New 2020 Toyota RAV4 SUV
Toyota RAV4 SUV
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 continues to deliver value, fuel economy and safety in a compact SUV with a wide range of models, including a hybrid.
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2020 Toyota RAV4 KBB Expert Review
Although the styling makes it appear like a mini 4Runner, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 is actually built on Toyota’s latest global architecture platform shared with the Camry sedan. This base gives the RAV4 its solid feel, excellent safety scores and car-like ride and handling.
When it comes to interior room, size and features, the 2020 RAV4 compact SUV remains competitive with the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue, although its pricing can quickly move above these rivals once options are added.
The RAV4 offers good power and fuel economy, and its hybrid models serve as both performance and fuel-economy leaders. New this year is the TRD Off-Road that adds a bit more capability to the Adventure trim’s already competent off-road abilities, making it a good match to the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.
You'll Like This Car If...
- Toyota quality & reliability
- Roomy interior
- Powerful hybrid models
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto both standard
- Light off-road ability
You May Not Like This Car If...
- More expensive than comparably-equipped rivals
- Interior noise levels
- Navigation offered only on top trims
- No leather-seating option
What's New for 2020
- Android Auto
- TRD Off-Road trim
- SiriusXM added to LE & XLE audio systems (3-month free trail)
- Power driver’s seat added to XLE trim
- Reshuffling of some features into new packages
The non-hybrid Toyota RAV4’s 2.5-liter engine uses an 8-speed automatic transmission, which we drove in an XLE model. Most compact SUV buyers will be happy with the engine’s power, and the transmission does a fine job. The 8-speed is eager to upshift, optimizing fuel economy. While there was some road noise and vibration, wind noise was extremely low. The suspension offered a pleasant balance of comfort and handling ability, and the seats are comfortable, even on extended drives.
The Adventure model, with its tall stance and large wheel-and-tire package, came equipped with torque vectoring, which can send up to 50 percent of torque to the rear wheels and can control torque distribution to the left and right rear wheels. This is helpful off-road, provides more confidence in inclement weather, and improves handling and cornering. This system is also employed on the new TRD Off-Road, which gets even beefier tires as well as an off-road suspension.
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 XSE HV, the sportiest model in the line, is a hybrid — it offers the most available power in the RAV4 lineup (219 horsepower versus 203), plus a sport-tuned suspension that’s exclusive to the XSE. The sport-tuned suspension has firmer damping, a more aggressive spring rate, and retuned shocks. The hybrid has excellent power off the line, and has very good power for mid-range passing, a big benefit when driving at freeway speeds.
RAV4 XSE HYBRID MODEL
It’s not often that a car lineup’s most fuel-efficient model is also its best performer, but that’s the case with the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Quick acceleration and a sport-tuned suspension ensure top-notch performance, while hybrid availability on the LE trim keeps the price under $30,000.
JBL PREMIUM AUDIO
With 10 speakers, a power subwoofer and an 800-watt amp, the RAV4’s JBL audio system brings any type of music to life. Standard on the Limited and available on the XLE Premium, Adventure and TRD Off-Road, this system is one of the better high-end premium audio systems and well worth the $1,570 price tag.
Once dull and dark inside, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 has one of the finest interiors in its class. The cabin looks and feels more upscale, with plenty of soft-touch materials on the dash and center armrest. The center stack is dominated by a crisp, bright 7-inch screen (8-inch on Limited, Adventure and TRD models), which serves as the control center for audio, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa, with physical buttons on both sides of the screen. There are also giant grippy volume, tuning and temperature knobs below.
You can choose from cloth or 2-tone SofTex seats (no leather), but a passenger-side power seat isn’t available. Further enhancing the RAV4’s new attitude: The XSE model dons blue accents and stitching, and the Adventure model gets splashes of orange.
Toyota’s RAV4 compact-crossover SUV is like no RAV4 before it. Gone are the simple, generic lines, replaced by an aggressive, truck-like grille and front end complemented by sharp angles and geometric shapes throughout the body. Two-tone paint schemes on some trims further help the RAV4 stand out, as do rugged wheel designs.
Black body cladding, large over-fenders and unique front bumpers grace the Adventure and TRD Off-Road trims, while the XLE and Limited get a more elegant single paint color, polished alloy wheels and less aggressive tires. The RAV4 comes standard with 17-inch wheels, but 18- and 19-inch wheels are also available.
