Toyota RAV4 vs HighLander: Difference and Comparison

SUVs over the last few years have become extremely popular in their segment. Offering better comfort and more space, the sales of SUVs are now on the rise more than ever. One of the most popular brands to provide excellent SUVs is Toyota. Toyota has many offerings, but two models worth comparing are RAV4 and Highlander.

Key Takeaways

  1. Toyota Highlander is larger and has more seating capacity than the RAV4.
  2. Toyota RAV4 is more fuel-efficient than the Highlander.
  3. Toyota Highlander has more cargo space than the RAV4.

Toyota RAV4 vs Highlander

The Toyota RAV4 is a compact crossover SUV and is known for its fuel efficiency, and reliability. It is available with a range of engines, front-wheel, and all-wheel drive, and can seat up to five passengers. Toyota Highlander is a mid-size crossover SUV with a spacious interior, comfortable ride, and versatility.

Toyota RAV4 vs Highlander

Toyota RAV4 is a compact crossover SUV vehicle made by the Japanese automobile company Toyota. The first model of RAV4 was launched in 1996, and it was the first compact SUV of its time. It was designed to provide the core benefits of full-fledged SUVs at that time.

Highlander is a mid-size crossover SUV made by the Japanese automobile company Toyota. The first model of Highlander was launched in 2001. At the time of its launch, it became one of the first car-based mid-size SUV vehicles. Toyota Highlander is also known as Toyota Kluger.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonToyota RAV4Highlander
CapacityComfortable seating for 5 passengers.Comfortable seating for 8 people.
Horsepower203hp Horsepower295hp Horsepower
Fuel Tank CapacityUp to 12 gallons.Up to 17.9 gallons.
Fuel Economy27 miles per gallon for roads and 35 miles per gallon for highways.21 miles per gallon for roads and 29 miles per gallon for highways.
Towing CapacityIt can tow up to 1500 lbs.It can tow up to 5000 lbs.

What is Toyota RAV4?

Toyota RAV4 is one of Toyota’s most famous compact crossover SUVs. The first model of RAV4 was launched in 1994 and was both critically and commercially praised. The compact size, easy handling, and generous equipment methods attracted a lot of customers. As a result, the production was immediately doubled due to its high sale. Since then, there have been five generations of RAV4 models.

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With the RAV4, Toyota has implemented the all-wheel-drive feature. This ensures smooth handling and optimized performance even when the road is uneven or muddy. One of the biggest advantages of the RAV4 is that all RAV4 models are built-in Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which prioritizes passenger safety in unexpected circumstances.

One area where RAV4 falls behind is the luggage space it provides. The luggage space provided is noticeably less and falls pale in comparison to other SUVs in its segment.

The latest RAV4 2021 comes in six models, including LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, TRD Off-Road, and Limited. A great mileage in its segment and the safety features it provides stand out from the crowd. RAV4 is Toyota’s best-selling SUV model, and it surpassed 10 million sales at the end of February 2020. In 2019, RAV4 was the best-selling SUV in the world.

toyota rav4

What is Highlander?

Highlander, or Toyota Kluger, is a mid-size crossover made by Toyota. Launched in 2001 at a time when most SUVs were built like pickup trucks, Highlander was a perfect balance of car-like unibody construction in the form of an SUV. Compared to the bigger truck-based SUVs at that time, Highlander was exactly what people were looking for. Since its first release in 2001, there have been four generations of Toyota Highlander.

With Highlander as well, Toyota has implemented the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. In addition, Highlander comes with an easy-to-access LATCH System for child safety as well. Highlander provides best-in-class seating quality, and its interior is well muted from air noise, improving its ride quality substantially. Because the car feels bulky, the AWD is a plus. It adds additional balance and smooth handling, making it easy for long and difficult routes.

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One area where Highlander lacks is the less cargo space it offers because of the extra third row. It provides only 16 cubic feet of cargo space in the third row, which is relatively low in its segment.

Highlander comes in six models, including L, LE, XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum. Highlander is known for its whopping 5000 lbs of towing capacity, which is the best in its segment.

toyota highlander

Main Differences Between Toyota RAV4 and Highlander

  1. Toyota RAV4 offers a much better fuel economy as compared to Highlander, which is an added advantage.
  2. Though RAV4 offers better mileage, the fuel capacity is much less than Highlander at just 12 gallons compared to 17.9 gallons in the latter.
  3. For consumers interested in off-roading, the RAV4 is also available in rugged models that the Highlander can’t match.
  4. Even though both the RAV4 and highlander are only available with one engine, the performance offered by RAV4 is substantially lesser than the highlander’s performance.
  5. RAV4 is not the one to pick for towing purposes and offers only 1500 lbs. On the other hand, the towing capacity of a highlander is much larger at 5000 lbs.

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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13 thoughts on “Toyota RAV4 vs HighLander: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Really useful information! I’m thinking of buying a new car soon and this has really helped me understanding the differences between the two models.

  2. This was an interesting read but it seems to be missing some crucial details. It doesn’t give a fair assessment of the Highlander’s capabilities in terms of ride quality and handling.

  3. I think the comments about the cargo space are definitely important when considering which model to buy. It’s good to know the differences. Thank you for the comparison!

  4. I found this post to be extremely biased and misleading. While it’s informative, it’s failing to recognize the overall value of the Highlander.


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