Toyota redesigned its RAV4 compact crossover into a fifth generation in 2019. The popular model has been sold in Canada since the late 1990s and is manufactured by Toyota in southern Ontario.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
For 2021, the RAV4’s only change is the addition of an engine auto stop/start system for gas-powered models in LE and XLE trim.
Toyota offers the gas-powered RAV4 in LE, XLE, Trail and Limited trims, while the Hybrid variant comes in LE, XLE, XSE and Limited.
Gas models use a 2.5L four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Hybrid versions match the 2.5L with a continuously variable transmission and front and rear electric motors that provide standard AWD.
Toyota also sells a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) RAV4 called Prime; it’s covered in a separate buyer’s guide entry.
RAV4 LE comes with power door locks, keyless entry, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, power windows, heated front seats, cloth upholstery, manual front seat adjustments, a 4.2-inch gauge cluster display, air conditioning, 17-inch steel wheels, LED headlights and daytime running lights, power-adjustable/heated side mirrors, black roof rails and colour-matched door handles.
LE Hybrid models add dual-zone automatic climate control.
Also standard across the line are blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams, radar cruise control, and forward collision detection with automatic braking.
XLE trim adds passive keyless entry, push-button engine start, a power tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, a heated/leather-trimmed steering wheel, power driver’s seat adjustments, dual-zone automatic climate control (gas models), fog lights, a sunroof, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
XLE Hybrid brings a sport-tuned front suspension, five USB charging ports, and projector-style LED headlights.
RAV4’s Trail package comes only with the gas powertrain and brings wireless smartphone charging, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with satellite radio and Toyota’s Audio Plus with Remote, ventilated front seats, Softex artificial leather upholstery, wireless smartphone charging, a 7.0-inch digital gauge display, bridge-type roof rails, 19-inch wheels, and torque-vectoring AWD.
RAV4 Hybrid XSE builds on the Hybrid XLE package, adding the 8.0-inch touchscreen, satellite radio and Audio Plus with Remote, along with mixed artificial leather upholstery, 7.0-inch gauge cluster screen, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 18-inch wheels, and black roof and grille treatments.
Limited trim gets a panoramic view monitor with bird’s eye camera, parking sensors, an upgraded rear cross traffic alert system with automatic braking, hands-free tailgate, navigation, an 11-speaker stereo, heated rear seats, driver’s seat memory, camera-based rearview mirror, LED fog lights, chrome door handles, and 19-inch wheels.
Limited Hybrid builds on XLE Hybrid by adding wireless smartphone charging, hands-free tailgate, navigation, 11-speaker stereo, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, driver memory, camera-based mirror, LED fog lights, and chrome door handles.
XLE trim can be optioned with a premium package that adds a leather-trimmed shifter, 8.0-inch touchscreen, driver’s seat memory, satellite radio, 19-inch wheels, and mixed artificial leather seating.
Trail offers a TRD Off Road pack of upgraded suspension, 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, premium audio with remote, navigation, an 11-speaker stereo, and an underbody skid plate.
RAV4 Hybrid’s only option is a tech package for XSE trim that brings wireless smartphone charging, LED fog lights, parking sensors, navigation, 11-speaker stereo, camera-based rearview mirror, and rear cross alert with automatic braking.
The RAV4’s new auto stop/start system reduces city fuel consumption, with estimates of 8.5/6.8 L/100 km (city/highway) with FWD and 8.8/7.1 with AWD in gas-powered models. Models without stop/start are rated 8.8/6.8 (FWD) and 9.4/7.1 (AWD).
The Trail model’s estimates are 9.4/7.1 L/100 km (city/highway) in standard form, and 9.5/7.4 with the TRD Off-Road package.
RAV4 Hybrid’s estimates are 5.8/6.3 L/100 km (city/highway).
The RAV4 is a heavyweight in the compact crossover segment, along with other household names like the Honda CR-V and Ford’s Escape. Other notable names in the category include the Hyundai Tucson and Kia’s Sportage from South Korea; North America’s Jeep Cherokee, and the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain twins; Japan’s Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, and Mitsubishi Outlander; and Germany’s Volkswagen Tiguan.