't make sense to me. But I will say that it has very convenient handles for putting the seats down. And it's the only one that lets you put the middle down. Which means-- say you're taking two kids and the family skiing, put the skis in the middle, hit the bunny slopes. CARLOS LAGO: The Nissan Rogue may not have the most space here, but it does have a really neat party trick. And that's the Divide-N-Hide system. The load floor is split into two pieces. So you can raise and lower one section at a time. And you can also flip this one up like that to have a space set up like that for groceries on either side. It's pretty nice. One thing I will call out though, because I am sensitive to having a clean car, is there are a lot of crevices up here that dirt and Cheerios and little Goldfish crackers will inevitably populate. Folding the second row is really easy as well, because you have releases that drop it just like that. And there's also a 12-volt power port right here. ELANA SCHERR: The Toyota RAV4 hybrid can brag that it has the same amount of cargo space as the non-hybrid, which means it beats the CR-V in that metric because the CR-V hybrid has less cargo space than the non-hybrid. One thing about the RAV4 is there are no easy, convenient handles for lowering the rear seat, which means if you're short like me it's really annoying. Also the seats don't fold all the way flat, which is also annoying. It's fine. It's just not gonna win cargo hold of the year. CARLOS LAGO: Interior space and functionality is massively important for these kinds of SUVs because the people and the families that own and operate these vehicles have diverse needs for them. We're not just looking at the overall interior space here either, but how functional that space is. As far as the interior goes, in terms of functionality, the CR-V is our favorite. Getting in and out is really easy thanks to large door openings and a low step-in height. And it's really helpful from the back, when you're getting kids in and out. As far as interior measurements go, the CR-V is generally above average in all measurements. And that makes for an overall large-feeling, roomy interior. You can easily sit four adults back here. As for storage options, you have a ton. The door cubbies are massive. You can fit a big water bottle and a bunch of other stuff all at the same time. And the center console remains one of our favorites. Not just because of the space, but because of the adjustability. You can have it in this configuration, which leaves a ton different room. You can also slide this guy down and out if you want to secure stuff underneath. Now, this is slightly less functional than previous versions of this generation. But it's still among the best. Really, the downside of the CR-V is the feel of the materials. This is the top level trim of the CR-V. And it doesn't have the richness that you'll find in other vehicles here, like the Mazda and the Nissan. ELANA SCHERR: The interior in the CX-5 is like a little black dress. It's simple. It's clean. It's classy. I like it. Everything about it is very driver-focused, from the way that all of the controls are slightly angled over towards the driver, as they should be. The seats are comfortable, a little bit firm. But again, that's that whole driver thing. You want to stay in place. One of the things I really like is the shifter in the Mazda. It's kind of old school. It has a manual transmission feel, with the leather surround. Headroom is good for tall people-- I mean, I assume. And seating position is highly adjustable for tall and short folks. One place where the CX-5 is kind of weak sauce is in small-item storage. There just isn't very much of it. There's an angled pocket up here for a phone. But it's kind of hard to reach. And there's a fairly large pocket here on the side. I mean, it will fit my regulation size capybara succulent planter. But the console, oh, not so much. I mean, you really need to be able to carry these sort of things with you when you've got a car like this. The backseat has plenty of room though. You could fit several of these back there. Overall, I'm gonna give the interior of the Mazda high marks, just for being easy. CARLOS LAGO: The interior in this top-trim Nissan Rogue is impressive for a lot of different reasons. But first we'll talk about getting in and out. What's nice is that the second-row doors in this open to basically 90 degrees. So that's gonna be really helpful if you're loading bulky items or kids or car seats. It gives you a lot of space to do so. Also the privacy shades in the second row are a really nice feature to have. When it comes to overall space, the Rogue gives an impression of being a much larger SUV than it actually is. There's an impression of roominess that's really nice to have. In terms of interior measurements, they generally fall on the larger side. So this is an interior that feels spacious. Now, this is again a fully-loaded Rogue. And you really sense that in the type of materials used throughout the interior. This, you could say, over-delivers on design and style. And that's really the strength. You sense that your money is going further in this to get these materials than it is in some other examples in this segment. When it comes to interior functionality, that's where things are not as great as some other vehicles in this segment. Specifically, the door pockets aren't as big as the CR-V, for example. It's something you can live with. But just be aware. The center console also follows a different strategy, where you have this floating top layer where your cup-holders is. And your storage is underneath the arm rest right there. On the bottom though, you have this open pad that has a rubberized and texturized floor that's gonna prevent things from sliding around. But it isn't big enough to accommodate