2021 Toyota RAV4 Review – Pros And Cons

By CarsFellow 17 Min Read

2021 Toyota RAV4 is a pleasant SUV that gives a smooth ride. It has a roomy interior that is quite easy to live with and offers plenty of utility. It brakes and handles in a very positive way. RAV4 is fuel-efficient.

The just satisfactory engine and indifferent steering prevent it from being a top choice for a small SUV.

What is New in 2021 Toyota RAV4?

The new model has gained a variety of improvements, which includes a more powerful engine, more safety features, and bolder styling.

All of the changes have enhanced the popularity of RAV4 tremendously; it has become one of the best-selling vehicles in America. RAV4 is quite roomy, spacious, and has plenty of space for the passengers and cargo.


  • 2021 Toyota RAV4 has great looks
  • Tough-looking TRD off-road
  • Good cargo space
  • Standard active safety features
  • Comfortable and high-class cabin
  • A large number of standard features
  • A very excellent fuel economy


  • Compromised interiors
  • Off-road hardware is more about looks
  • Expensive top trims
  • The engine may grow louder under the heavy throttle
  • High base price for the class

What is New in 2021 Toyota RAV4?

 How does the RAV4 Drive?

The RAV4 is not impressive here. The engine is willing around down; passing and merging is drama-free. If you are in a rush, you will feel the engine’s final modest powerful delivery. In the Edmunds testing, it took 9.1 seconds to cover the 0-60 mph, which is a little bit slower compared to other vehicles.

The grip of the steering is vague at the central point and do not offer appropriate levels of feel and heft.

The RAV4 has an optional upgraded AWD system, which includes the rear-axle torque vectoring.

It has more advanced traction control systems with the selectable terrain setting and hill descent control. The ground clearance gives the RAV4 adventure above-average off-road for the small SUV.

How Comfortable is the 2021 Toyota RAV4?

RAV4 suspension is tuned to strike the excellent balance between control and softness. The body does not bound or floats when you drive over the bumps, and small to moderate shock are easily absorbed without any harm.

The front seats are nicely padded appropriately. The seat bottoms tend to feel flat on the long drives. The passenger’s side lacks the adjustments, which makes it difficult to get a comfortable position/

At the highway speeds, 2021 Toyota RAV4 used to remain quiet. But when you hit the gas for the burst of speed, the engine sound gets rather coarse. The climate system’s performance is not satisfactory. The air distribution is ideal, with the forward vents which can be closed off entirely and vents for the back seat.

How is the interior of the 2021 Toyota RAV4?

The driving position, roominess, and ease of entry or exit are all good. But the front passenger seat is quite high and is not adjustable. The driver’s seat ad steering wheel offers a good range of adjustments. The outward visibility is praiseworthy.

The control layout is intuitive with a large, easy to read labeling. Audio system and climate systems controls are islands unto themselves. And all the things are in the right position, where they should be.

Big rubberized climate control knobs are very helpful. The touchscreen is much away from the driver. The turning knob needs a reach to twist.

How is the interior of the 2021 Toyota RAV4?

How is Technology?

The interface of 2021 Toyota RAV4 is a mixture of touch screen and buttons, and everyone can learn them without using the owner’s manual.  The RAV4 is relatively new, and the touchscreens’ graphics look up to date. The sound system works very well.

The standard suite of the driver aids is impressive. It includes adaptive cruise control, which works down to 0 mph. It has an automatic emergency braking, drowsy drier detection, automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, and Line tracing Assist.

What About The Storage?

2021 Toyota RAV4 cargo hold is the biggest in its class. There are 37.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and 69.8 cubic feet with them stowed. The RAV4 is also easy to load. In upfront, the cabin has many shelves and bins to handle the assorted road trips paraphernalia.

If you are planning for towing, some versions of RAV4 can pull up to 3500 pounds. And which is above the average for a small SUV.

