A white 2023 Toyota RAV4 TRD is shown from the side while off-road after leaving a Toyota dealer.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4: The Best Features of This Compact SUV

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular compact SUVs on the market—easy to find at any Toyota dealer worth its salt—and it looms high on its pedestal for several solid reasons. People love this model because it has a modern look, has high reliability ratings, and delivers a punchy performance for its class. However, the RAV4 truly shines because it has a host of great features that make day-to-day life easier for its owners. Not only that, but it has some pretty great off-roading capabilities, as well as a new trim dedicated to the backcountry.

Let’s take a look at the best of the best that the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has to offer…

TRD Tuned Suspension

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 delivers a truly solid performance. It may not be the fastest compact SUV, but it provides a stable ride. This model comes standard with a 2.5L inline four-cylinder, having a maximum power output of 203 hp and a torque of 184 lb-ft. It is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is also pretty swift despite there being several faster options; according to road tests, it takes about 8.3 seconds to accelerate from zero to sixty. However, its most exciting feature doesn’t have anything to do with speed but rather stability: the TRD-tuned suspension. This makes the TRD trim of the compact SUV one of the best in its class for off-roading.

What makes the TRD-tuned suspension so great is that it has enhanced rebound control. Not only does this allow for an ultra-smooth ride on the pavement, but it means trails and rough terrain will be a breeze. This vehicle also has revised spring rates. Luckily, drivers won’t have to worry about the underside of the SUV being damaged by rough terrain because it has copious skid plates. Additionally, all trims of the RAV4 have multilink rear suspension, which improves handling and overall vehicle control.

The TRD-tuned suspension makes the RAV4 a solid option, providing a comfortable ride despite where it’s driven.

Three Different Drive Modes

Another of the best features of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is that it has multiple drive modes—three, to be exact. The first and perhaps most used is the “Sport” mode. While not a drastic change, Sport mode offers quicker acceleration; this will come in handy if you’re in a hurry or just in the mood for a more thrilling ride. There’s also the “Eco” mode, which, of course, prioritizes your consumption of fuel. (Drivers should be aware that their SUV may feel less powerful in Eco mode.)

The third drive mode on the 2023 RAV4 is “Normal.” According to the automaker, Normal gives an experience that combines Eco and Sport. Perhaps the greatest part of a vehicle with multiple drive modes is that drivers can pick one that at least somewhat closely matches their mood or road conditions, e.g. Sport on the highway and Eco in the city. Furthermore, it’s a fine way to keep your travels interesting!

The interior of a 2023 Toyota RAV4 TRD is shown from the passenger side.

Advanced Technology

Many of the best features of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 concern its interior technology. One of these is the available 12.3-inch touchscreen Multi-Information Display. Not only does it provide turn-by-turn directions, but it provides alerts and safety information as well. The Multi-Information Display is easy to glean data from while keeping your eyes on the road since its clear text stands directly behind the steering wheel.

Another of the best RAV4 features is the available Panoramic View Monitor with Camera Perimeter Scan. This system uses four cameras for drivers to check their surroundings. One of the most interesting parts of this feature happens when the SUV is parked and in Moving View mode: it provides an animated bird’s eye view of the top of the car to show more of the surroundings in full.

Nowadays, people need ample USB ports in their vehicles. Luckily, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is one of the best small SUVs in this regard. The RAV4 has up to five USB ports to help keep mobile devices charged. However, buyers should note that not all the available USB ports will be compatible with all devices. Still, Toyota’s inclusion of this many ports makes the RAV4 a pretty convenient option. Drivers can also add a wireless charging dock for Qi-compatible devices.

The overall audio experience in the RAV4 is one potentially glowing feature. First, it offers wireless compatibility with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; this means that, in most cases, there is no need to plug up your device to get the full interface from either of these two options. The standard sound system in this Toyota SUV is pretty solid, but drivers can upgrade it to a premium next-gen JBL system, operating at 800 watts with an impressive eleven speakers.

Connected Services

Another significant aspect of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is that it offers several connected services. Remote Connect is perhaps the most useful, as it allows the driver to use a device such as an Apple Watch or Android Smart Watch to remotely connect to the RAV4. When connected, drivers can locate, unlock/lock, or even start the car. (This feature requires either a trial or full subscription for Remote Connect.)

Wi-Fi Connect is another of the services buyers can add. Essentially, it turns the RAV4 into a hotspot for up to five devices; using Wi-Fi Connect also helps save battery life on your respective devices. You can get a one-month trial for 3GB of data. The RAV4 also comes with both Safety Connect and Service Connect.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.5

The safety package of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is among its most remarkable features. Of course, not everything available will come on the base trim, but all that comes standard is truly cutting-edge, and it’s really generous for Toyota to give so much to even the base trim. Some of the most essential parts of Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 are Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams.

This vehicle also has an available Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; this gives an auditory and visual warning if you depart a lane going 32 mph or more. If you don’t take action, this system will provide a gentle nudge to get you back into your lane.

A white 2023 Toyota RAV4 TRD is shown from the rear at an angle.

Utility Features

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is a vehicle designed to succeed in any situation; this is perhaps most apparent with its various utility features. One of the most significant is its hands-free power liftgate. Owners can use the button to not only open the liftgate but to close it as well. Additionally, it can sense your smart fob and open the liftgate automatically in case your hands are occupied; you activate this by simply waving your foot under the rear of the SUV.

Another utility feature of the RAV4 is its eight-inch ground clearance, which helps make off-roading a breeze. A vehicle of this height also provides a better view of your surroundings with its high seat position.

There is also an accessory power outlet in the rear cargo area. It comes standard as a 12-volt, 120-watt outlet. However, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 TRD, Adventure, and Hybrid Woodland trims all have a 120-volt, 100-watt outlet. This, of course, comes in handy for activities such as camping.

Final Thoughts on the 2023 RAV4

Overall, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is a wonderfully well-rounded SUV. It’s notoriously reliable and has many brilliant standard features that make it a top-notch SUV—so spacious and decked-out you’ll forget it’s a compact until you pull into a parking lot!