even a medium-size handbag, as I found out with my wife. Overall though, the appearance and feel and spaciousness of this Rogue is really the highlight. ELANA SCHERR: I'm gonna start talking about the RAV4 interior with what I don't like. Because there isn't very much I don't like, so we'll be done with it quickly. Basically it has to do with the seats. They're comfortable. They're nice and soft. But they don't have very much adjustability. In fact, this is as low as the seat will go. And it kind of feels like driving while sitting on a barstool. If I were a tall person, I think this would bother me. The only other negative, and that's really depending on how much you like to caress your interior, is that most of these materials are kind of rubbery and plastic. On the plus side, it makes them very easy to clean. Overall I really like the RAV4 interior. I think it's so unique. It has all of these cool details like rubber knobs and patterning in all the shelves and cup-holders. And you can see by my t-shirt matching the seats that I'm kind of down with the fashion they've got going on here. When it comes to small-item storage, the RAV4 has little shelves, very clever. And it has a nice big console that absolutely fits my regulation capybara plant and planter. It doesn't even squish the leaves. Unfortunately these side pockets-- oh, that's like half a capybara. So, all right, not as good there on the side. But he's nice and comfortable right in here. Your friends and children will be comfortable in the backseat as well, because there's lots of room there too. CARLOS LAGO: Speaking of backseat space, each of these SUVs are generally roomy and easy to access. The CR-V and the RAV4 boast the largest interior measurements, while the CX-5 and the Rogue garnered small complaints from taller test drivers. Whether you call it an infotainment screen or a center touchscreen, this area of a vehicle is becoming rapidly more popular and more important for our evaluation process. Because outside of driving, this is the part of the vehicle that you're going to interact with the most. Now, all the SUVs here have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. And that takes away all of the frustrations you may have with the systems that automakers generally have in these vehicles. But what happens when you don't have cell phone service? And what happens if you just don't like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay? How do these systems work? When it comes to higher trim levels of the CR-V, you do get additional connectivity. There's two USB ports in the back, two up front. There are no USB-C ports. There are just the older style. But they do have the amps of each port written right above them. And that's nice if you have a phone that's really sensitive to that kind of thing when it comes to charging. You also have a wireless charging pad that you can turn on and off for reasons. The entertainment center touchscreen itself is where the CR-V begins to show its age relative to the other vehicles here. It's slightly small. The resolution is low. And the graphics just look dated. Functionality is a touch cumbersome too, especially when it comes to the voice commands. And the long-term CR-V we had in our fleet and put 40,000 miles on it had a number of glitches that were pretty frustrating. Overall this is a system that you just want to ignore. Plug in your phone and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Also when it comes to cameras on the exterior-- you have this backup camera, which has a wide-angle view, but also looks fairly dated relative to other vehicles here. ELANA SCHERR: When it comes to tech in the Mazda CX-5, if you're the kind of person who wants everything to be the most cutting edge and every single technological advance that is available, that's not this car. It's pretty simple. It's pretty basic. Most of that I find actually a plus on the CX-5 because it's really easy to figure out how to use. But there are just some things where it's sort of lagging behind some of its competitors. For example, the backup cameras-- they do have multiple different views, which is very helpful. But the quality of those views is kind of fuzzy. So if you were planning to use this to record your student film, it's going to be pretty low quality. Now, this is a touchscreen, but only when you're parked or you're at a stop. So right now, while we're parked, I can touch it. But if I was driving, it would no longer work when I touch it. Although it won't tell you that it won't work. It just won't work. And you actually have to know that from the owner's manual. And then you can use the controls down here to scroll through and pick things. But I don't understand why this down here is any safer than just reaching across and touching it. So if someone at Mazda wants to call me and explain that, I would really appreciate it. I think control should work the same all the time. Otherwise it's confusing. And when I get confused, I get angry and it just ruins my day. A lot of the in-car things, like Nav aren't really that important anymore because everybody's using their phones. And you have both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the Mazda. And there are a lot of places to charge that phone up. There's no wireless charging. And there's no wireless Apple CarPlay. One minor complaint about the charging is that the ports are all here in the console, which means you got to do that whole "all the way over with the cord" thing. And it takes a while to get your phone to read to the screen. 