Now that we’ve explored the Toyota RAV4’s impressive real-world fuel economy and ruminated on our favorite features, it’s time to delve deeper into the most important buying consideration. Because this vehicle is a popular family SUV, that consideration is safety.
The first thing that catches your attention behind the wheel is visibility. Fortunately, the RAV4 excels in this area. A low windshield, boxy proportions, and skillfully placed pillars make it easy to see out the front and side of the vehicle. A rear camera provides a relatively clear view out the rear of our XLE tester. Unfortunately, you must upgrade to a package on the TRD Off-Road or Limited if you want a fancy 360-degree camera.
For 2020, the RAV4 joins the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and other key competitors in receiving a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It earns this distinction with top scores in all crash categories. However, due to its headlight rating, the SUV misses out on the more prestigious Top Safety Pick+ status achieved by the Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester. Although the Hybrid Limited model’s headlights are rated Good, the RAV4’s standard headlights get a Marginal rating. Some RAV4 Hybrids’ lights are rated Poor.
In government tests, the RAV4 also performed well, earning five overall stars. This works out to four stars in the front crash test, five stars in the side crash test, and four stars in the rollover test.
All RAV4 models come standard with a full suite of safety features. Among them are a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist to read lane markings, and full-speed adaptive cruise control. We appreciate the calm and collected nature of the adaptive cruise control system. Whether suddenly encountering traffic ahead or being cut off by another car, the cruise control brakes smoothly. The SUV reliably keeps a safe distance between itself and other vehicles, even in the closest distance setting.
So is the Toyota RAV4 safe? We can confidently say yes.