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2020 Toyota RAV4 Review

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 ranks in the top half of the compact SUV class. It gets great fuel economy estimates, feels stable around corners, and offers a quality cabin with ample space. However, it has a noisy engine that lacks the punchy turbocharger of many rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable, high-class cabin
  • Long list of standard features
  • Great fuel economy
  • Engine grows loud under heavy throttle
  • High base price for the class

New for 2020

  • TRD Off-Road model
  • Android Auto, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot now standard




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 8.0
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Toyota RAV4 a Good SUV?

Yes, the Toyota RAV4 is a great compact SUV. It comes packed with standard features, including a healthy dose of driver assistance technology and a user-friendly infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This Toyota has a well-made cabin with two rows of spacious seats and a good amount of cargo space for the class. Because the RAV4 has the best combination of cargo and passenger space, safety and reliability ratings, positive reviews from automotive journalists, and available family-friendly features in its class, we named it our 2020 Best Compact SUV for Families.

The RAV4 has a comfortable ride, and it gets great fuel economy for the segment. The engine is capable enough for most normal driving situations, but it can grow noisy when you floor the gas pedal.

Should I Buy the Toyota RAV4?

Anyone looking for a family-friendly crossover should have the RAV4 on their short list. However, it has one of the highest base prices among compact SUVs. The Honda CR-V is a little more affordable, and it has a roomier cargo bay than nearly every other class rival. On the other hand, if you have more room in your budget, consider the RAV4 Hybrid. It's incredibly fuel-efficient and has smoother off-the-line acceleration than the regular RAV4.  

Compare the RAV4, CR-V, and RAV4 Hybrid »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota RAV4?

Toyota fully redesigned the RAV4 for the 2019 model year. Satellite radio becomes standard for 2020, and Android Auto debuts as a newly standard feature. A new TRD Off-Road model joins the lineup, with a distinctive design and a trim-specific off-road suspension.

If not having Android Auto is a deal-breaker, or if you want the TRD model, buy a new 2020 RAV4. Otherwise, the 2019 model is what you'll want to look for, and it’ll likely cost less than a new model.

A 2018-or-older model isn't as appealing as a new RAV4. Previous-generation models have lower-quality interior materials than 2019 and 2020 RAV4s. These older SUVs also lack Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and they have smaller infotainment screens. Compared to the newer RAV4, the engine output is lower by 27 horsepower, and fuel economy numbers aren’t as good.  

Be sure to read our 2017 RAV4, 2018 RAV4, and 2019 RAV4 reviews to help make your decision, then check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 RAV4 »

We Did the Research for You: 25 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 25 Toyota RAV4 reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2020 RAV4 is the right new car for you. This 2020 Toyota RAV4 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota RAV4 Cost?

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 starts at $25,850, which is one of the highest base prices among compact SUVs. The midrange XLE Premium trim retails for around $30,000, while the Limited ($34,380) and TRD Off-Road ($35,180) are the most expensive versions. Adding most major optional features and packages to some upper-end trims can push this SUV's cost to near $40,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota RAV4 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V?

A long-standing rival of the RAV4, the Honda CR-V regularly ranks near the top of the compact SUV class. Both vehicles offer commendable performance, with a comfortable ride and great fuel economy. You'll get the CR-V's best gas mileage with its optional turbocharged engine, which also makes the Honda feel lively. The CR-V touts roomier rear seats and a larger cargo hold, as well as a higher safety score. The RAV4 offers more standard features – such as a touch-screen infotainment system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay – but the Honda is available with all of them. The CR-V is the better SUV in this comparison.

Which Is Better: Toyota RAV4 or Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid ranks near the top of the hybrid and electric SUV class. Overall, the hybrid RAV4 is better than the nonhybrid version. The hybrid is more expensive than the gas-only model by about $2,300. That said, the RAV4 Hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive.

With instantly available torque courtesy of its two electric motors, the RAV4 Hybrid accelerates more quickly from a stop than the nonhybrid RAV4. There's also a sporty Hybrid XSE model that handles curves with more enthusiasm than the nonhybrid RAV4. The standard RAV4 gets fuel economy of up to 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, while the hybrid gets a phenomenal 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

Though the RAV4 Hybrid has a higher price, you would make up the difference with your savings in gas in under seven years. Deciding between these two comes down to how much you prioritize the more engaging performance and fuel savings of the hybrid against its higher price.

Compare the RAV4, CR-V, and RAV4 Hybrid »

RAV4 Interior

How Many People Does the RAV4 Seat?

The Toyota RAV4 seats five people in an open and airy cabin. The front seats are comfortable, though we recommend opting for the eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat. Power lumbar adjustments also provide additional support for long trips.

In all RAV4 trims, the passenger seat only has four-way manual settings. This seat is a little high, and it doesn't adjust as much as some may want. There's ample space for adult passengers in the second row. The seats are low, so there's plenty of headroom. Rear-seat legroom is also impressive.