1, 2, 3. There we go, 3, that's not too bad. Anyway those are pretty minor things. And like I said, overall, it's simple. It's clean. It's responsive. And if you're not the kind of person who wants the latest, you're going to be perfectly satisfied. CARLOS LAGO: Infotainment and connectivity in this fully-loaded Nissan Rogue is fairly strong. For USB ports, you have four-- two in the front, two in the back. One on each side is USB-C. So if you have a phone that takes advantage of it, that's a really helpful thing too. Another thing is you get not only wireless charging, but wireless Apple CarPlay is available. And that's something you don't get in any other SUV in this group. The screen itself is the larger 9" screen that's available on higher-end Nissan Rogues. And from the perspective of graphics and resolution, it looks good. It's fairly modern and crisp. It's not as responsive as some other screens that you can get among small SUVs. But it generally works well if you need to use it. The only thing we'll call out is the voice commands. They require you to use specific prompts in order to get stuff done. And in 2020, we expect a bit more-- a lot of other SUVs do that. But because this is the newest one on the block, we would prefer more natural language. But again, that's something you can do with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The screen is nice and attractive until you put on polarized sunglasses. And then it gets really weird and splotchy. And that's kind of unfortunate. But you can live with it. I'll also point out too, the exterior camera system is really strong. Not only does it give you a view of everything that's happening around you, but the individual cameras the Rogue uses are really crisp. And when somebody moves, or something moves next to you, it actually highlights and beeps at you and highlights that portion of the screen. Really nice stuff, I think the best of the vehicles here. ELANA SCHERR: All right, what does Toyota offer us for tech in the RAV4? Well, we've got a touchscreen. It works all the time, unlike the Mazda. And it also has all the buttons that run alongside of it. They're tiny little buttons. But they're there. And buttons are great. In general, the controls in the RAV4 are easy. I mean, everything is separated. So it's like, oh, this is climate control. It's got its own little island. That's great. And, oh, their modes are here for changing things. This button says "push normal." But I pushed it, and I'm still weird. So I think it's broken. We've got Apple CarPlay. We've got Android Auto. We have a wireless charging port, which is cool. And you can turn it on and off. And it has a sort of no-slip surface, although it's still a little slippy. USB port right here next to the phone resting pad, conveniently placed. And you've got a 12-volt as well. I would say the Toyota system looks a little behind the times. I mean, just the layout looks old school-- and not in the cool way. And the backup camera is [BEEPING NOISE] warning me that the sound guy is there, but also not a great picture. But it all works. And it's all easy to understand. The best thing about the RAV4's infotainment system and technology is that it has a lot of buttons. And they're very clearly marked. You don't have to figure out what any symbols mean. It just straight up tells you-- "Audio," "Menu," "Home." So if this is the sort of thing that bothers you-- if you don't like getting in a car and being confused or having to open the owner's manual to figure out how to use stuff, Toyota RAV4-- that's the infotainment system for you. CARLOS LAGO: Now, when it comes to talking about how these vehicles drive, we know they aren't supposed to handle and feel like sports cars. What we're most interested in is if any of these vehicles do anything particularly good or bad when it comes to on-road refinement and comfort. When we talk about driving impressions, yes we aren't expecting the sports car-like behavior from small SUVs. But what we feel is important is how they blend ride and handling, steering field, and how their drivetrains react to the needs of normal day to day driving. Do they do anything particularly good or bad? Where the Honda CR-V excels in my mind is how it marries ride comfort, handling, and steering. They make this thing pretty pleasurable to drive around town. Yeah, you're not going to get a lot of fun out of the driving experience. But the steering goes where you point it and feels good doing so in the process. When you take this thing around a freeway off-ramp or a highway interchange, you don't have to search on the wheel to find your ideal line. You just can intuit it pretty easily. Ride comfort is another area where the CR-V feels really strong. It's not super-plush. But it isn't overly brittle either. It relays appropriately the texture of the road and impacts you drive over. The engine is a turbo 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder. And it's married to a continuously variable transmission. Power is adequate. Where you may sense some slowness or delay in acceleration is mostly attributable to that continuously variable transmission. It doesn't have traditional gears. So you don't get traditional feeling gear-changes. It just blends from one ratio to the next. Now, in theory that should make for smooth shifts. But when you step on the gas pedal, it can make for a sensation of acceleration that's a little bit slurred and less than ideal. Overall though, you have enough power in this car to maneuver around traffic, get away from a stop sign or a stoplight, and make a pass on a two-lane road. This CR-V is equipped with adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and so on and so forth, also frontal collision warning. Our experience with our long-term CR-V that we had for 40,000 miles-- we learned to really dislike the frontal collision warning system. We actually turned it off because it was overly sensitive. The adaptive cruise control worked generally as you'd expect. So just keep that in mind when you're considering the safety features of the