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  5. 2021 Toyota RAV4: Everything You Need to Know

Front view of the 2021 Toyota RAV4

Toyota's RAV4 is America's best-selling non-truck vehicle, and for good reason too, as many credit RAV4 with popularizing SUVs in general. 

From its styling, to its utility, to its efficiency, there's a lot to love about RAV4. But there's also a lot to consider when shopping for one because there's seven trim options shared across three different propulsion systems.

Let's take a deeper dive into the different specs for the Toyota RAV4 so that you can understand how its features and capabilities help enhance your day-to-day driving experiences. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Trims

Rear view of the 2021 Toyota RAV4

When shopping for a Toyota RAV4, the first thing to decide is what type of powertrain you'd like. For the 2021 model year, RAV4 is available with a gasoline, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid propulsion system. 

Each model type can then be outfitted via a selection of trims which enhance styling, convenience and technology offerings as you move across the line-up.

For the RAV4 (gas), the trims offered are:

  • LE
  • XLE
  • XLE Premium
  • Adventure
  • TRD Off-Road
  • Limited

For the RAV4 (hybrid), choose from the following trims:

  • LE Hybrid
  • XLE Hybrid
  • XLE Premium Hybrid
  • XSE Hybrid
  • Limited Hybrid

For the RAV4 Prime (plug-in hybrid), there are only two trims:

  • Prime SE
  • Prime XSE

2021 marks the first year that the XLE Premium grade is available for the RAV4 hybrid, offering more flexibility between the XLE and XSE models. And while the trim line has been patterned after the version seen on the RAV4 gas version, there are a few new features that are exclusive to the RAV4 Hybrid model.

Side view of the 2021 Toyota RAV4

Some of the main highlights of the RAV4 Hybrid XLE Premium include: 18-inch super-chrome-finished sport alloy wheels, power moonroof, 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment center, five additional USB ports, and a power back door. 

Another major update is for the TRD Off-Road trim, which gets its first-ever stamped stainless steel front skid plate, providing additional protection from trail debris. It's one of many TRD elements that help make RAV4 a worthy adventure vehicle, while honoring Toyota's storied off-road racing history. 

Shop Toyota RAV4 Inventory

2021 Toyota RAV4 Exterior

Front view of the 2021 Toyota RAV4

Styling for the fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 communicates the vehicle's sportiness as well as utility. Its confident stance along with short overhangs means the RAV4 is ready for just about any road or trail. Plus, the body's contoured character lines and aero details offer a wider and lower package than the previous generation. 

If you couldn't already tell, RAV4 is all about your power to choose, and this perk extends to the exterior paint colors as well. For the 2021 model year, RAV4 offers 17 total color options, including two-tone colorways. 

RAV4 monotone exterior paint colors:

  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Lunar Rock
  • Blue Flame
  • Blizzard Pearl
  • Super White
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Ruby Flare Pearl
  • Blueprint
  • Silver Sky Metallic

RAV4 two-tone exterior paint colors:

  • Magnetic Gray Metallic/Ice Edge Roof
  • Lunar Rock/Ice Edge Roof
  • Midnight Black Metallic/Ice Edge Roof
  • Blue Flame/Ice Edge Roof
  • Blizzard Pearl/Midnight Black Metallic Roof
  • Silver Sky Metallic/Midnight Black Metallic Roof
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic/Midnight Black Metallic Roof
  • Blueprint/Midnight Black Metallic Roof

Depending on the model you choose, additional highlights include 19-inch alloy wheels, multi-LED headlights, unique bumpers and overfenders, active grille shutters, foot-activated power liftgate, and low-profile roof rails.

Of course, the TRD Off-Road model offers even more adventure-ready elements, including Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires that were specially designed to meet TRD's technical requirements.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Interior

Dashboard of the 2021 Toyota RAV4

On the inside, RAV4 features a blend of luxury and durability, boasting the latest in advanced technology as well as thoughtful functionality for your everyday adventures. 

There's plenty of space for storage throughout the cabin, and passenger roominess has been upgraded most notably in the rear row, where the distance between the left and right rear seating positions has been increased along with added rear legroom. The standard 60/40 folding rear seats help expand usable cargo space.

In terms of connectivity, every RAV4 comes standard with Toyota Multimedia, which includes SiriusXM, Wi-Fi Connect, and hands-free access to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. The infotainment display can be upgraded to an 8-inch touchscreen, and an optional Qi wireless charging tray can be added for the ultimate in cable management. Tech-loving passengers will be happy to know that up to nine USB ports can be found through the front and rear of the interior. 

Another proof point of RAV4's innovation is the use of SofTex-trimmed seating surfaces on select models. SofTex is highly durable while being lighter than leather, so you can have the desired comfort without worrying about wear and tear. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Performance

Charging port on the 2021 Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid

Performance can be had in a number of ways on the Toyota RAV4 thanks to three efficient powertrain options. 

The Dynamic Force 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine produces 203 horsepower and is mated to an 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission. Its EPA-estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg city / 35 mpg highway for the FWD model. 

For hybrid models, the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) supplements the 2.5-liter Dynamic Force Engine to deliver an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 mpg city / 38 mpg highway. 

Things get even more interesting with the RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid version that delivers 302 combined net horsepower, making it the most powerful RAV4 ever. But that's not all, as RAV4 Prime also has the ability to travel an EPA-estimated 42 miles in electric-only mode. The result is its ability to achieve an estimated 94 combined MPGe. 

The LE, XLE, XLE Premium and Limited trims for the gasoline-powered RAV4 come standard in FWD configuration with the option to upgrade to AWD, while all other trims (including all hybrids and Prime models) come standard with an advanced on-demand AWD drivetrain for the ultimate in traction as well as fuel efficiency. 

Dynamic Torque Vectoring and Rear Driveline Disconnect are also available on select models, which not only splits torque between front and rear axles, but also between the left or right rear wheels. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Safety

Camera rear view mirror in the 2021 Toyota RAV4

All 2021 RAV4 models come standard with the highly acclaimed Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which is a suite of active-safety technologies and features. Some highlights of TSS 2.0 include: pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, and road sign assist. 

Higher trim levels will see the addition of blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert as well as rear cross traffic braking system. Toyota's Star Safety System is also standard on RAV4, providing advanced preventative capabilities like enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brake system, brake assist, and more. 

And one of my favorite features is the available Digital Rearview Mirror that can display a wide-angle high-definition video feed of what's behind the RAV4.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Overall

Exterior view of the 2021 Toyota RAV4

With so many ways to tailor the RAV4 for your unique lifestyle, it's no wonder this is Toyota's best-selling vehicle in general, and America's best-selling small SUV. 

Offering every propulsion system just short of all-electric, the RAV4 is not only efficient, it's also equipped for the biggest adventures your family can throw at it. 

Find your newest "road buddy" by visiting your local AutoNation Toyota dealership for a personal test drive in the 2021 RAV4.

Andrew Chen
| Oct 12, 2021

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**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.