RAV4 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the RAV4's rear outboard seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the RAV4's LATCH system the highest rating of Good for ease of use. There are no problems finding or accessing the lower anchors, and all three tether anchors are clearly marked on the backs of the rear seats.

RAV4 Interior Quality

The RAV4 still feels fresh after a total redesign for the 2019 model year. The quality of interior materials has vastly improved over the previous generation, and now the cabin is replete with soft-touch surfaces and a pleasing aesthetic.

Some trim levels have embellished stitching on the seats, dashboard and doors, along with other color accents that set them apart. Even the interior door grips are finished with textured soft-touch rubber instead of the hard plastic you'll find in some rivals. You won't mistake the optional synthetic leather upholstery for the real thing, but it feels nice enough for a vehicle at this price point.

RAV4 Cargo Space

The RAV4 has a roomy 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space. You can fold down the back seats to open up a 69.8-cubic-foot cargo hold. Those figures are better than what many compact SUVs offer, but the Honda CR-V has a bit more space. You'll get 39.2 and 75.8 cubic feet, respectively, with the Honda.

The RAV4's cargo hold is wide and blocky, matching the overall shape of the car. The load floor is low, so it's easy to lift in heavy items. You can opt for a power liftgate that has adjustable and programmable heights

RAV4 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

A 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system comes standard in the RAV4, and a system with an 8-inch screen is optional. There's little difference in appearance or functionality between the two systems. The on-screen buttons are large and clear, the graphics are sharp, and it's easy to navigate through the menus.

There are physical shortcut buttons surrounding the screen, as well as large knobs for volume and tuning. Controls on the right side of the screen might require a little extra reaching from the driver's seat, but other switches and buttons for climate controls are intuitively laid out lower on the center stack. Climate control knobs have a premium feel to them.

The RAV4 comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa integration, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and – new for 2020 – Android Auto. Satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, and voice recognition are also standard. Optional infotainment features include four additional USB ports, an 11-speaker JBL premium stereo, wireless device charging, and navigation.

Available comfort and convenience amenities include dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, a household-style power outlet, a moonroof, and a panoramic glass roof.

Read more about interior »

RAV4 Performance

RAV4 Engine: Good, but Could Use a Turbo

The 2020 RAV4 features a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Its horsepower rating is one of the highest among compact SUVs equipped with a base engine. Additionally, many competitors have much lower standard horsepower ratings than the RAV4.

This engine is a good match for the RAV4. It helps get you moving with little drama, but it's still somewhat of an outlier in that it doesn't feature a turbocharger. Rivals with turbo engines typically have quicker off-the-line acceleration.

Under heavy acceleration, the engine is a little loud and unrefined. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and it delivers smooth and timely shifts. Putting the RAV4 in Sport mode improves throttle response and lets the transmission hold gears a little longer for improved performance.

RAV4 Gas Mileage: Simply Excellent

The RAV4's fuel economy estimates are among the best in the compact SUV class. With standard front-wheel drive, it gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The best fuel economy you'll get from an all-wheel-drive version is 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

We review the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid separately.

RAV4 Ride and Handling: Well-Mannered and Balanced

This crossover has light, easy steering and good maneuverability in tight places. The ride quality is good, even over bumps in the road. The RAV4 gives drivers a decent amount of feedback from the road, and it remains composed around turns. Some road and wind noise permeate the cabin, but it's not a huge concern.

RAV4 Off-Roading: Finally, the TRD Treatment

The "RAV" in RAV4 stands for Recreational Activity Vehicle, and this SUV proves to be a fairly capable partner for adventurous types. Lower trims have optional all-wheel drive with multi-terrain select mode, which includes settings for mud and sand, rock and dirt, and snow.

A separate AWD system is optional in the Limited trim and standard in the Adventure and new-for-2020 TRD Off-Road trims. This setup has hill descent control as well as dynamic torque vectoring steering for better road grip. These models have a maximum ground clearance of 8.6 inches. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road has a TRD-tuned suspension and Falken all-terrain tires.

Read more about performance »

RAV4 Reliability

Is the Toyota RAV4 Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2020 Toyota RAV4 a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Toyota RAV4 Warranty

Toyota covers the RAV4 with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Toyota RAV4?

The cost of insuring a Toyota RAV4 will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

RAV4 Safety

RAV4 Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Toyota RAV4 an overall rating of five out of five stars. The RAV4 earned four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests, and five stars in the side crash test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2020 RAV4 a Top Safety Pick, giving it the highest rating of Good in six crash tests. Its headlights received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

The IIHS uses a different scale for evaluating collision avoidance features. It gave this Toyota the highest rating of Superior for the effectiveness of its standard front crash prevention system.

RAV4 Safety Features

All 2020 RAV4 models come standard with a rearview camera and the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 bundle of technologies. This includes forward pre-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high-beam headlights. This suite also includes lane trace assist. When using standard adaptive cruise control, this feature keeps the car centered in your lane and automatically steers the vehicle.

Optional safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, surround-view parking camera system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and front and rear parking sensors.

