Video: Why Is The Toyota RAV4 The Best-Selling Car In The U.S.?

Toyota's most popular car has plenty of great competition, but the RAV4 still dominates sales

Video: Why Is The Toyota RAV4 The Best-Selling Car In The U.S.?
Images: TFLcar

Crossovers are the best selling vehicles in the U.S, and the Toyota RAV4 is on top of the heap

Since the mid 1990s, the Toyota RAV4 has defined and led the segment, and it has proven to be a worldwide success. In North America, despite the pandemic, Toyota managed to sell about half a million RAV4s in 2020. Sales numbers’ dropped a little bit from 2019, despite the challenges. Now on its fifth generation (XA50), there are more choices than ever.

There are three versions of the current Toyota RAV4 – the regular model, a hybrid and the RAV4 Prime, which is a plug-in hybrid. On top of that, there are several distinctive trim levels available. Starting at a $26,150 base-model LE with front-wheel drive, you can easily approach the $50,000 mark with a loaded RAV4 Prime XSE. No one else in the industry has a vehicle in this class that offers so many variants on the same platform.

The closest competitor might be the outstanding Honda CR-V, which now has a hybrid version, but they do not offer as many variants as Toyota.

Our tester is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited with lots of upgrades, and its fitted with (non-factory) steel wheels with snow tires. We’re also shooting a snow-tire video, so that’s why it looks… unusual. Combined power with the electric motors is 219 horsepower, and it moves quickly. It gets about 40 mpg combined – which is excellent for an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle.

Our loaded tester came with a $42,660 MSRP.

Keep in mind: Toyota’s hybrid vehicles have an AWD system that is unique from many other automakers. It has a separate electric motor that can send power to the rear wheels when needed. We feel that mechanical AWD systems are more aggressive, but the hybrid AWD system does the trick in snow and slippery conditions.

Blaze test?

In this video, we brought our famous studio dog Blaze to see how easy it is to load a large dog. Despite being a capable crossover with good ground clearance, Blaze was able to (eventually) jump in the back. There are over 80-million (registered) dog owners in the United States, so this test is relevant and adorable.

Check out this video and watch as Roman and Tommy take you through a comprehensive tour of the Toyota RAV4, including a look at the many features.