CR-V. Overall when it comes to driving the CR-V, this does an appropriate job at everything you might expect on the road. Its real strengths are its steering and its ride. ELANA SCHERR: Out of the four SUVs that we're testing, the CX-5 is the one that I would choose to drive just for the fun of driving. So not to get anywhere, not to listen to the radio, not to haul stuff-- just because I enjoy being in it and driving. When car reviewers talk about driving enjoyment, handling, steering, sometimes it ends up sounding sort of snobby. And if you're just looking for a daily driver, you might be, like, why do I even care about that? But even if you don't want to be a racecar driver, the things that the Mazda does well, like changing lanes-- see, it's just so smooth. And accelerating, at least with the optional turbo-charged engine-- hecks yeah. That's the kind of stuff that's going to make passing on the freeway easier. It's going to make on-ramps and off-ramps or curvy driveways up mountain roads just feel better. You may not want to drive the car like a racecar driver. But you're going to feel more confident no matter how you're driving. I think visibility has gotten better in crossovers in the last few years. This front pillar tends to be more narrow now. So you can see around it when you're turning. And they don't lock in the back quite as much as they used to in the designs. But all of that almost doesn't even matter because there are so many driver aids that can help you with backup cameras and blind spot monitoring. So even if you didn't have any windows, you could probably almost drive this car. Oh, God, that would be so depressing. Automakers, do not do that. That would be sad. All of the things that I like about the CX-5-- the steering, the braking, the way it goes around corners, that applies no matter which engine you get. But I do recommend the upgrade to the turbo-charged one, even though you'll take a hit in fuel economy. Because it is just so much more satisfying. [ENGINE ACCELERATING] Hey! Get some. Yeah, that's a lot better. The base engine is kind of sluggish. And you'll really have to plan ahead if you want to overtake someone. Go for it. Get that horsepower. You deserve it. Everything about this CX-5 design is really about the driver. Everything's just laid out in front of you, simple. You're in the car to experience the road. You don't need to have a whole bunch of distractions. It's really no surprise that Mazda's SUV is a good handling machine. I mean, after all, have you ever heard of a little car called the Miata? Yeah, Mazda knows how to make a car that's fun to drive. I don't recommend getting the CX-5 in place of a sports car. But out of the crossovers on our list, it's definitely the sportiest one. And it's not just sporty by default. It's genuinely fun to drive. CARLOS LAGO: Two things I need to call out with the Rogue immediately-- one doesn't matter. The other one does. The one that doesn't matter is the shifter. Instead of rocking back and forth when you shift a gear, the whole thing moves front and back. And that's just strange. It doesn't change anything, but you should know. Also whoever thought it was a good idea to put heat conductive material on the window up and down switches should rethink that decision. It's not a good one. As for the way the Rogue drives, here's the thing. It does everything just fine. If you genuinely do not care about how a car drives, you can disregard everything I'm about to say. If you do find enjoyment in the experience of driving, particularly with regard to steering, the Rogue is going to let you down. Not that there's anything bad per se. It's just that vehicles like the CR-V and the Mazda CX-5 have a nicer experience when it comes to steering. And it's one of those things that's hard to put language again to describe why. But when we drove these vehicles back to back, each one of us got out of the Rogue asking, what's the deal with the steering? My particular complaint was with the way it returned and behaved on-center, when the steering wheel's straight. It's a little loose, a little vague. It behaves in a way that made me have to pay extra attention to the steering wheel in order to keep the wheel straight. Not ideal. Let's talk about driveability. In the Rogue, you have a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder and, like the CR-V, a continuously variable transmission. The engine is slightly outgunned in this group when it comes to power. Although you don't really sense it on the road. It doesn't become that apparent. It's mostly apparent in the figures themselves that we got when we test these vehicles. The continuously variable transmission, much like the Honda CR-V, can feel somewhat strange when you really step on that gas pedal hard. Like the CR-V, you don't have specific gear ratios to shift from one to the next. So you just have this surge of acceleration that doesn't really turn into anything that you might expect. It's just different. Let's talk about safety equipment, because the Nissan Rogue comes fully featured, like many of these vehicles, with auto emergency braking; with front collision warning; adaptive cruise; and so on and so forth. The adaptive cruise in the Nissan works fairly well. It accelerates and slows down naturally, in a way that doesn't make you want to step on the gas pedal yourself or the brake pedal yourself. And the lane-centering generally works pretty well too. The version that we're driving actually incorporates navigation instructions into that system. So it will, in theory, adjust speeds before approaching a corner if your navigation is programmed. Neat idea, but kind of wonder how often people will experience it. Overall the Rogue, I say, is about average when it comes to the driving experience, particularly because of how that steering