New mid-range trim combines plenty of features with a reasonable price tag and a punchy hybrid powertrain.
The Toyota RAV4 continues to be one of the brand's biggest success stories. It's a vehicle that suits the needs of most modern shoppers, which explains why the RAV4 crossed the milestone of ten million units sold in its lifespan earlier this year.
This year, Toyota has focused even more on its hybrid-powered RAV4s, with the rapid RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid introduced as the quickest version of the crossover ever. Now, the regular RAV4 Hybrid range has been joined by a new XLE Premium trim level. It slots in between the RAV4 Hybrid XLE and XSE trims, which carry over along with other hybrid trims like the entry-level LE and top-spec Limited. Pictured below in a dark blue shade is the XLE, with the Limited in red.
Mechanically unchanged from other RAV4 Hybrids, the XLE Premium comes with the same combination of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor for a combined output of 291 horsepower. Paired with a CVT transmission, it'll reach 60 mph in just under 7.5 seconds while returning impressive EPA-rated economy figures of 41/38/40 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles.
In XLE Premium guise, the RAV4 Hybrid comes with standard features like 18-inch super-chrome-finished alloy wheels, LED projector headlights, and a power moonroof. In the cabin, the seats are trimmed in SofTex imitation leather and the driver's seat is eight-way power-adjustable. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard.
A seven-inch touchscreen interface can be used to manage features like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and the six-speaker sound system, while a total of five USB ports cater to all occupants.
The RAV4 Hybrid XLE Premium has a starting MSRP of $32,500, which is $2,450 more than the equivalent gas-powered RAV4. The most expensive RAV4 Hybrid is the Limited at $37,030, but this gets uncomfortably close to the much quicker RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid which starts at $38,100.
Elsewhere in the RAV4 range, Toyota has added a TRD-stamped stainless steel front skid plate to the TRD Off-Road variant, while adding a new SE trim for the 302-hp RAV4 Prime. With its smart styling, just-right size, and that Toyota badge, the RAV4 lineup should continue to fly off showroom floors.