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If you plan to buy or lease a new Toyota RAV4, you want to first examine the different trim levels. Unless you compare the models side-by-side, it’s difficult to discern the differences. To help you out, I’ve put together a comparison between the RAV4 Adventure vs. XLE trims.
I will show you what’s different with the exterior, interior, and tech features. I also evaluate the price and help you determine if the Adventure trim level is worth the extra cost.
The first thing you notice when looking at the RAV4 is the exterior, so I will start there. Both the Adventure and XLE have the same wheelbase, measuring 105.9”. However, there are some differences between the two, including the following measurements:
- Overall length/width: 180.9”/73.0” (XLE) vs. 181.5”/73.4” (Adventure)
- Height: 67.0” (XLE) vs. 68.6” (Adventure)
- Tract (front/rear): 63.0”/63.7” (XLE) vs. 62.6”/63.3” (Adventure)
It’s also important to look at the 2023 Toyota RAV4 colors. Here are the four colors that can be chosen with either trim.
- Ice Cap
- Lunar Rock
- Midnight Black Metallic
- Ruby Flare Pearl
Plus, three more exterior colors are available only with the XLE trim. These include the following:
- Magnetic Rock Metallic
- Silver Sky Metallic
Comparing exterior features, I see many that are included with both models, such as these:
- LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Privacy glass
- Integrated rear spoiler
- Dual chrome-tipped exhaust
- Variable intermittent windshield wipers
- Intermittent rear window wiper
- LED taillights
The roof rail design on both models is different. With the XLE, you get low-profile black roof rails, while the Adventure includes a raised design instead.
Additionally, the wheels are different. Here are the two options:
- 17” 5-spoke light gray alloy wheels (XLE)
- 19” 5-spoke Matte Gray alloy wheels (Adventure)
Finally, the Adventure model has some unique badging. Not only does it include the Black RAV4 badge, but it also has some unique Adventure badging.
The XLE and Adventure cabins are sized nearly identically. Here are some measurements to look at
- Seating capacity: 5
- EPA passenger volume: 98.9 cubic feet
- EPA interior volume: 136.4 cubic feet
- Cargo length behind rear seat: 40.0”
- Cargo minimum/maximum width: 39.4”/59.0”
- Cargo minimum/maximum height: 34.5”/36.6”
- Headroom with moonroof: 37.7”/39.5”
- Legroom: 41.0”/37.8”
- Shoulder room: 57.8”/56.4”
- Hip room: 54.3”/47.7”
The only dimensional difference is found with the cargo space. While both have a total of 69.8 cubic feet available, the XLE has a back space measuring 37.5 cubic feet, while the Adventure provides 37.6 cubic feet. Honestly, that difference isn’t even noticeable.
- Ash Fabric
- Black Fabric
- Nutmeg Fabric
The RAV4 Adventure includes these options instead:
- Black SofTex
- Mocha SofTex
With interior features, both models include the following:
- Rear liftgate window defogger
- 4-way front passenger seat
- 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (lumbar support)
- Tonneau cover for cargo area
- Height-adjustable rear cargo area deck board
- 4 cup holders & 4 bottle holders
- Power windows
- 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat
- Day/night rearview mirror
The climate control system is slightly different between the two models. Here are the options:
- Dual-zone automatic climate control system (XLE)
- Dual-zone automatic climate control system with front vent flow controls (Adventure)
Additionally, the Adventure model provides a leather-trimmed shift lever with sequential mode, while the XLE doesn’t have this feature.
Finally, the Adventure models have unique orange accents inside to help them stand out from the other RAV4s.
Safety and Technology
When it comes to technology, there are a lot of similar features between the two, including the following:
- Two 12V/120W auxiliary power outlets (1 in front, 1 in rear)
- Five USB ports
- Digital speedometer
- 6-speaker audio system
- Wireless Apple CarPlay®
- Android Auto™
- 7” digital Multi-Information Display
- 8” Audio Multimedia
The only technology difference that matters is the addition of one 120V/100W AC power outlet in the cargo area with the Adventure models.
Continuing to look at the safety equipment, these are the similarities:
- Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS)
- Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
- Backup camera, including dynamic gridlines
- Trailer-Sway Control (TSC)
- Eight airbags
You also get the advanced Star Safety System™, which offers the following features:
- Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
- Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
- Brake Assist (BA)
- Smart Stop Technology® (SST)
- Traction Control (TRAC)
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is known for being a safe vehicle. Good crash test scores are only due in part to the standard Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.5 (TSS 2.5) system that includes these features:
- Pre-Collision System w/Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
- Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
- Road Sign Assist (RSA)
- Automatic High Beams (AHB)
- Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
Price and Value
Following the 2023 RAV4 price increases, these are the new MSRPs for both trim levels.
- XLE: $29,085
- Adventure: $33,770
The Adventure trim costs $4,685 more than the XLE trim. However, it does come standard with all-wheel drive. To add all-wheel drive to the XLE, you would spend another $1,400, making the total MSRP $30,485.
Taking AWD out of the equation, what are the differences that make up this price gap? The Adventure includes these bonuses:
- Leather-trimmed shift lever with sequential mode
- Orange accents
- SofTex interior
- 19” 5-spoke Matte Gray alloy wheels
- Raised black roof rails instead of low-profile
- One 120V/100W AC power outlet in the cargo area
Because most of the technology is the same within these two SUVs, you are essentially paying for a different look. The Adventure costs more because of the enhanced appearance.
Should You Buy the RAV4 Adventure or XLE?
It’s difficult to decide on the right model for you without knowing your situation. Both of these RAV4 trims are capable and enjoyable to drive. They come with similar tech features and don’t lack anything you need for safety.
The biggest reason to choose an Adventure over the XLE is for the appearance. If you want a more aggressive style to your RAV4, the Adventure provides it.
Yet, some people don’t think it’s worth the extra cost. That’s understandable. However, before you make up your mind, I suggest visiting a local dealership to see them next to each other. You may find that the appearance suits your lifestyle better than the XLE trim.
Want a New Adventure or the XLE?
You can’t go wrong with whatever RAV4 trim level you choose. I personally love the style of the Adventure but also understand the need to save money with the XLE.
Yet, there are still more trim levels to choose from. For that reason, I suggest checking into all of the trims before making your decision.