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Ample SUV cargo space and road manners.

Toyota RAV4 Review: Hero | CarMax

Now in its fifth generation, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is a fantastic crossover that can navigate the city and tackle weekend trips with ease. This year's model sees the addition of an XLE Premium trim to the lineup, and the TRD Off-Road edition has a new stainless steel front skid plate.

While we currently do not have many 2021 Toyota RAV4s on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future. If you love the 2021 model, you should also consider prior model years of the Toyota RAV4 with similar features.

Here's what you'll learn in this 2021 Toyota RAV4 review:

Key Specs and Features

MPG:

  • The 2021 Toyota RAV4 with the standard 2.5L engine and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined for the LE (FWD and AWD), XLE, XLE Premium, and Limited FWD trim levels.1
  • The 2021 Toyota RAV4 with the standard 2.5L engine and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined for the XLE and XLE Premium AWD.1
  • The 2021 Toyota RAV4 with the standard 2.5L engine and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined for the Adventure, TRD Off-Road, and Limited AWD.1

Cargo Space:

Toyota RAV4 Review: Trunk | CarMax
  • Behind the front row with the second row folded, the RAV4 offers 69.8 cu-ft of storage space.
  • Behind the second row, the RAV4 offers 37.5 cu-ft of storage space.

Towing Capacity:

  • The towing capacity of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is an estimated 1,500 pounds with the 2.5L inline-four engine in the LE, XLE, XLE Premium, and Limited trims, when properly equipped.2
  • The Adventure Grade and TRD iterations of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 can tow an estimated 3,500 pounds with the 2.5L engine, when properly equipped.2

Seating capacity:

Toyota RAV4 Review: Front seats | CarMax
  • The 2021 Toyota RAV4 can seat up to five people.
Toyota RAV4 Review: Backseats| CarMax

Engine Options:

  • The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Tech Features:

Toyota RAV4 Review: Cell | CarMax

Every 2021 Toyota RAV4 is flush with the newest technology.

  • The RAV4 LE trim includes a seven-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay®; connectivity, and Android Auto connectivity.
  • The XLE variant adds additional USB charging ports and blind-spot monitoring.
  • The XLE Premium version also includes a sunroof and power liftgate.
  • The TRD Off-Road trim adds off-road-tuned suspension.
  • The Adventure trim omits the sunroof and power liftgate but adds selectable terrain drive modes and hill descent control and upgrades to an eight-inch touchscreen.
  • The top of the line, the RAV4 Limited, includes the sunroof and power liftgate and also includes heated front seats, a digital rearview mirror, navigation, and an 11-speaker premium JBL® audio system.

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Variety of Trim Levels

Toyota RAV4 Review: Exterior | CarMax

Whether you have your eye on a generously-equipped, streamlined crossover or an off-road-capable machine, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 can fulfill your needs. Even the base model comes with 60/40-split, reclining fold-flat rear seat with center armrest and cup holders. You'll also get a tilt and telescoping, three-spoke steering wheel with controls for audio, touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and cruise control. Working your way up the trim ladder, you can add the features that mean the most to you, whether that's a sunroof or a premium audio system. This variety means you'll be able to take this vehicle to the grocery store in town or a campsite to get away any time you want.

2. Plenty of Cargo Space

The 2021 RAV4 has an ample cargo hold for golf clubs, camping gear, and more. With the second row stowed, you'll have 69.8 cu-ft of storage space, which compares favorably with other SUVs in its class. A myriad of bins and nooks give you options to store small things as well — like snacks, maps, and charging cords. The low cargo floor in the RAV4 is a boon for anyone who needs to load something in the back, and you'll appreciate the comfortable level of access to the seats — a great feature for those with small kids or anyone with mobility challenges.

3. Off-road Ready

Toyota RAV4 Review: Engine | CarMax

Standard with the 2.5L four-cylinder engine, the RAV4 is certainly capable in countless road conditions. For a little extra off-road punch, opt for the Adventure or TRD Off-Road trim, both of which include the same standard engine. Both of these upgrades include a dual-zone automatic climate control system with a dust and pollen filter, which is terrific for dusty off-road situations.

4. Driver Assist Features

Toyota RAV4 Review: Dashboard | CarMax

A couple of years ago, Toyota made its driver-assist suite standard on all models. That's a spectacular addition for you and any other drivers in your household, with features like a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, lane-tracing assist, automatic high beams, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, and road sign assist. All RAV4 models include a backup camera, and the upper trims also include blind-spot monitoring.