feels. There's really nothing extremely bad here. But you could find a better experience elsewhere. ELANA SCHERR: All right, RAV4, it's so cute. And it's so disappointing to drive. The steering in the RAV4 is both falsely heavy and vague. You know when you're talking to your kids or a co-worker and you ask them to do something, and they're like "yeah, no, OK?" And you're, like, wait. Does that mean you're going to do it or you're not going to do it or when you're going to do it? It's sort of the same in the RAV4. It's like sometimes the steering feels really like it's going to take a lot of effort. And then when you're at slow speeds, it feels super-light. It doesn't always come back to center exactly. And it's, like, are you paying attention to me or not? Of course, it is. I mean, there's no problem driving this car. It just doesn't give you the feeling that it's going to do what you asked. Pay attention to me. Now, the hybrid is probably one of the better drivetrains you can get in the RAV4. But it's still not a horsepower monster. And if you get the base engine, it is really slow. It's also loud. I mean, they're all loud. Like-- [ENGINE ACCELERATING] I don't know. It doesn't really bother me. But you're definitely going to know it's there. Visibility in the RAV4 is great because it has these little wing windows, which I love because they give you a little extra bit to look around between the mirror and the A-pillar. And I think that's a great idea. It's also got a big back window and big side windows. So even if it didn't have driver aids, which it does, you'd still be able to see out all around you. And the visibility is probably one of the reasons why people like the RAV4 so much for camping and off-roading. Because when you can really see where you're going, you're not going to drive off a cliff or run over a bush. I find the gauge display disappointing in the RAV4, especially here in the hybrid. It's got this huge digital center screen. But there's really nothing very pretty happening on it. And there's also nothing very interesting to put on it. And the actual gauges are off to the side. And they're little tiny things. And I don't know. It just doesn't really do anything for me emotionally. There are a lot of easy to use controls on the steering wheel. But the controls in the console and screens over here are actually a little bit far away. I mean, I'm sitting pretty close up. And I can't really reach the tuning knob. And even the shifter is a little bit of a stretch. The overall complaint I have about driving the RAV4 is just that nothing seems very well-matched. The steering, I already talked about, feels heavy. The throttle is a little laggy. And it just sort of feels like-- all right, you know when you're hungry and there's not really anything to make a good meal-- nothing that really goes together? So you end up eating Ritz crackers and some dried fruit and a half of a cold piece of pizza. And you're, like, OK. It was fine. But it wasn't really a well-matched meal. I'm not going to put that on Instagram. That's what driving the RAV4 is like. It's not bad. It's just outgunned. The RAV4 does many things well. It's a simple, easy car to live with. And it deserves praise for that. It's also got a lot of personality, which might seem like a silly reason to buy a car. But it's actually really nice to feel like your vehicle represents what an interesting, outgoing, outdoorsy person you are-- even if you're just running errands. The reason the RAV4 doesn't rank higher is because everything that it does-- haul stuff, offer driver aids, connect to your phone-- its competitors do just a little bit better, or with a little more style. CARLOS LAGO: The Nissan Rogue makes for a very compelling vehicle, especially as we have it here in the fully-loaded trim. It over-delivers on features and qualities. I mean, just look at the quilted leather inside. It's really attractive. OK, we were disappointed with a couple of things with regard to interior functionality and driveability, especially the steering. But if you really don't care about how a car drives-- I mean, if you really don't care-- the modern and plentiful features in this make it worth consideration over basically any other vehicle here. ELANA SCHERR: Here's the problem with the CX-5. By most of the metrics we use to measure things, it falls short. It doesn't have the most cargo space. It doesn't have the best tech. It's not the most options for the money. So why do we rank it so highly? Well, at its core, at the true spiritual center of cardom-- that would be driving enjoyment-- the Mazda is in a different league than its competitors. It drives well on curvy roads. It drives well on straight roads. It looks good standing still. It doesn't have very many gimmicky options, useful or otherwise. But it just drives great. I mean, it's fun to drive. And we'd be remiss as automotive enthusiasts if we didn't reward Mazda for taking that road, when most of the segment focuses on utility. CARLOS LAGO: So where do we end up after all that? Well, we end up with the CR-V remaining our top pick of small SUVs. First the bad, and primarily it's with to do with age. The CR-V feels old, especially with regard to the infotainment system and the technology inside. And also, at this top trim level, you really don't see your money in the interior like you do in the Rogue and the CX-5. But then there's everything else. And the CR-V does everything else really well. From the pleasant on-road experience, to that really nice pleasurable steering too, to the interior, which is massive but also highly functional and easy to use. Combine that all together and you end up with a vehicle that remains a really easy recommendation for most shoppers. Stay up to date with the latest SUV rankings by going to Edmunds.com/SUV. [MUSIC PLAYING]

