The Toyota Rav4 has secured its place as one of the most popular sports utility vehicles in the marketplace, and for great reasons. The Rav4 comes in a variety of different trim levels that feature different features and benefits.
As per Toyota, the LE (most basic level), MSRP starts at $24,350 and will come with a large variety of standard features. If top-of-the-line luxury features and safety technology is your priority, the Limited (top level trim), MSRP starts at $31,510.
Before we separate the Toyota Rav4 into the different trim levels it is also important to understand that the vehicle is also available with a Hybrid drive train. That means that an electric motor works in harmony with a gasoline engine to provide greater fuel economy than a traditional gasoline engine alone.
The unique features of the LE include back-up camera, remote key-less entry, 17-inch steel wheels, and eight airbags. For interior features there are cloth seats and the basic Toyota Entune audio system.
This is a fantastic choice if your main concern is price and reliability. The LE trim allows you to drive an amazing vehicle at a great starting price.
The XLE is the next step up from the LE trim. It includes all the features of LE Trim as well as trading out the steel wheels for 17-inch alloy wheels, the upgraded Entune Audio Plus system, a 4.2-inch multimedia digital screen, and Sirius XM radio compatibility. Some more features included in the XLE are the power liftgate (trunk), dual zone automatic climate control, and standard moon-roof.
As you can tell it has some great upgraded features compared to the LE competition.
Sliding in above the XLE trim is the SE trim, meaning “Sport Edition.” The most noticeable exterior upgrades include the 18″ sport alloy wheels, LED projector beam headlights, and special two-tone paint.
There are also bonus safety features compared to the LE and XLE. The included Blind-Spot Monitoring system as well as Rear Cross-Traffic Alert system are designed to make driving safe and easy in all situations, from the parking lot to the freeway.
More great features include smart-key entry system, SofTex trim leather seats, unique sports suspension, and performance paddle-shifters mounted behind the steering wheel.
The King of the Rav4 trims. It includes the features from the lower trim levels with the exception of sports edition styling, suspension, and paddle-shifters. The Limited upgrades are 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, and Toyota Safety Sense P.
Toyota Safety Sense P is a package that includes pre-collision avoidance systems, lane-departure alerts, dynamic radar cruise control, and automatic high-beams. These systems are designed to make driving the Toyota Rav4 as safe as possible and can be demonstrated upon your arrival at a Toyota dealership.
Hybrid: XLE and Limited
The Rav4 comes available as a hybrid vehicle where EPA-estimates city driving of 34 mpg and highway driving of 31 mpg. This beats the traditional Rav4 EPA-estimated miles per gallon of 23 city driving and 30 mpg highway driving.
The pros and cons of purchasing a Hybrid Rav4 are worth considering. For the pros, you will spend less money on gasoline (better fuel efficiency). That is especially true if your driving includes time spent in traffic or in the city. The cons are a higher MSRP (purchase price) than the traditional Rav4.
The Rav4 vs. Competitors
The Rav4 has led the way in the small SUV segment of vehicles since its introduction in 1994. However, there is competition from other manufacturers.
The Honda CR-V is the most common cited competitor but has several drawbacks compared to the Toyota Rav4. The CR-V has less interior space compared to the Toyota Rav4. Small differences like that matter when you are loading up the family and gear for a camping trip. The Rav4 is also more affordable than the CR-V when equipped with the same features.
The CR-V bests the Rav4 with slightly higher safety ratings according to IIHS testing. Visit both Honda and Toyota to see the vehicles in action to determine the right vehicle purchase decision.
Purchasing a new vehicle is an exciting event and researching is just a small part of the necessary process. Now go out there and find the right vehicle for you!