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Is the Toyota Rav4 XLE or XLE Premium Worth It?

When cars like the Toyota Rav4 come with many different trims Toyota makes it hard for people to decide which car is best for them. We’re not complaining because Toyota also makes it easy for a wide range of people to have a car with certain features that suits them best.

The Toyota Rav4 XLE and Rav4 XLE Premium might be the perfect car, for someone.

The Rav4 XLE has similar features to the Rav4 LE Trim and might not be worth the extra cost when the LE is offered as an AWD and the XLE is not. The XLE Premium has multiple features that make it stand out from the lower trim levels and is worth the extra cost for superior comfort and safety.

The XLE Premium does stand out with its moonroof, safety features, and its interior comfort and design. If you’re looking for something comfortable, almost luxurious, and with AWD capabilities, the XLE Premium is a decent car.

Although, we’re not convinced the LE and the XLE are much different and if the XLE is worth its additional price tag. We’ll break it down below to help you decide.

Is the Toyota Rav4 XLE or XLE Premium Worth the Extra Cost?

If you look up every trim level of the Toyota Rav4, you’ll see out of the eight available trims, the LE and the XLE aren’t priced much differently. Because the features between the Rav4 LE and the XLE aren’t much different, so it might not be worth paying the extra cost for the XLE.

The XLE Premium has numerous additional features in the design, media, and safety areas of the Rav4 and is worth paying the extra price if you want something a little more “fancy” than the LE or the XLE.

If you’re wanting an all-wheel drive (AWD), the cheaper LE Rav4 trim might be a better option than the more expensive XLE. When it comes to vehicles, these two are fairly similar and the LE offers the same features as the XLE plus the AWD option. So why choose the XLE for more, when you can have the LE for less?

You can check out and compare the full specs here through the Toyota direct website, but we’ve broken it down for you below to clearly show the main differences between the LE, the XLE, and the XLE Premium trims of the Toyota Rav4.

Is the Toyota Rav4 XLE Worth It?

The Toyota Rav4 XLE is the third trim in the Rav4 lineup and starts at around US$27,645 before adding any possible upgrades and features.

The fuel economy is decent with a mileage estimate of 28 city, 35 highway, and 30 combined miles per gallon and the drivetrain is a standard front-wheel drive (FWD) without the ability to upgrade for an all-wheel drive (AWD) drivetrain.

Here are some of the features the Toyota Rav4 XLE has:

  • 8.4-inch Ground Clearance
  • Driver assistance features like hill-start assist control, sport, eco, and normal drive mode, and electric power steering (EPS)
  • Comes with a temporary spare tire
  • Automatic high beams
  • LED daytime lights and integrated fog lights
  • Roof rails
  • Dual chrome-tipped exhaust
  • Exterior color-keyed features like touch sensor handles, turn signal, and blind-spot warning indicators
  • Privacy glass on all windows
  • Intermittent windshield wipers
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control system
  • Fabric-trimmed seating
  • Soft-touch dash and armrests
  • 60/40 split reclining fold-flat rear seats
  • A smart key system, push-button start, and remote keyless entry
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Silver interior door handles

Is the Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium Worth It?

The Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium is similar to the XLE but has the advantage of numerous features and extra packages. The XLE Premium starts at US$30,350, around US$4,000 more expensive than the standard XLE, which begs the question, what’s different, and is it worth paying the extra cost?

We recommend that the Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium is worth it.

The XLE Premium has a few differences that make it stand apart from the standard XLE, here are the features of the Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium that are different from its lower XLE trim:

  • All of the above XLE features plus/or everything listed below
  • 8.6-inch ground clearance
  • 19-inch multi-spoke super chrome alloy wheels
  • Standard power tilt/slide moonroof
  • Standard height-adjustable power liftgate
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control system with front and rear vents
  • SofTex-trimmed seating front and rear
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift lever
  • Smart key power liftgate, push-button start, and illuminated entry
  • Additional storage options

How Do the Rav4 XLE and XLE Premium Differ from the Rav4 LE?

The Toyota Rav4 LE is the Rav4 lineup’s most affordable trim with a starting price of just US$26,350. While you’d think the LE is the trim with the least advanced features, the features of the LE and so similar to the more expensive XLE that you might not want to pay the extra US$1,200 to “upgrade” for the XLE option. There are some superior features, however, that many see as worth it for only an extra US$1,200 or thereabouts.

Whether the XLE is worth it or not entirely depends on your level of comfort, though the LE still offers optimal comfort compared with Toyota’s competitors.

But how are they different?

The LE offers slightly less fuel efficiency with 27 city miles, 34 highway miles, and 30 combined miles per gallon, just under the XLEs 28/35/30. The XLE Premium offers even less with 27 city miles, 33 highway miles, and 29 combined miles.

These models differ in their interior and exterior design and colorings, as well as some of their safety and technology features.

Here are some of the different features that stand out the most:

  • The LE only offers a standard climate control system with no option to upgrade to dual-zone with rear vents
  • Fabric-trimmed seating is less durable than the XLE Premium’s SofTex-trimmed material
  • Heated front seating and steering wheel is not an option offered in the Rav4 LE but can be included for an additional price in the XLE and the XLE Premium
  • Black interior door handles compared with the silver handles of the XLE and XLE Premium
  • The LE only offers one USB media port in the front storage tray compared with the 5 offered in the XLE and XLE Premium. There is no option to upgrade

The LE does have some similarities with its upper trims like:

  • The soft-touch dash and armrests
  • Black carpet flooring and driver’s footrest
  • An ash gray fabric-trimmed headliner
  • Rear liftgate window defogger
  • Power door locks
  • Day/night rearview mirror
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Front seat reading lights, storage pockets, and cup holders

When it comes to Toyotas advanced safety features, all three trims, the LE, the XLE, and the XLE Premium, have exceptional safety ratings and features.

The LE cannot opt-in for a backup camera with dynamic guidelines, nor does it come with standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. An Anti-theft system with alarm and engine immobilizer is not offered with the LE as it is with its upper trims, but other than that the LE has the benefits of Toyota’s standard safety features they typically use across their whole range of vehicles.

The LE, XLE, and XLE Premium have the same engine features, and all perform reasonably similarly on the road.

  • 2.5-liter Dynamic Force 4-cylinder with sport, eco, and normal modes
  • Stop and start engine systems
  • Ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV)
  • 8-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission

The LE and the XLE Premium, however, can be upgraded to an AWD system whereas the XLE is only offered as FWD.

Both the LE and the XLE only have a ground clearance of 8.4-inches compared with the XLE Premiums 8.6-inches and the LE and the XLE Premium have multi-terrain select modes for ideal road handling.


If you’re in the market for a car with AWD capabilities, the Toyota Rav4 XLE is not the car for you, but the XLE Premium could be perfect. The XLE Premium offers a wide range of comfort features and optional upgrades for superior comfort as well as either front-wheel drive (FWD) or AWD options for your choosing.

The Rav4 LE also offers both FWD and AWD but the middle range XLE only comes in the FWD selection. It’s up to you whether the extra money is worth it for the XLE but the LE is still a well-rounded and versatile compact SUV that doesn’t need upgrades and upper trims to be a good car.