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Toyota Rav4: Why Is It So Expensive?

We would all like to have a brand-new car, wouldn’t we? The problem with brand new cars is that they’re expensive and usually many of us feel they’re well-overpriced and unaffordable. One of the many reasons the Toyota Rav4 has been such a popular car since 1996, is its affordability.

With Toyota’s clear superior technology and safety designs in the 21st century, is the Rav4 still affordable?

Compared with other SUVs and Compact Crossover SUVs the Toyota Rav4 is an affordable car. The latest 2021 Rav4 release is the most expensive by far and has trims that can be bought for just under US$40,000 without any additional packages. The lowest trim level is an affordable price of just US$26,350.

The Toyota Rav4 might be one of the most expensive compact crossover SUVs on the American market today but considering Toyota’s long-standing reliability and efficiency rating it’s not hard to see why the Rav4 is slightly more expensive than some of its competitors.

Carry on reading below to find out why the Toyota Rav4 is getting more expensive every year.

Why is the Toyota Rav4 so Expensive?

When people talk about expensive cars, the Toyota Rav4 isn’t usually in the same sentence.

2021, however, marks the year that the Toyota Rav4 is more expensive than ever and is slightly more expensive than its competitors.

If we’re being fair, the Rav4 isn’t THAT much more expensive.

The Toyota Rav4 has continuously been rated one of the best-selling and best compact SUVs on the market for the last 20 years, not just in America but in the world. That in itself is one of the main reasons why Toyota can justify raising the cost of their Rav4 lineup.

Here are the main reasons why the Toyota Rav4 is more expensive than other cars of its kind:

  • The Rav4 has a superior fuel-efficiency rating
  • The Rav4 is made from high-strength aluminum
  • Aluminum is lighter than steel and adds to the Rav4’s fuel efficiency
  • Every robot-welded panel and body frame is checked by humans for its integrity
  • Toyota makes safety a key aspect of the vehicle shell and the interior of the car
  • The Rav4 boasts superior safety, technology, and comfort throughout its design
  • Toyota engines are award-winning engines designed for longevity and durability
  • Each engine made within Toyota facilities goes through numerous quality and testing checks before being installed in its vehicle
  • Toyota has given the Rav4 three available all-wheel drive (AWD) options along with its standard front-wheel drive (FWD) to suit a wider range of buyers
  • The Rav4, along with all of Toyota’s models, goes through extensive testing before going on the market

You can see a quick overview of the full Toyota Rav4 manufacturing process here.

With the use of robotics, qualified humans, numerous quality and testing checks, multiple designs, and the materials used, the Rav4 is not just your standard cheaply made vehicle and is well and truly worth its cost.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Toyota Rav4?

If you’re in the market for a good and reliable vehicle, Toyota is one of the largest and most reliable vehicle manufacturers in the world and has been since they opened their doors in Japan in 1937.

Toyota produces some of the best cars on the road today and has some outstanding achievements in engine and safety technology and a prime example of this is their Rav4 lineup.

If you’re after a used vehicle, the Rav4 has an above-average lifespan of around 16 years and over 250,000 miles compared with the average of around 12 years and 200,000 miles. A used Rav4 on the market for 100,000 miles can still last you years to come. We base this on the information found at AARP for the average car life expectancy and Metromiles average miles driven per year.

Without further ado, here are the prices of the 2021 Toyota Rav4 trims from cheapest to most expensive:

TrimCost (without packages)
Toyota Rav4 LEUS$26,350
Toyota Rav4 XLEUS$27,645
Toyota Rav4 LE HybridUS$28,900
Toyota Rav4 XLE HybridUS$30,195
Toyota Rav4 XLE PremiumUS$30,350
Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium HybridUS$32,900
Toyota Rav4 AdventureUS$33,455
Toyota Rav4 XSE HybridUS$34,850
Toyota Rav4 LimitedUS$34,880
Toyota Rav4 TRD Off-RoadUS$36,080
Toyota Rav4 Limited HybridUS$37,430

To add all the packages and optional features on the standard Toyota Rav4 LE trim would raise the price from US$26,350 to US$35,357 and to include all the optional packages and features on the highest trim level of the Rav4 would raise the price from US$37,430 to US$44,548.

How Much is a Toyota Rav4 Compared with Other Compact SUVs?

Toyota has numerous competitors, including Honda, Nissan, Mazda, and GMC to name a few. Though compact SUV vehicles are sought after by small and larger families, the Rav4 is always rated highly by professionals and everyday drivers alike.

The 2021 Toyota Rav4 is more expensive than some of its competitors, but it’s worth it.

The next highest priced 2021 compact SUV, just under the Rav4 is the Nissan Rogue at around US$26,050. The Nissan Rogue is a good compact SUV with solid handling and decent ratings from online platforms like Edmunds, Car and Driver, and Motor Biscuit. But can it live up to the Toyota standards? Compared with the Rav4s estimated lifespan of over 250,000 miles, the Nissan Rogue is only estimated at 200,000 miles.

Even more expensive than the Toyota Rav4 is the 2021 Ford Bronco at US$27,215, the 2021 Acura RDX at US$38,400, and the 2021 Volvo at US$41,700, to name a few.

While the Toyota Rav4 is in the higher-priced end of the compact SUV range, it is certainly not the most expensive option on the market today.

Are Used Toyota Rav4s Expensive?

Used Toyota Rav4s are worth their cost. The Rav4 ranks highly in value-retaining cars and yes, you guessed it, it’s because the Rav4 has a long lifespan.

Currently you can purchase a 10-year-old Rav4, a standard LE trim, for just over US$10,000 with 120,000 miles on the clock and still get around 10 years out of your used Rav4.

In that sense, a used Toyota Rav4 is not expensive and is well worth its value in reliability, dependability, and longevity.

If purchasing a new Rav4 is something you have in mind, but you can’t justify the price tag, though we hope we’ve helped settle that for you, you could save over US$5,000 by buying a 2-year-old used Rav4 instead and still feel like you have a relatively new car in your driveway.

Is the Toyota Rav4 Expensive to Maintain?

Keeping the costs low, the Toyota Rav4 is an inexpensive car to maintain.

According to With Clutch, the average yearly maintenance cost of a Toyota Rav4 is roughly US$429 while the average yearly maintenance cost of all vehicles is generally US$651 and the average yearly maintenance for compact SUVs according to Repair Pal is typically US$521.

Because the Rav4 is mass-produced and has been around since 1996, auto shops and mechanics have become very familiar with the common issues a Rav4 might have and as such repair and maintenance costs aren’t ever expected to be too high for a Rav4.


While the Toyota Rav4 has become more expensive, it is still not the most expensive option in compact SUVs on the market.

The Toyota Rav4 is a dependable car that has consistently proven its worth in engine technology, longevity, safety superiority, and interior design, and comfort. If you’re worried about the expense of a Toyota Rav4, we highly recommend looking up their reliability and safety scores as well as owner reviews before crossing it off your list. You might find, the price of a Toyota Rav4 is great value for what you get with this Toyota model.