5. Colorful Exterior Color Options

Not only is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 versatile, it's colorful. Available in 12 diverse colors, the RAV4 comes in Super White, Midnight Black and everything in between. A few models come in new color combinations, like Lunar Rock with Ice Edge Roof, which is only for the TRD Off-Road and Adventure trims. You can choose from nine hues even on the base model.


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What You Need to Know

Available Trims

LE: Includes a seven-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, a six-speaker sound system, and more.

XLE: Adds keyless entry and ignition, power-adjustable driver's seat, blind-spot monitor, dual-zone automatic climate control, and additional USB charging ports.

XLE Premium: Also includes larger wheels, a slightly raised suspension, sunroof, power liftgate, simulated leather upholstery, and soft-touch dashboard materials.

Adventure: Omits sunroof and power liftgate, and adds fender flares, taller roof rails, selectable terrain drive modes, hill descent control, and an eight-inch touchscreen.

TRD Off-Road: Includes the sunroof and liftgate and adds off-road-tuned suspension, black trim, and interior trim elements.

Limited: Builds on the XLE Premium and also includes heated front seats, digital rearview mirror, eight-inch touchscreen, navigation system, and premium audio system.

Available Colors

  • Blizzard Pearl (now avail for XLE Premium)
  • Blueprint
  • Blue Flame
  • Blue Flame with Ice Edge Roof (Adventure and TRD Off-Road Grade only)
  • Lunar Rock
  • Lunar Rock with Ice Edge Roof (Adventure and TRD Off-Road Grade only)
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic with Ice Edge Roof (TRD Off-Road Grade only)
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Midnight Black Metallic with Ice Edge Roof (Adventure and TRD Off-Road Grade only)
  • Ruby Flare Pearl
  • Silver Sky Metallic
  • Super White

Interior

  • 69.8 cu-ft of storage space behind the front row with the second row stowed
  • 37.5 cu-ft of storage space behind the second row
  • Seats a total of 5 people
  • 7-inch touchscreen is standard (8-inch for Adventure and Limited trims)
  • Full suite of driver-assist features on every RAV4

Average CarMax Prices3

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the 2021 Toyota RAV4.

  • 2012 — Average price less than $15,0003
  • 2013 — Average price less than $16,0003
  • 2014 — Average price less than $16,5003
  • 2015 — Average price less than $18,0003
  • 2016 — Average price less than $19,0003
  • 2017 — Average price less than $20,0003
  • 2018 — Average price less than $21,5003
  • 2019 — Average price less than $26,0003
  • 2020 — Average price less than $27,5003

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2021 Toyota RAV4, check out some previous model years of this vehicle with similar features.

Safety

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 received overall 5/5 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Toyota RAV4, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

Honda CR-V

Honda's five-passenger crossover was completely redesigned in 2017, making a great SUV even better. The base CR-V from model years 2017–2019 comes with a 184-hp, 2.4L four-cylinder engine. However, if you step on up to one of the other three trims, you get a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 190 hp along with more features. Standard equipment on 2017–2019 models includes:

  • LED running lights
  • Automatic climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth® and USB connectivity

Toyota Highlander

The Highlander is a three-row SUV, which is a smart level-up if you need a little more passenger room to seat up to eight. The base LE model is powered by a 2.7L four-cylinder engine making 185 horsepower, and the other five trims — LE Plus, XLE, SE, Limited, and Limited Platinum — are equipped with a bigger 295-hp 3.5L V6. The handsome Highlander is the SUV you want for families and groups on the go, with a spacious interior and generous feature set. All Toyota Highlanders for model years 2017–2019 include:

  • Rearview camera
  • Driver-assist features like automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure intervention
  • Five USB ports
  • Rear privacy glass

Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is a zippy sedan that has been around for more than five decades. The wide trunk holds about 13 cu-ft, which gives you enough room for a couple of sets of golf clubs, enough groceries for a family of four for two weeks, or even a tent and sleeping bags for a couple's getaway weekend (2017–2019 models). A 1.8L four-cylinder engine powers this compact car with ease; if you opt for the LE Eco trim, you'll get an increase of 8 hp overall with slight tweaking of the same engine. Standard equipment on all 2017–2019 Toyota Corollas include:

  • Power mirrors, doors, and locks
  • Rearview camera
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Adaptive cruise control

The Bottom Line

When you need a well-mannered utility vehicle that is comfortable to drive in both urban and off-path environments, this small utility vehicle is an excellent match. You're going to like the confluence of technology, style, and options offered by the 2021 Toyota RAV4.

Want to learn more? Take a look at these related articles:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
2Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
3Based on prices on carmax.com from January 2, 2019 through June 4 2020. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.