Parents with young kids will appreciate the 2021 Toyota RAV4. It is quite easy to locate and connect safety seats to the lower car seat anchors. And just like it, tethering to the three upper anchors is very easy.

Forward-facing seats and boosters fit readily, but installing a rear-facing infant seat on the passenger’s side will likely require scooting the first chair up. The too-high front passenger seat can be an issue.

How Economical is The 2021 RAV4?

EPA estimates the RAV4 will get 27-30 mpg in the combined city/highway driving, depending on the powertrain and trim level. In an AWD adventure, with tree people, luggage, and equipment; RAV4 covered more than 7000 miles.

Is Toyota RAV4 a good SUV?

Yes, it is a great compact SUV. RAV4 comes with standard features, which include the healthy dose of driver assistance technology and a user-friendly infotainment system with the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

RAV4 has a very well made cabin with two rows of spacious seats and the right amount of cargo space for the class.

The RAV4 has the perfect combination of cargo and passenger space, and reliability rate, positives reviews, and family-friendly features, which make it the best compact SUV for the families.

2021 Toyota RAV4 offers a comfortable ride, and it has an excellent fuel economy for the segment. The engine is capable of most of the typical driving situations. But in some positions, it may get noisy when you floor the gas pedal.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Features


The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD off-road adds more tail-ridding goodies. The new android auto compatibility complements an outstanding suite of the basic features in every RAV4.

Moreover, it includes at least a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, one USB charger, automatic emergency braking, Bluetooth connectivity, and power features.

The proper basic equips with a generous touchscreen, which grows to 8.0 inches on Adventure, Limited, and TRD off-road trims.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 has a TRD off-road to its lineup of LE, XLE, XLE premium and limited trim levels. All-wheel drive is optional and costs about $1,400 on non-hybrid models.

Hybrid, Adventure, and TRD off-road RAV4s are fortified with all-wheel drive as basic equipment.

The adventure and TRD off-road versions appeal to the outdoorsy buyers thanks to their beefed-up hardware. Both of them use the same inline-4 rated at 203 hp as the rest of the gas-powered range.

Adventure models add a 19-inch wheel, roof rails, dual-zone climate control, and the 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, synthetic leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, digital instrument cluster. Orange accents inside, much softer interior materials, and the best household-styled power plug.

Top 2021 Toyota RAV4 limited models go all-in with synthetic leather upholstery, the premium audio, 19-inch alloy wheels, and a unique bumper. For the $36,900 with all-wheel drive, 2021 Toyota RAV4 limited costs as much as the Lexus NX, which has power and interior materials.

The RAV4 hybrid versions are equipped with the gas-powered counterparts.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Performance

2021 Toyota RAV4 is available TRD off-road package, which adds much to the already–macho soft-roader’s looks-just, not much hardware.

Inline-4 power each crossover TRD off-road or otherwise. The RAV4 hybrids add an electric motor and batteries for better fuel efficiency but are not much powerful.

RAV4 has got an average score for the performance because it does everything very well. The gas-only 2021 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a workaday 2.5-liter inline-4 paired to an 8-speed automatic, which makes up to 203 hp.

The front-wheel-drive is standard on all crossovers.

The company offers all-wheel-drive systems in the 2021 Toyota RAV4: LE and XLE trims get a conventional system, which shuttles power around unobtrusively; TRD off-road, adventure and Limited versions get an all-wheel-drive system, which use the brakes to grip side to side.

When the latter system detects slip in the wheels, it will brake only those wheels for the better grip to the wheels, which are not slipping. It is a click system but slightly dents the fuel economy.

The stiff body frame and four-wheel independent suspension give the RAV4 a supple ride over the rough bumps. But the competitors like Subaru and Honda CR-V are a little softer.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Engine

  • 2021 Toyota RAV4 Engine

The vehicle features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The horsepower rating is highest among the compact SUVs equipped with the base engine.

