Though falling into the compact category, the RAV4 is pretty big on the inside. The cabin has a fair amount of rugged and durable hard plastic, but almost all the key touchpoints and high-traffic areas are covered in soft-touch materials. This gives the interior a refreshingly upscale feeling. True to its nature as a practical people hauler, the compact Toyota is laid out with people fore of thought. There is plenty of room to move about and get comfortable, and all the controls for the comfort and infotainment features are laid out for ease of access. You'll have to settle for cloth upholstery and manually adjustable seats at the cheaper end of the lineup, while electric seats with leatherette upholstery and heating are available if you spend a little more. Almost every model from the XLE Premium upwards also receives a power moonroof.
There is more than enough space for a full family of five in the cabin of the RAV4, or just as many adults, in fact. Those in the back actually have more headroom than those up front since the available sunroof does eat a few inches, but nobody is actually lacking. Similarly, there is a great amount of legroom all around, but front-row passengers get 3.2 inches more in this regard. A six-way manual driver's seat is standard on the base LE, but from the XLE Premium upwards they become electrically adjustable in eight directions including lumbar support. Of course, the natural height of the crossover provides a good view of the road and the position of the driver's seat provides optimal visibility out of the windshield. The rear windows are quite a bit smaller and the large rear pillars limit rearward vision quite severely. Blind-spot monitoring helps with this, but it isn't included in the entry-level trim as standard.
|Toyota RAV4 Trims||LE||XLE||Hybrid LE||XLE Premium||Hybrid XLE||Hybrid Woodland Edition||Hybrid SE||Adventure||Hybrid XLE Premium||Limited||Hybrid XSE||Hybrid Limited|
|Headroom Front Seat||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||37.7 in.||39.5 in.||37.7 in.||37.7 in.||39.5 in.||37.7 in.||37.7 in.||37.7 in.||37.7 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.||41 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.||56.4 in.|
|Hip Room, Front||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.||54.3 in.|
|Hip Room, Rear||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.||47.7 in.|
The entry-level models are not as upscale as their more expensive siblings, which is shown by the presence of more hard plastics around the cabin and the urethane steering wheel. From the XLE Premium upwards, this is upgraded to a leather-wrapped wheel, though. The LE and XLE have cloth-trimmed seating, while the XLE Premium upwards all receive SofTex leatherette. Color options include Black or Nutmeg for all three, while Ash is added as an option for the upper two. The Adventure's seating color schemes comprise Mocha or Black, while the TRD can only be dressed in Black. The Limited doesn't offer Mocha but adds Nutmeg and Ash as extra options.
The RAV4 Prime XSE comes with red stitching and fabric inserts for its SofTex seats. It also has blue ambient lighting and a soft-touch dash, doors, and armrests.
SUVs are loved for their practicality, and the Toyota RAV4 caters directly to this need. It isn't quite as impressive as the cavernous new Honda CR-V, but the 37.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats is still very generous. The hybrids stand out here by offering the same amount of space, instead of losing some to the battery. If you fold the rear seats down in a 60/40-split, you can expand the base trunk space to 69.8 cubic feet. Within this area, you can store cargo to the weight of 1,025-1,230 lbs, depending on the model. The PHEV differs somewhat; its trunk measures 33.5 cubes, increasing to 69.8 cubes with the rear seats folded and it can load up to 1,295 lbs. Those figures are applicable to models that don't have the moonroof.
Small-item storage around the cabin is just as practical. Each row of seats receives a pair of cupholders, and there are a number of small bins around the console to assist with storing small items. The glovebox and armrest cubby can accommodate larger items, while the door pockets can store water bottles. Back-seat passengers can stow their mobile phones or tablets in the seatback map pockets.
Considering its higher-than-average starting price, the Toyota RAV4 is somewhat sparsely equipped in its base guise. The seats are covered in plain fabric and the driver's seat is six-way manually adjustable. Other standard features include keyless entry, air-conditioning, and a pair of 12-volt power outlets. The list of safety systems begins with the rearview camera, complemented by Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 and a Star Safety System.
The LE Hybrid upgrades to dual-zone automatic climate control and adds a vehicle proximity notification, which is exclusive to the hybrids. An eight-way power driver's seat is added on the XLE, along with additional safety features in the form of blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, as well as a Smart Key system and push-button start. The XLE Premium installs a power liftgate and a panoramic moonroof. The seven-inch partially digital gauge cluster is upgradeable to a 12.3-inch full digital gauge on the TRD Off-Road, while this display is standard on the Limited. Hill-descent control and a 120-volt power outlet are added to the Adventure and TRD Off-Road. Heated front seating is included on the Hybrid XSE and the Limited, and the latter gets a driver-seat memory function. Seat heating and ventilation, and a heated steering wheel, are also available on certain trims.
Toyota's basic infotainment system for the lower-priced trims is an eight-inch touchscreen that provides access to Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Most models make do with a six-speaker sound system. The TRD Off-Road, Hybrid XSE, and Limited trims benefit from a larger 10.5-inch touchscreen interface and, in the case of the Limited, there are 11 JBL speakers. The RAV4 Prime SE has an eight-inch touchscreen while the Prime XSE has the 10.5-inch unit. All in all, the system is easy enough to fathom and navigation can also be added optionally. Even with the smaller screen, the display is high-quality and responses are quick, but the upgrades across the trim levels do a lot to assist with increasing the number of available USB ports.