TOYOTA RAV4 XLE VS XLE PREMIUM: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

If you’re considering a 2023 Toyota RAV4, you know there are many trim levels. Deciding between the popular Toyota Rav4 XLE vs XLE Premium models can take time and effort. While similar in many ways, key differences set these two trims apart.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the Rav4 XLE vs XLE Premium models across all the features that matter most – exterior, interior, technology, safety, and price. We’ll outline the pros and cons of each trim so you can determine which RAV4 best matches your needs and budget. Let’s dive in!

EXTERIOR DIFFERENCES OF TOYOTA RAV4 XLE VS XLE PREMIUM

TOYOTA RAV4 XLE VS XLE PREMIUM

When examining the XLE vs XLE Premium RAV4 from the outside, you’ll notice more similarities than differences at first glance. Both trims share the same:

  • Wheelbase – 105.9 inches
  • Overall length/width – 180.9 inches/73.0 inches
  • LED daytime running lights
  • 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
  • Colour-matched heated power outside mirrors
  • Colour-matched outside door handles
  • LED taillights
  • Colour-mounted shark-fin antenna

When comparing dimensions, there are slight variances in height and track width:

  • Size: 67.0 inches (XLE), 67.2 inches (XLE Premium)
  • Track width (front/rear): 63.0/63.7 inches (XLE), 62.6/63.3 inches (XLE Premium)

Both trims are available in most exterior colour options, including:

  • Blueprint
  • Lunar Rock
  • Magnetic Rock Metallic
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Ruby Flare Pearl
  • Silver Sky Metallic

The XLE has an exclusive Ice Cap colour, while the XLE Premium comes in Wind Chill Pearl.

For wheels, the XLE rides on 17-inch 5-spoke light grey alloy wheels, while the XLE Premium gets upgraded 19-inch Super Chrome alloy wheels for a more premium look.

The XLE Premium also gains a few additional exterior features not found on the XLE:

  • Power tilt/slide moonroof with one-touch open/close
  • Height-adjustable power liftgate
  • Integrated LED fog lights

So, in terms of exterior differences, the XLE Premium comes out slightly ahead with its larger wheels, moonroof, power liftgate, and LED fog lights. But, the overall exterior design remains very similar across both models.

INTERIOR DIFFERENCES OF TOYOTA RAV4 XLE VS XLE PREMIUM

TOYOTA RAV4 XLE VS XLE PREMIUM

Stepping inside the XLE vs XLE Premium RAV4 reveals cabins that are nearly identical in size and layout. Key interior dimensions are the same, including:

  • Seating capacity: 5
  • EPA internal volume: 136.4 cubic feet
  • EPA passenger volume: 98.9 cubic feet
  • Cargo volume with rear seats up/down: 69.8/37.5 cubic feet
  • Cargo space dimensions (length/width/height)
  • Front/rear headroom and legroom
  • Front/back shoulder and hip room

The core interior features are also shared between trims:

  • Rear liftgate window defogger
  • 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support
  • 4-way manual front passenger seat
  • Height-adjustable and fold-flat rear seats
  • Tonneau cover for cargo area
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Rearview camera
  • In-dash storage trays
  • Day/night rearview mirror
  • Power windows
  • Four cup holders and bottle holders

The Toyota Rav4 XLE vs XLE premium differ in interior colour options and materials. The XLE comes in fabric seats, while the XLE Premium upgrades to SofTex synthetic leather for a more premium feel.

The XLE interior color choices are:

  • Ash fabric
  • Black fabric
  • Nutmeg fabric

The XLE Premium interior colours are:

  • Ash SofTex
  • Black SofTex
  • Nutmeg SofTex

The XLE Premium gains a leather-trimmed shift knob and sequential shifting mode.

Overall, the interior of the XLE Premium provides a slightly more upscale look and feel over the XLE thanks to its SofTex seats and leather accents. But both cabins offer similar roominess, cargo space, and core features.

