Wednesday, October 14, 2020

2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE AWD

Highlight:  For the 2020 model year, Toyota has extended its hybrid battery warranty from 8 years or 100,000 miles to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $35,625 (Base LE MSRP$29,675)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; LED daytime running lights; all-wheel drive; a vehicle stability system; a traction control system; a pre-collision braking system with pedestrian protection; a lane departure alert system; a sway warning system; automatic high beams; road sign assist; lane trace assist; a radar activated cruise control system; a brake hold feature; a hill assist control system; a trailer sway control system; a back up camera; and a tire pressure monitoring system 

Standard Equipment (Base LE Model): 17-inch alloy wheels; a hybrid electric motor; driving modes; active grille shutters to save fuel; dual chrome exhaust tips; cloth seats; manually adjusted front seats;  partially reclining rear seats with center armrest; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a dual zone a/c system; a 7-inch infotainment screen; black roof rails;and rear and rear side privacy glass

Standard Equipment (XSE): 18-inch black painted wheels; a push button start ignition starter; pseudo leather and cloth; an 8-inch infotainment screen; in-car Wi-Fi; a power driver’s seat; heated front seats; a leather trimmed manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a remote keyless entry system; an electronic blind sport monitor; a power moonroof; a power liftgate; a digital rearview mirror; a two tone exterior color; black heated outside power mirrors; front center vent; sliding sun visor extension; and a rear cargo cover  

Options:  None

Other Trim Levels:



Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/HD

Apple CarPlay Compatible: Yes

Android Compatible: Yes

Amazon Alexa Compatible: Yes

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Hybrid Warranty: 10 years or 150,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder turbo/176-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 41-city/38-hwy

What’s New: After being reworked in 2019, the RAV4 hybrid is literally a carryover model.

Why: Toyota has finally gotten the styling right on this generation’s larger, bolder looking RAV4. With its more athletic design, the compact crossover no longer wears a bland exterior and interior design. Buyers who purchase the RAV4 no longer have to sacrifice style and a premium interior for dependability.

The roomier RAV4 hybrid, which is only available in an all-wheel drive configuration, is available in several trims.

In fact, Toyota’s compact hybrid crossover has a driving range of 580 miles, before the vehicle needs to be refueled. The highway gas mileage exceeds the competitors. The overall combined mileage is on par with the Ford Escape all-wheel drive hybrid, according to The RAV4 hybrid AWD still inks out a mile more than the Escape hybrid.

Moreover, its quite obvious that Toyota has placed more emphasis on the interior cabin. Its noticeable from the higher grade quality of materials that was utilized to trim out the vehicle. In the competitive compact crossover segment, Toyota has gone as far to add a new digital instrument cluster, a wireless smartphone charger, an iPad-like infotainment screen and a more pronounced layout for the designer speakers. In the previous generation RAV4, Toyota has fallen short in the area of providing an appealing interior. However, with consumers hunger for such amenities, Toyota realized in order for the RAV4 to remain number one in this segment, they had to up the ante.

The RAV4 is also available with such amenities as an oversized sunroof, larger 19-inch wheels, heated rear seats, a swipe-and-open foot-activated rear liftgate and a digital camera similar to one that first appeared in the Cadillac brand a few years ago.

Also we must note that an all-electric model is in the pipeline for 2021, making it the first in the segment to head down this road or play in this lane, so to speak.

Added to that, the hybrid warranty has been expanded from 8 years to 100,000 miles to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

Lastly, Toyota has finally made a number of the self-driving features most automakers are charging a premium for, as standard equipment. No matter what trim buyers opt for, one can expect everything from a lane departure assist system to a radar activated cruise control system to be standard on their RAV4.    

But: While Toyota has made significant upgrades with the interior coupled with the ride and driving capabilities, the Honda CR-V hybrid drives and feels more like a midsize crossover, with its airy interior.

Also the Ford Escape hybrid is available in a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. The front wheel drive Escape offers a best-in-class 41 combined mpg, while offering 44 mpg, when city driving.

Verdict: Being that the RAV4 is Toyota’s best-selling vehicle, it’s a great move for that the Japanese automaker is finally placing an emphasis on giving consumers a more premium look and feel – both inside and out. In one of the hottest vehicle segments in the industry, Toyota realized it could no longer rest on one's laurels.

In our opinion, this is the best RAV4 to date.

Competition:  Ford Escape Hybrid; and Honda CR-V Hybrid 

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