The engine is the perfect match for the RAV4. It helps the drivers get moving with a little drama, and it does not have a turbocharger.

  • Gas Mileage

RAV4 offers excellent gas mileage, and therefore it has the best fuel economy as compared to others. It has a standard front-wheel drive and has a 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

From the all-wheel drive, you can get the best fuel economy of 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

  • Rav4 Ride and Handling

RAV4 has a light, smooth steering and is quite balanced. The ride quality is quite good. Drivers give a decent amount of feedback from the road. Some roads and wind noise permeate the cabin, but it is not a huge concern.

  • Rav4 off-Roading

RAV and RAV$ stand for the recreational activity vehicle, and SUV proves to be a reasonably capable partner for the adventure-loving riders. The lower trims have an optional all-wheel drive with multi-terrain select mode.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Safety

Federal and independent safety officials give high ranks to the 2021 Toyota RAV4 for its crashworthiness.

The standard automatic emergency braking on every model adds to the Toyota crossover’s impressive resume.

The IIHS called 2021 Toyota RAV4 a top safety pick. The front crash prevention system rated superior at preventing forward crashes.

2021 Toyota RAV4 is equipped with an automatic emergency braking system, have active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.

The blind-spot monitors are standard on the XLE and higher trim levels. And which is exceptional safety hardware and software for the 2021 Toyota RAV4, and it can help to save the lives of people on the road.

  • RAV4 Crash Test Results

The vehicle has got five stars from the National Highway Traffic Administration and four stars from crash and rollover tests. Moreover, RAV4got five stars in the side crash test.

The Insurance Institute for the Highway safety named the 2021 Toyota RAV4 a Top Safety Pick and gave the highest rating. The headlights got the second-lowest rating.

  • RAV4 Safety Features

All of the RAV4 models have a rearview camera and Toyota safety sense 2.0 bundles of technologies. It includes the forward pre-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist, and many more.

Optional safety features include,

  • The blind-spot monitoring
  • rear cross-traffic alert
  • reverse automatic emergency braking
  • view parking camera system
  • front and rear parking sensors.

Fuel economy

The RAV4 is quite economical with its fuel as compared to the other compact crossovers. You need to spend more money, and 2021 Toyota RAV4 will be more frugal with the fuel compared to other cars on the road.

The EPA rates the front-wheel-drive version of the RAV4 at 26 mpg city, 35 highway and 30 combined.

Adding all-wheel drive does not sink the fuel economy either. The EPA rates most Toyota RAV4 AWD models at 25/33/28 mpg. And RAV4 LE with all-wheel drives fares slightly better: 27/34/30 mpg.

2021 Toyota RAV4 with hybrid batteries gives the best performance. It is equipped with all-wheel-drive, the RAV4 hybrid rates 41/38/40 mpg, which is quite better as compared to many others.

The CR-V car rates up to 30 mpg combined in most of the available configurations that are much better than the competitors. In contrast, Chevy Equinox rates up to 28mpg combined, and the Ford Escape rates up to 30 mpg combined with the front-wheel-drive.

How Much 2021 Toyota RAV4 Cost?

2021 Toyota RAV4 starts from $25,850, which is one of the highest base prices among compact SUVs. The midrange XLE premium trim details for around $30,000, while the limited ($34,380) and TRD off-road (35,280) are the most expensive versions.

It adds the major optional features and packages to some upper-end trims can push this SUV’s cost to $40,000.

How Much Does it Cost to Insure the 2021 Toyota RAV4?

The insurance cost of 2021 Toyota RAV4 depends on the deductible, level of coverage, and type of insurance. Besides it, your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have a significant impact on the insurance rates.

Final Thoughts

The 2021 Toyota RAv4 is a very reliable and excellent compact SUV. It delivers an impressive fuel economy and comes with plenty of standard features.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 also has an upscale, roomy interior. It is a highly competitive segment, and there are rivals with punchier engines and quieter cabins.

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