Notable Standard Equipment
All non-hybrid 2020 Toyota RAV4s come with a 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower engine, an 8-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive (FWD). All RAV4s come with eight airbags, plus Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which includes adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision system with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, lane-departure warning with steering assist, road-sign assist, and lane-tracing assist.
They also include Entune 3.0 on their equipment list, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 6-speaker audio system, a 7-inch touch screen, Siri Eyes Free and Bluetooth.
Cloth seats, manual-seat adjustment, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with redundant stereo controls, power windows, mirrors and door locks, a USB port and a rearview camera are standard. The base LE model comes with 17-inch steel wheels, LED headlights and taillights, and automatic high beams.
Notable Optional Equipment
Upgrades include auto on/off headlights, a panoramic moonroof, heated side mirrors, dual-zone climate control, SofTex seats, and heated and cooled front seats with memory controls. Rear-seat vents, which weren’t offered with the previous RAV4, are now available.
Also available are a digital rearview mirror, navigation, a camera that provides an overhead 360-degree view, push-button start, five USB ports, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, an 8-inch touch screen, Qi wireless smartphone charging, and JBL’s 11-speaker/800-watt Premium Audio system.
Nineteen-inch wheels are included on the options sheet, as is a contrasting-color roof. You can also opt for dynamic torque vectoring and a multi-terrain select system, which changes vehicle settings based on the type of surface you’re driving on. All-wheel drive (AWD) is optional on the RAV4 and standard on the XSE Hybrid.
Under the Hood
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 comes standard with a 203-horsepower 4-cylinder engine controlled through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is as high as 26-mpg city/35-mpg highway/30-mpg combined, which is near best-in-class. Auto stop/start is standard on upper trims.
On the hybrid side, a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine works with two electric motors and a sealed nickel-metal hydride battery pack that’s small enough to fit under the rear seats instead of taking up space in the cargo area. The Hybrid comes with AWD and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The EPA estimates fuel economy for the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid at 41 mpg around town, 38 on the highway and 40-mpg combined, giving it the best fuel economy in its class. With a full tank, the hybrid can travel nearly 600 miles on a single tank of gas.
203 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/35 mpg (FWD with start/stop), 26/35 mpg (FWD without stop/start), 27/33 mpg (AWD with stop/start), 27/34 mpg (AWD without stop/start), 25/33 mpg (Adventure AWD), 25/32 mpg (TRD Off-Road AWD)
2.5-liter inline-4 engine + electric motors (RAV4 XSE Hybrid)
219 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm (peak output with gasoline and electric combined)
163 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy (estimated): 41/38 mpg
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 LE has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price starting at $26,970, including the $1,120 destination charge. With this generation of the RAV4, Toyota is making a strong value statement. Given its level of standard equipment, the entry-level RAV4 is competitively priced against a similarly equipped Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue or Subaru Forester. Once you move away from the base LE trim, however, the RAV4’s pricing runs higher than all of them.
The XLE comes in at $28,265, the XLE Premium at $30,970, the Adventure at $34,075, the Limited at $35,500 and the new TRD Off-Road at $36,300. Where not standard, all-wheel drive adds another $1,400 to the bottom line. The AWD hybrid models offer an even stronger value proposition, with more power and better fuel economy than the non-hybrid RAV4. The RAV4 LE Hybrid starts at $29,220, the XLE Hybrid at $30,515, the XSE Hybrid at $35,170 and the Limited Hybrid at $37,750.
As for resale, the RAV4 is not the segment leader it once was, with projected 5-year values nowhere near those of the Subaru Forester, close to the Honda CR-V and better than the Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape and Chevrolet Equinox. The RAV4 Hybrid numbers hold up much better, on par with the non-hybrid Subaru Forester and better than the Nissan Rogue Hybrid. Before you set out to purchase a new 2020 RAV4, be sure to check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area have paid for their RAV4s.
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How does it compare?
|#1||2020 Toyota RAV4||203|
|#2||2020 Honda CR‑V||190|
|#3||2020 MAZDA CX‑5||187|
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|#1||2020 Buick Encore||31|
|#2||2020 Honda HR‑V||30|
|#3||2020 Toyota RAV4||30|
|#4||2020 Hyundai Kona||30|
|#5||2020 Nissan Rogue||29|
|#1||2020 Hyundai Santa Fe||4.9 / 5|
|#2||2020 Volkswagen Tiguan||4.9 / 5|
|#3||2020 Kia Sportage||4.8 / 5|
|#4||2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross||4.8 / 5|
|#22||2020 Toyota RAV4||3.8 / 5|
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