You can also spring for a rearview mirror camera, which replaces the standard rearview mirror with one that projects a feed from a camera mounted high on the back of the car. This helps you see what's behind you without having to look past second-row passengers or a packed cargo hold.  

Read more about safety »

RAV4 Dimensions and Weight

The Toyota RAV4 is 15.1 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,370 to 3,655 pounds, and its gross vehicle weight rating is between 4,610 and 4,705 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Built?

Toyota builds the 2020 RAV4 in Canada and Japan.

Which Toyota RAV4 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 comes in six trims: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, Limited, and the new-for-2020 TRD Off-Road. Toyota also produces the RAV4 Hybrid, which we review separately.

All nonhybrid RAV4 models have a standard four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional in some trims for $1,400. The RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road come standard with AWD.

Although the base model has a long list of standard features, it's worth stepping up to at least the XLE for its power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and four additional USB ports. It also offers heated seats, a moonroof, and a larger infotainment screen as options.

Go with the RAV4 XLE Premium to get synthetic leather upholstery. Adventure and TRD Off-Road are the most capable models for light off-roading.

Toyota RAV4 LE

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 LE starts at $25,850. Standard features include cloth upholstery, a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat, a four-way manually adjustable passenger seat, and a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa integration, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker stereo.

Standard driver assistance features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, lane tracing assist, traffic sign recognition, automatic high-beam headlights, and a rearview camera. For $590, you can add blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

Toyota RAV4 XLE

Starting at $27,145, the RAV4 XLE includes an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and four additional USB ports. Additional standard features include proximity keyless entry, heated outside mirrors, alloy wheels, and automatic headlights.

The Cold Weather package costs $925 and adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The $1,265 Convenience package adds a power liftgate and a moonroof. As long as you buy the Convenience package, you can add the $990 Audio Plus package, which upgrades the infotainment screen from 7 to 8 inches.

Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium

The RAV4 XLE Premium comes equipped with synthetic leather upholstery, a power liftgate, a moonroof, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Prices starts at $29,850.

In this trim, the Cold Weather package costs $1,075 and includes heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and driver's seat memory settings. For $1,570, you can add a package with an 8-inch infotainment screen and an 11-speaker JBL premium stereo.

You have to at least get the Audio Plus with JBL bundle if you want the optional Technology package, which costs an additional $1,265. It adds front and rear parking sensors, reverse automatic emergency braking, wireless device charging, a universal garage door opener, and a rearview mirror camera.  

Toyota RAV4 Adventure

The Toyota RAV4 Adventure costs $32,955. Additional features include an 8-inch touch screen, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, a household-style power outlet, and hill descent control.

The $1,015 Cold Weather package comes with heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. For $1,265, the Convenience package adds a height-adjustable power liftgate and a moonroof. It costs $1,620 to get navigation and a JBL stereo.

The Adventure trim is available with the same Technology package as the XLE Premium. 

Toyota RAV4 Limited

With a base price of $34,380, the RAV4 Limited includes heated front seats, a universal garage door opener, driver's seat memory settings, navigation, an 11-speaker JBL premium stereo, front and rear parking sensors, and reverse automatic emergency braking.

In this trim, the Cold Weather package costs $1,015 and includes heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The $1,025 Advanced Technology package adds a hands-free liftgate, a surround-view parking camera system, and wireless device charging. That package is also available with a panoramic glass roof for $1,225.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

The all-new RAV4 TRD Off-Road starts at $35,180 and comes with all-terrain tires and a TRD-tuned suspension.

An optional Cold Weather package ($1,015) adds heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Navigation and a JBL stereo are optional for $1,620.

The Technology package, which requires the upgraded stereo and navigation, adds front and rear parking sensors, reverse automatic emergency braking, a surround-view parking camera system, wireless device charging, a universal garage door opener, and a rearview mirror camera.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2020 Toyota RAV4 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 is a very good compact SUV, and it's easy to see why it’s one of the best-selling nameplates in the United States. It delivers impressive fuel economy and comes loaded with plenty of standard features. This Toyota also has an upscale, roomy interior. However, this is a highly competitive segment, and there are some rivals with punchier engines and quieter cabins.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "There's a RAV4 for just about anyone, and it's safe to say the RAV4 should remain near the top of the market for years to come." -- Autotrader
  • "The RAV4 is a … genuinely satisfying crossover. Remarkably pleasant to drive, very functional for everyday life and generously equipped with safety technology, the … Toyota RAV4 would make a great addition to anybody's garage." -- CNET (2019)
  • "The new RAV4's inherent goodness means that this newly diverse lineup of models serves to usefully broaden its appeal rather than making up for some deficiency. So if we're destined to see hundreds of thousands of these things crowding the road, at least we can be glad that they won't all be the same." -- Car and Driver (2019)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: February 6, 2020

Class-Leading Sales: The RAV4 finished 2019 as the top-selling compact SUV, just ahead of both the Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V for the top spot. The RAV4 outsold the CR-V by 17 percent. Dealerships sold a similar number of RAV4 models last year relative to 2018.

Research more buying advice »
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