    Toyota RAV4 vs. Nissan Rogue vs. Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5! Best SUV for 2020 Comparison Test

    NOTE: This video is about the 2020 Toyota RAV4, but since the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.


    Features & Specs

    Base MSRP
    $27,650
    MPG & Fuel
    27 City / 34 Hwy / 30 Combined
    Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 gal. capacity
    Seating
    5 seats
    Drivetrain
    Type: all wheel drive
    Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic
    Engine
    Inline 4 cylinder
    Horsepower: 203 hp @ 6600 rpm
    Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
    Basic Warranty
    3 yr./ 36000 mi.
    Dimensions
    Length: 180.9 in. / Height: 67.0 in. / Width: 73.0 in.
    Curb Weight: 3490 lbs.
    Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 37.6 cu.ft.

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    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite RAV4 safety features:

    Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection
    Detects and warns of potential front impacts, including one involving a pedestrian or cyclist, and automatically engages the brakes.
    Blind-Spot Monitoring
    Monitors your blind spots for other vehicles, illuminating a warning signal on the outside mirrors.
    Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist
    Monitors the vehicle's position in its lane and corrects steering to avoid unintentionally leaving the lane.

    NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
    Overall
    4 / 5
    Driver
    4 / 5
    Passenger
    5 / 5
    Side Crash RatingRating
    Overall
    5 / 5
    Side Barrier RatingRating
    Overall
    5 / 5
    Driver
    5 / 5
    Passenger
    5 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
    Front Seat
    5 / 5
    Back Seat
    5 / 5
    RolloverRating
    Rollover
    4 / 5
    Dynamic Test Result
    No Tip
    Risk Of Rollover
    15.9%

    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact Test
    Good
    Roof Strength Test
    Good
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
    IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good



    Toyota RAV4 vs. the competition

    2021 Toyota RAV4

    2021 Toyota RAV4

    2020 Honda CR-V

    2020 Honda CR-V

    Toyota RAV4 vs. Honda CR-V

    The current Honda CR-V has been a top pick since it was introduced in 2017. Even as newer SUVs have risen to challenge it, the CR-V maintains its Edmunds Top Rated status. It may not be all that exciting, but it is significantly better than the RAV4, which suffers with a comparably weak engine and numb steering. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Honda CR-V.

