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Toyota Rav4: Why Is It So Popular?

If you want to buy a car for its popularity, you wouldn’t need to look any further than the Toyota Rav4. Since its release in 1996, the Rav4 has continuously been one of the best-selling cars every year in the US and across the world. So, what is it exactly that makes this compact SUV so popular?

The Toyota Rav4 is a popular vehicle because of its compact but spacious size along with its enhanced all-wheel drive (AWD) ability to handle many terrains. The fuel economy and the milage are always voted the top favorite features and the Rav4 is an affordable vehicle as far as SUVs go.

The Toyota Rav4 has seen some big changes over the years and usually when that happens people either start to lose interest or question why the big changes. This never happened with the Rav4, and the alterations have only made the Rav4 a more sought-after car.

Let’s find out more about the Rav4 and its popularity below.

Why is the Toyota Rav4 Popular?

Simply put, the Toyota Rav4 is a reliable and affordable car for many American families and younger drivers. Toyota has designed the Rav4 to suit multiple audiences and targets the Rav4 towards people who want a good, and dependable car for some off-road or all-wheel drive (AWD) transporting at an affordable price.

Driver and consumer reviews and ratings have been above average since the release of the Rav4 in 1996 and the popularity of the Rav4 keeps growing with every new generation release thanks to Toyota’s innovation in technology and safety features.

When a car has good ratings and reviews, people in the market for a good car will flock to those vehicles. Word of mouth is one of the best marketing techniques a business or service can get and when Rav4 drivers are happy, they tend to share those happy reviews with others.

The Rav4 comes highly recommended by numerous online car professionals such as:

If you want to know why the Toyota Rav4 is so popular, either ask anyone that drives a Rav4 or take a look at the numerous awards and accolades the Toyota Rav4 has received over the last 20 years.

What Features Make the Toyota Rav4 Popular?

The advanced technology and safety features of the Toyota Rav4 help this compact SUV to become more popular every year.

Traditionally designed for drivers who wanted the off-road ability of a larger SUV or 4WD, the Rav4 was the first compact crossover SUV of its kind and ended up drawing more attention from buyers in all sorts of demographics for numerous reasons including its compact size, its cargo space, and its safer unibody design.

Here are some of the features that make the Toyota Rav4 a popular car:

  • Fuel economy
  • Miles per gallon are above average
  • Multiple trim levels offer something for everyone
  • The Rav4 is affordable compared with other compact SUVs and mid-size SUVs
  • The Hybrid and Prime trims offer the chance to be more environmentally conscious
  • The upper trims have some luxurious technology features like heated seats and hands-free power liftgate
  • It’s compact but it comes with a full-diameter spare tire
  • The Rav4 can connect to your smart device for convenience
  • Toyota has included its top safety sense 2.0 programming in the Rav4 for optimal safety measures
  • The hybrid and prime trims are extremely fuel-efficient with an approximate combined highway/city driving of 40mpg

These are just some of the features and inclusions that make the Toyota Rav4 a popular vehicle, then, now, and probably in the future too.

Toyota has a way with engines and engine technology too that not many other manufacturers can beat or live up to. Continue reading on to see what kind of advanced technology features Toyota has incorporated in their Rav4.

What Superior Technology Features Does the Toyota Rav4 Have?

Over the course of the last 20 plus years, Toyota has continued to provide enhanced and superior expertise in safety, media, audio, and engine technology for the driver’s convenience and comfort.

Today, with the fifth generation of the Toyota Rav4, some of the more developed technology features lie within the engine and electric motors of the Rav4.

Thanks to Toyota’s innovation in engine technology, the Rav4 has an above-average mileage and life expectancy. The Rav4 has an average lifespan of approximately 16 years or over 250,000 miles while the average of all vehicles on the road is around 12 years or 200,000 miles.

Here are some other technology features that make the Rav4 so popular:

  • Smart key system
  • Remote engine start and push-button start
  • Audio multi-media system including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Heated and ventilated front and rear seats
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Multi-information display
  • Built-in navigation
  • Digital rear-view mirror
  • Hands-free power liftgate

What Safety Ratings Does the Toyota Rav4 Have?

When people use the words Toyota and safety in the same sentence, you know you’re in safe hands. Toyota doesn’t cheap out on safety features, even with their less expensive vehicles like the Rav4.

The lower trims don’t have as many safety features, but the safety features they do have are still superior to other competitors in the car market. Advanced safety features are a popular car attraction and can relate to families who want extra protection for their younger passengers in the back seats.

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) chose the 2019 Rav4 for its list of Top Safety Picks
  • The IIHS again named the Toyota Rav4 2020 a Top Safety Pick
  • The Toyota Rav4 is a Top Safety Pick in the IIHS 2021 for the upper trims with specific headlights

Here are the best safety features Toyota offers with the Rav4:

  • All-wheel drive (AWD) for handling most terrains and some off-road driving
  • Impact airbags including front seats, side passenger doors, Knees, and overhead airbags
  • ABS brakes and stability control
  • Daytime running lights
  • Child safety locks
  • Traction control
  • Safety cameras including rear parking cameras
  • Blind-spot monitoring, lane departure alert, and lane-keeping assist
  • Brake assists and cross-traffic assist

According to Car and Driver, the Toyota Rav4 has one of the best safety ratings in the industry. This itself makes the Toyota Rav4 almost unbeatable in its popularity.

What Do Toyota Rav4 Drivers Have to Say?

There’s nothing better than word of mouth reviews and marketing and hearing it directly from the current owners and Rav4 drivers is where the popularity comes from.

Here is what Rav4 drivers have to say about their much-loved Rav4 (2020 – 2021 reviews) cars:

  • It has a large cargo area
  • The cabin is spacious
  • Exceptional gas-mileage
  • Superior tech and safety features
  • Great ground clearance
  • AWD provides more confidence in harsher weather conditions
  • Cars US News, with help from owners reviews, rates the Toyota Rav4 2021 a Great reliability rating of 81 out of 100
  • Maintenance costs are affordable


There are multiple reasons why the Toyota Rav4 is a popular vehicle. Not only is it the best-selling Toyota in America, but it is also the best-selling SUV in the world, and with all the features and technology advancements listed above, minus others, it’s easy to see why.

People want a reliable car that will get them from A-to-Z numerous times throughout the vehicle’s lifespan. The Rav4 is so reliable it has an above-average lifespan compared with other vehicles and has the bonus of a favorable fuel-efficient and compact design that suits buyers everywhere.