The Toyota RAV4 has consistently been one of the most popular compact SUVs on the markets for years, and with good reason. It has always been a stylish and comfortable vehicle with plenty of reliability. Plus, since it’s an SUV, you can count on plenty of versatility, including AWD capabilities. And when you’re talking about a Toyota, you know you’re getting a vehicle with all the best in modern technology. And with the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, it’s no different.
For a 5-passenger vehicle, there sure are a lot of features packed into its small-sized frame. Even better, you get the added bonus of a hybrid engine that boosts your mileage estimates much higher than you would expect from an SUV. Unfortunately, the hybrid engine also adds quite a bit to the price tag. However, we can still hope to find a good balance between performance, capability, and affordability on one of the four RAV4 Hybrid models. Specifically, we want to take a look at the 2020 RAV4 XLE Hybrid because we think it offers the best bang for your buck, without sacrificing some of the best features along the way. So, let’s dive right in!
A Little About Pricing
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid starts at $29,645 and is the second-lowest trim among the four hybrid trims available. For comparison, the LE Hybrid is $28,350, the XSE Hybrid is $34,300, and the Limited Hybrid is $36,880. As you can see, the XLE Hybrid sits at a slightly higher price point than the LE Hybrid, but actually sits well below the XSE Hybrid. These prices are actually quite impressive for an SUV, especially a hybrid SUV.
However, for many of you, the $30,000 mark might be the cutoff point when you’re searching for a new compact SUV. That’s not a bad point to aim for, especially since you can find many compact SUVs at much lower prices. However, with hybrid vehicles, you can always expect to pay a little more at the start and then make up your money on the increased gas mileage over the many years you’re using the vehicle.
The Toyota brand offers some amazing perks and benefits with its vehicles, including their free maintenance plan, called ToyotaCare. This is also included with the Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid, so you’ll be getting two years or 25,000 miles of free regular scheduled maintenance and two years (unlimited miles) of 24-hour roadside assistance.
The biggest selling point of a Toyota hybrid, though, is the excellent gas mileage estimates. On the RAV4 XLE Hybrid, the MPG estimates are 41/38/40 (city/highway/combined). For a relatively roomy vehicle, these are some very impressive numbers. Other than the fact you’ll be saving money on gas, you also won’t have to waste time making more pit stops. This leaves you with more time to do what you want, whether it’s family trips, adventuring, or anything else.
It also shouldn’t be a surprise to see that Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) is included across all 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid models. So with the XLE Hybrid, you can get amazing safety features like:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection: Automatically detect vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists in certain situations and be alerted to their presence. If the alert isn’t enough for you to react quickly enough, the system can automatically apply braking support to help avoid a collision.
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist: For speeds above 32 mph, this system can alert you if it detects the vehicle leaving a lane on accident. Automatic corrective steering can be implemented if the vehicle determines the driver hasn’t already taken corrective action.
- Lane Tracing Assist: This system works in tandem with DRCC to keep your vehicle centered between the lane lines. The result is less strain on the driver.
- Automatic High Beams: For a better driving experience at night, Automatic High Beams can be quite useful. These headlamps are designed to be used at speeds over 25 mph and will automatically switch between high and low beams, depending on the visibility levels and other vehicles in front of you.
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC): This system is designed for highway use and increases the capabilities of your normal cruise control function. With this system, your vehicle can adjust your speed to maintain a preset distance from a vehicle in front of you.
- DRCC will automatically adjust if a car is slowing down and will notify you if it needs to slow down more than usual.
- Road Sign Assist: Sensors can automatically detect speed limit signs, stop signs, and more as you’re driving. When detected, the information will be displayed on your RAV4’s Multi-Information Display. This way, you can be more aware of how fast you should be driving and whether or not you need to slow down or make other adjustments as you’re on the road.
How the XLE Trim Compares
As only the second of four RAV4 Hybrid trims, the XLE has an affordable price, but could likely miss out on some more premium features. Overall, though, it depends on what you’re looking for. You, of course, still get the safety features of Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, and all trims come with roof rails. There’s also no difference in the hybrid engine between trims, so the fuel economy estimates stay the same. The drivetrain, which is electronic, on-demand all-wheel drive, remains the same as well.
Between the XLE and the higher trims, you will see a change in stylings and color options on the exterior and then a lot of variation on the interior. You don’t miss out on the Smart Key System with Push Button Start or the five USB ports, but a premium audio system and wireless charging are only available on higher trims.
If a more premium exterior and interior aren’t as important to you, the 2020 RAV4 XLE Hybrid has just about everything you’d want or need at a more affordable price. You still get Bluetooth wireless technology and compatibility with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. There’s also SiriusXM capabilities.
Overall, though, since there’s no real difference in performance or capabilities, the XLE Hybrid can make a lot of sense if you want to save thousands of dollars and still have a terrific vehicle.
All of the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid models are very similar. The only real differences come in the aesthetics and a few slight changes in technology. Since the hybrid engine and the Toyota safety features are big selling points, you don’t have to worry about those changing between the different trims. So if you want to save some money, a model like the XLE Hybrid would be a lot more affordable than something like the Limited Hybrid. If you can’t live without the premium audio system, HomeLink universal transceiver, and SofTex-trimmed seats — you might consider a higher trim.
To truly understand and compare the different trims, you should visit your local Toyota dealership today and take a 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for a test drive. There’s no better way to see which 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid trims would be a better fit for you.