After a couple of years of finessing its newly designed RAV4, Toyota took a break from fiddling with the specifications and trim levels of the 2021 model. The RAV4's blend of qualities create broad appeal, making it one of America's top-selling passenger vehicles. More than ever that appeal is targeted to particular interests, with Toyota offering a fuel-efficient and quick Hybrid model, an outdoorsy Adventure model, and a TRD Off-Road option if your lifestyle is more about actually heading into the wilderness than looking like you do. Trim levels encompass LE, XLE, XLE Premium, and XSE Limited for the Hybrid model, and the gas-powered RAV4 comes in LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, TRD Off-Road, and Limited trims. The XLE trim makes sense for most buyers, offering a nice mix of standard equipment at a sensible price point. New for 2021 is the Prime, a plug-in hybrid capable of up to 25 miles of battery-only driving.
All but the TRD Off-Road, Hybrid, and Prime are front-wheel-drive as standard. The TRD Off-Road model gets off-road-specific suspension and all-wheel drive to give it rugged capability; the Hybrid's all-wheel drive comes because of the electric motor working on the rear axle. Non-hybrid RAV4s are powered by a 2.5-liter engine with 203 hp paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. No RAV4 is really remarkable to drive, but they're all smooth and easy on the road, and the cabins are spacious for passengers and luggage alike. The breadth of appeal and core competence in all areas make the 2021 Toyota RAV4 difficult to ignore. It underlines why it's consistently such a big seller despite being bested by some competitors in particular areas.