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Toyota Highlander vs RAV4


Toyota offers two top-of-the-line SUVs, the 2021 Highlander and the 2021 RAV4, which make for great vehicles for whatever you need. However, everyone has different styles and preferences. We at Ira Toyota of Danvers have set out to compare the two to help drivers near Danvers, Peabody, and Salem, MA, figure out which one would be better for them!

Toyota Highlander vs RAV4: Interior Dimensions

Whether you’re taking the family out on a trip or taking extra materials to a worksite, the Highlander and the RAV4 offer tons of cargo room and passenger space for any purpose. The RAV4 offers 69.8 cubic feet of cargo room behind the first row and 37.6 cubic feet behind the second row.

In comparison, the Highlander provides you with a cargo volume of 84.3 cubic feet behind the first row, 48.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and 16 cubic feet behind the third row. Now, let’s take a look at headroom and legroom, two important factors for those who want to be able to stretch out.

  Toyota RAV4 Toyota Highlander
Headroom (first/second/third row) 37.7 inches/39.5 inches/– 41.2 inches/39.4 inches/36.1 inches
Legroom (first/second/third row) 41 inches/37.8 inches/– 42 inches/41 inches/27.7 inches

As you can see from the table above, the Highlander can offer more cargo volume as well as headroom and legroom than the RAV4. If you want to get the most out of your interior space, go with the Highlander.

Toyota Highlander vs RAV4: Fuel Efficiency

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Staying on the road for longer periods of time is crucial to many drivers. If you’re someone who values MPG, the RAV4 and the Highlander live to serve. In the 2021 Highlander gas models, drivers will get an EPA-estimated 21 city/29 highway/24 combined MPG.1 The hybrid Highlander models reach an EPA-estimated 36 city/35 highway/36 combined MPG.1

The RAV4 features an EPA-estimated 27 city/35 highway/30 combined MPG on its gas models and 41 city/38 highway/40 combined MPG on its hybrid models.2 If you want to maximize your fuel economy, you’ll want to take a closer look at the RAV4.

Toyota Highlander vs RAV4: Performance

You want a vehicle with engines that are up to your standards. Both the Highlander and the RAV4 not only aim to meet those expectations, but also exceed them with their high-powered engines. Each vehicle offers one gasoline engine and one hybrid engine, which we’ll breakdown for you here:

RAV4 engines:

  • 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine: It produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes with SPORT, ECO, and NORMAL drive modes as well as a Stop and Start Engine System on certain trims.
  • 2.5-liter 4-cylinder hybrid engine: It gets 219 combined net horsepower and comes with SPORT, ECO, NORMAL, EV, and TRAIL drive modes.

Highlander engines:

  • 3.5-liter V6 engine: This engine generates 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque and comes equipped with a Stop and Start Engine System.
  • 2.5-liter L4HV hybrid engine: This engine delivers 243 combined net horsepower.

The beauty of these vehicles and their engines is that no matter which one you go with, you’ll get a powerful ride every time. However, if you want to feel the power coursing through you, go with the Highlander.

Toyota Highlander vs RAV4: Trim Levels

Toyota Highlander vs RAV4 Trim Levels

For those who love options in terms of trim levels, the RAV4 and the Highlander don’t skimp out. They offer many of the same trim levels, which include the LE, Hybrid LE, XLE, Hybrid XLE, Limited, and Limited Hybrid. The RAV4 offers the XLE Premium, XLE Premium Hybrid, Adventure, TRD Off-Road, and XSE Hybrid.

The Highlander offers the L, XSE, Platinum, and Hybrid Platinum. Go with the RAV4 if you want as many options as possible.

Toyota Highlander vs RAV4: Standard Features

Toyota Highlander vs RAV4 Features

We’ve covered a lot about the wonders of the Highlander and the RAV4. However, there is one more key aspect we should look at and that’s standard features. Across all of the trims of both vehicles, wireless Bluetooth® capabilities with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ come standard.

You’ll also see some similar standard safety features, including:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Protection
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Lane Tracing Assist
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Road Sign Assist

Cloth seating comes standard in the earlier trim levels of each vehicle. As you upgrade, the unique SofTex® seats become standard. You’ll also have the peace of mind knowing that you’ll never be using data from your phone while you drive, thanks to a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Toyota Highlander vs RAV4: Which One Will You Choose?

Now that you know more about the Toyota Highlander and the RAV4, we at Ira Toyota of Danvers hope that you are closer to deciding which vehicle will suit you better. To really get a feel for them, you’ll want to take them on a test drive around the streets of Danvers, Peabody, and Salem, MA.

When you’re ready, see us at the dealership, give us a call, or go online to schedule an appointment.


1 EPA-estimated 21 city/29 hwy/24 combined mpg for 2021 Highlander; 20 city/27 hwy/23 combined for 2021 Highlander AWD; 36 city/35 hwy/36 combined mpg for 2021 Highlander Hybrid. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary for many reasons, including your vehicle's condition and how/where you drive. See www.fueleconomy.gov

2 EPA-estimated 27 city/35 hwy/30 combined mpg for 2021 RAV4 LE FWD and Limited FWD; 27 city/34 hwy/30 combined mpg for 2021 RAV4 LE AWD; 28 city/35 hwy/30 combined mpg for 2021 RAV4 XLE FWD and XLE Premium FWD; 27 city/33 hwy/29 combined mpg for 2021 RAV4 XLE AWD and XLE Premium AWD; 25 city/33 hwy/28 combined mpg for 2021 RAV4 Adventure and Limited AWD; 25 city/32 hwy/28 combined mpg for 2021 RAV4 TRD Off-Road; and 41 city/38 hwy/40 combined mpg for 2021 RAV4 LE Hybrid, XLE Hybrid, XLE Premium Hybrid, XSE Hybrid and Limited Hybrid. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary for many reasons, including your vehicle's condition and how/where you drive. See www.fueleconomy.gov.

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