    Compare Toyota RAV4 & Honda CR-V features 

    Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5

    The Mazda CX-5 is a bit of a counterpoint to the Honda CR-V in that it's more visually appealing and enjoyable to drive, but it sacrifices ride comfort and cargo space in the process. It's a great choice for shoppers who want something a bit more special. It's positively luxurious and upmarket compared to the RAV4, even though they're similarly priced. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Mazda CX-5.

    Compare Toyota RAV4 & Mazda CX-5 features 

    Toyota RAV4 vs. Hyundai Tucson

    The Hyundai Tucson, like most vehicles in the Hyundai stable, gets you a lot of features for the money. Add in the standard 10-year warranty and it makes a lot of sense for the long haul. We like its smooth ride and intuitive infotainment system, but it could move up the rankings with more cargo space and better fuel economy. The Tucson's base engine is comparably weak against the RAV4's, but at least there's a more powerful option.

    Compare Toyota RAV4 & Hyundai Tucson features 

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    To determine whether the Toyota RAV4 is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the RAV4. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the RAV4's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

    Is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 RAV4 and gave it a 7.7 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 RAV4 is a good car for you. Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2021 Toyota RAV4?

    The least-expensive 2021 Toyota RAV4 is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $26,250.

    Other versions include:

  • XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) which starts at $28,945
  • XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A) which starts at $27,545
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  • XLE Premium 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A) which starts at $30,250
  • Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) which starts at $36,180
  • TRD Off-Road 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) which starts at $35,980
  • Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A) which starts at $34,780
  • Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) which starts at $33,355
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    What are the different models of Toyota RAV4?

    If you're interested in the Toyota RAV4, the next question is, which RAV4 model is right for you? RAV4 variants include XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A), XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A), LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A), and XLE Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A). For a full list of RAV4 models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2021 Toyota RAV4

    2021 Toyota RAV4 Overview

    The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is offered in the following submodels: RAV4 SUV. Available styles include XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A), XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A), LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A), XLE Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A), LE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A), XLE Premium 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A), TRD Off-Road 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A), Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A), and Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A). Toyota RAV4 models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 203 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 comes with all wheel drive, and front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

    What do people think of the 2021 Toyota RAV4?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 RAV4 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 RAV4.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 RAV4 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2021 Toyota RAV4?

    2021 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A)

    The 2021 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $29,453. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is trending $408 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $408 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $29,045.

    The average savings for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is 1.4% below the MSRP.

    2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A)

    The 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $31,783. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is trending $536 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $536 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $31,247.

    The average savings for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is 1.7% below the MSRP.

    2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A)

    The 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $34,863. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is trending $631 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $631 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $34,232.

    The average savings for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is 1.8% below the MSRP.

    2021 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A)

    The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $36,443. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is trending $1,034 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,034 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $35,409.

    The average savings for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is 2.8% below the MSRP.

    2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A)

    The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $38,504. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is trending $708 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $708 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $37,796.

    The average savings for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is 1.8% below the MSRP.

    2021 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A)

    The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $39,664. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is trending $680 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $680 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $38,984.

    The average savings for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A) is 1.7% below the MSRP.

    Which 2021 Toyota RAV4s are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Toyota RAV4 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Toyota RAV4.

    Can't find a new 2021 Toyota RAV4s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Toyota for sale - 7 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $22,581.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    What is the MPG of a 2021 Toyota RAV4?

    2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
    29 compined MPG,
    27 city MPG/33 highway MPG

    2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
    30 compined MPG,
    28 city MPG/35 highway MPG

    2021 Toyota RAV4 LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
    30 compined MPG,
    27 city MPG/34 highway MPG

    EPA Est. MPG
    29
    Transmission
    8-speed shiftable automatic
    Drive Train
    all wheel drive
    Displacement
    2.5 L
    Passenger Volume
    136.4 cu.ft.
    Wheelbase
    105.9 in.
    Length
    180.9 in.
    Width
    73.0 in.
    Height
    67.0 in.
    Curb Weight
    3490 lbs.

    Should I lease or buy a 2021 Toyota RAV4?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Toyota lease specials