Road Test: 2020 Toyota Rav4 XSE Hybrid AWD

Road Test: 2020 Toyota Rav4 XSE Hybrid AWD

Story by Jordan Allan, photos courtesy of Toyota Canada


Price: $38,740

Engine: 1.8L DOHC 16-valve I4 w/ Hybrid Synergy Drive + EV mode

Trans: Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT)

Power: 175 hp@ 5,700 rpm

Torque: 163 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,710 lbs./ 1,682 kg

Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) 4.4/4.5


New for 2020: The Rav4 was completely brand-new in 2019 and for 2020 it sees the addition of the available TRD Off-Road Trim and Android Auto Smartphone integration.

Segment Competitors: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, GMC Terrain, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Chevrolet Equinox, Volkswagen Tiguan, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Mitsubishi Outlander

The Skinny: The RAV4 is one of the original small CUV/SUVs and is now entering the second year of its fifth generation and is still going strong. There are a plethora of trims to choose from at a lot of different price points which means it will appeal to lots of different people. Our XSE Hybrid AWD model finds itself near the top of the food chain and certainly did not disappoint.

The hybrid system is a very smooth one and definitely lightens the burden that is often felt at the gas pump these days. As I’ve said in previous reviews, the new look of the RAV4 is great and takes many cues from the more rugged 4Runner and Tacoma models and while I appreciate what they’re trying to do with the Trail model I’ve driven previously, I much prefer the simpler less obnoxious looks on this model.

Inside is a well laid out interior that provides plenty of room for passengers and cargo as well as a good seating position for the driver that gives you good sightlines all round.

Pros: This is one of those vehicles that does just about everything so well that it is hard to nail it down but if I had to, I would say I appreciate the smooth switch between the electric motor and the gas powered ones as some hybrid systems have yet to figure this out.

Cons: This is not specific to all cars as most CUV/SUVs seem to have them, but it was a reminder that I am not a fan of power liftgates as they are often to slow and sometimes unresponsive when the button is pressed.

The Verdict: The RAV4 is one of the staples in Toyota’s lineup and has continuously improved in every aspect over the years. It has most definitely kept up with the times but has remained a simple, small SUV that is as reliable as it is practical, all in a now very good looking package. As I said, there are many different trims available at many different price points which allow it to appeal to a wide variety of customers.


Categories: Driver Plus, Road Tests