SAFETY AND TECHNOLOGY DIFFERENCES

TOYOTA RAV4 XLE VS XLE PREMIUM

The XLE and XLE Premium RAV4 are nearly equal regarding safety and technology. They share an impressive suite of standard tech and safety equipment, including:

Technology Features:

Safety Features:

  • Eight airbags
  • Blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Trailer sway control
  • Hill start assist
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 system:
  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
  • Full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control
  • Lane departure alert with steering assist
  • Automatic high beams
  • Road sign assist

The XLE comes equipped with a standard backup camera with dynamic gridlines, while the XLE Premium gains a backup camera with a projected path display – a minor upgrade.

Otherwise, both trims provide the latest tech and safety in equal measure. You’ll be well-connected and protected regardless of which RAV4 you choose.

PRICE AND VALUE

With the 2023 model year price increases, here are the new MSRPs for the RAV4 XLE and XLE Premium:

  • XLE: $29,085
  • XLE Premium: $31,975

The price difference between the two trims is $2,890. What accounts for this gap in pricing? Here are the key factors:

  • Larger 19-inch wheels vs 17-inch (XLE Premium)
  • Power moonroof (XLE Premium)
  • SofTex synthetic leather seats (XLE Premium)

The other feature differences, like the exterior lights and power liftgate, make up a smaller portion of the price increase.

The XLE Premium commands a premium price tag thanks to its upgraded wheels, moonroof, and SofTex interior materials. These features improve the visual appeal and comfort of the standard XLE model.

WHICH RAV4 TRIM IS BETTER FOR YOU?

Which is better, with very few major difference between xle and xle premium trims? Here are a few key factors to consider:

To maximize affordability, The XLE provides pleasing styling, a comfortable ride, and ample safety tech at the lowest price. Go for this trim to get an excellent value.

If you want a more premium experience, The XLE Premium brings visual enhancements like larger wheels, extra exterior lights, and an upscale interior. It’s worth the upgrade if you want these luxury touches.

If tech and safety are your priority, Either trim will satisfy you since they share the same robust suite of tech and driver aids. Focus your decision instead on affordability or material quality.

If you frequently haul cargo, The XLE Premium’s power liftgate makes loading bulky items easier. Also, consider the vertical cargo dimensions with the moonroof.

If you drive long distances, The XLE Premium’s moonroof and SofTex seats add comfort and reduce fatigue over long trips.

Test driving both models can clarify which RAV4 trim best fits your needs and preferences. When comparing side-by-side, the extra splurge for the XLE Premium may seem like something other than worthwhile to you.

FIND YOUR PERFECT RAV4

In the Toyota RAV4 lineup, you can go right with either the well-equipped XLE or the fancier XLE Premium model. The difference between rav4 xle and xle premium trims is relatively minor regarding performance, interior space, and standard features.

Focus instead on the aesthetics, material quality, and pricing that most matter to you. Take time to review the trim comparisons and test drive your top contenders. Before you know it, you’ll hit the road and trails in your new RAV4!

Conclusion

The Toyota Rav4 XLE vs XLE Premium trims offer great value for a compact SUV. The XLE Premium adds several appealing upgrades over the standard XLE, including a power liftgate, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a larger infotainment screen. The XLE still provides ample features like Toyota Safety Sense, alloy wheels, and dual-zone climate control.

The XLE Premium is worth the extra cost if you want more luxury and tech, while the XLE hits the sweet spot for value and functionality. Those seeking more basic transportation can save money with the XLE, but most buyers will appreciate the XLE Premium’s extras.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main difference between the RAV4 XLE and XLE Premium exterior?

The XLE Premium has larger 19-inch wheels, a power moonroof, a height-adjustable power liftgate, and LED fog lights. The XLE comes equipped with 17-inch wheels and lacks the extra exterior upgrades.

Do the RAV4 XLE and XLE Premium have the same performance and powertrain?

Performance specifications like horsepower, torque, and fuel economy remain identical between XLE and XLE Premium trims. The powertrain options are the same as well.