If you are considering a 2023 Toyota RAV4, you know there’s no lack of trim levels to choose from. An in-depth evaluation must be performed to fully discern which is better for you. For example, can you tell the differences between the Toyota RAV4 XLE vs. XLE Premium?
In this guide, I look at the interior, exterior, and tech differences between the two popular RAV4 trims. I also examine the price difference and help you determine which one is best for you.
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It’s important to note the similarities in the exterior of the XLE and XLE Premium trims before moving any further. For example, both models have some of the same dimensions, including the following:
- Wheelbase: 105.9”
- Overall length/width: 180.9”/73.0”
Yet, there are a couple of dimensions that are different. I doubt you will notice them simply by looking at the RAV4, but the differences include the following:
- Height: 67.0” (XLE)/67.2” (XLE Premium)
- Track (front/rear): 63.0”/63.7” (XLE)/62.6”/63.3” (XLE Premium)
It’s also important to look at the available 2023 Toyota RAV4 colors. These six colors are available with either trim level.
- Lunar Rock
- Magnetic Rock Metallic
- Midnight Black Metallic
- Ruby Flare Pearl
- Silver Sky Metallic
There are also two exterior colors that only come with one of the trims. These include the following:
- Ice Cap (XLE)
- Wind Chill Pearl (XLE Premium)
Here are the other exterior features that remain the same between the two models.
- LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Privacy glass
- Aerodynamic underbody panels
- Integrated rear spoiler
- Dual chrome-tipped exhaust
- Black low-profile roof rails
- Variable intermittent windshield wipers
- Intermittent rear window wiper
- Color-matched heated power outside mirrors
- Color-matched outside door handles
- LED taillights
- Color-mounted shark-fin antenna on the roof
As far as the differences, the XLE comes with 17” 5-spoke light gray alloy wheels, while the XLE Premium has 19” Super Chrome alloy wheels. Plus, the XLE Premium has these three added features, not standard with the XLE:
- Power tilt/slide moonroof with one-touch open/close
- Height-adjustable power liftgate
- Integrated LED fog lights
The cabins of the XLE and XLE Premium trims of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 are very similar. Starting with the dimensions, you see they are the same in many ways.
- Seating capacity: 5
- EPA interior volume: 136.4 cubic feet
- EPA passenger volume: 98.9 cubic feet
- Cargo volume (front/rear): 69.8 cubic feet/37.5 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”
When it comes to the RAV4 XLE interior colors versus the RAV4 XLE Premium interior colors, there are some differences. Here are the three available with the XLE:
- Ash Fabric
- Black Fabric
- Nutmeg Fabric
In comparison, you have these options with the RAV4 XLE Premium:
- Ash SofTex
- Black SofTex
- Nutmeg SofTex
As far as features are concerned, you get this equipment with either RAV4:
- Rear liftgate window defogger
- 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (lumbar support)
- 4-way front passenger seat
- Height-adjustable rear cargo area deck board
- Tonneau cover for cargo area
- 4 cup holders
- Four bottle holders
- Day/night rearview mirror
- Power windows
- 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat
There are only a few differences, including the following:
- Dual-zone automatic climate control system (XLE)/Dual-zone automatic climate control system with front vent flow controls (XLE Premium)
- Black in-dash storage trays (XLE)/Black anti-slip in-dash storage trays (XLE Premium)
Additionally, the XLE Premium has a leather-trimmed shift lever with sequential mode.
Safety and Technology Differences
Regarding technology and safety, the RAV4 XLE and XLE Premium offer mainly the same standard equipment. Of course, you can choose to upgrade some of these features, which would alter the final result.
Starting with tech features, both RAV4 models include the following equipment standard:
- Two 12V/120W auxiliary power outlets (1 in front, 1 in rear)
- Five USB ports
- Digital speedometer
- 7” digital Multi-Information Display
- 8” Audio Multimedia Display
- 6-speaker sound system
- Wireless Apple CarPlay®
- Android Auto™
Moving on to safety equipment, I continue to see the same standard features. These include the following:
- Eight airbags
- Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS)
- Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- Trailer-Sway Control (TSC)
- Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
These RAV4s also come with the Star Safety System™. This innovative safety system comes with the following:
- Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
- Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
- Brake Assist (BA)
- Traction Control (TRAC)
- Smart Stop Technology® (SST)
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
With the standard Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.5 (TSS 2.5) system, you also get the following:
- Pre-Collision System w/Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
- Road Sign Assist (RSA)
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
- Automatic High Beams (AHB)
- Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
- Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
The only safety differences include these two cameras setups:
- Backup camera, including dynamic gridlines (XLE)
- Backup camera including a projected path (XLE Premium)
Price and Value
Following the 2023 RAV4 price increases, there are new MSRPs for all of the trim levels. Let’s compare the two.
- XLE: $29,085
- XLE Premium: $31,975
That’s only a difference of $2,890 between the two. While I’ve already outlined all the differences, here are the main factors contributing to the price difference between the XLE and XLE Premium, respectively:
- 17” vs. 19” wheels
- No moonroof vs. Power tilt/slide moonroof
- Fabric interior vs. SofTex
The other differences are negligible and don’t add much to the cost.
Should You Buy the RAV4 XLE or XLE Premium?
I can’t determine what’s best for you, but I’ve done my best to outline the differences for your review. By comparing the features side-by-side, you should be able to tell what’s ideal in your situation.
With the performance and size comparable to one another, the decision comes down to technology and style. Does one appeal to you more than another, and is it worth the extra cost?
If you don’t mind a fabric interior and don’t want a moonroof, you may do fine with the XLE. However, if you want an upgraded seat material and a moonroof is non-negotiable, the cost isn’t going to matter much to you.
My recommendation is to test drive both RAV4 models. When comparing the two models side-by-side at the dealership, it’s much easier to determine which is better.
Your RAV4 is Waiting
With so few differences between the XLE and XLE Premium trims of the RAV4, I don’t believe you’ll be unhappy with either model. What’s most important is the powertrain and the spacious design, which are the same.
However, I do understand the importance of getting every feature you want. That’s why I can’t encourage you enough to compare the options carefully. Even the smallest difference may be a deal-breaker for you. The sooner you decide, the faster you will be in your new RAV4 exploring your neighborhood.
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