Is The 2020 Toyota Rav4 Road Trip Material?

  • by Sophie Williams
  • Sep 26,2020

An introverted car enthusiast steps out of her shell.

In the beginning of November, I went on a trip to Georgia for a conference with A Girls Guide To Cars.  If you have never heard of them and are a female car enthusiast, definitely check them out.  Anyway, if you don’t know I’m a huge introvert and super anti social, so going to a conference where I don’t know anyone was a little scary.  However, one thing that all of us had in common was the fact that we were there for this conference, and it was car related.  Growing up, being a female who was into cars wasn’t really a “thing.”  There were a few of us, but oftentimes, those girls were looked at as just trying to be one of the guys and not actually into cars.  That was not the case, for those few of us, especially not for me.  Even though I love builds, and I do enjoy the beauty and history behind cars, one of the things that A Girls Guide to Cars is doing is talking about cars from a different perspective.  It’s so easy to talk about the things that most people like about cars, but for some women out there, they aren’t interested in torque or horsepower, but are interested in “will this fit my groceries,” “will this fit car seats,” “is there a good spot for my purse?”  While I do absolutely love driving fast, and obviously if you’ve been following me for a while, y’all know I don’t care about car seats (no kids for me), but I did want to talk about this car objectively from a point of view of is it what I would need for a specific trip.  Because my audience (at least those who interact with me) is predominantly mamas, let’s go over a few pros and cons of the Toyota and the memories that were made in this car.

Day 1 of the Conference

On Day 1, my girl Kitty (or also known as Natalie) of Ginger Me Glam, and I packed ourselves into the Rav4 XLE AWD to start our adventure of #GirlsDrive2019 Con.  The first thing that truly caught my eye was the color of this car.  It’s called Lunar Rock.  These photos do not do this color justice!  Back to my story!  We didn’t know each other, other than meeting at dinner the night before and talking about how we used to be emo/scene girls in the mid’ish 2000’s.  I felt a little comfortable being paired up with her to take this trip.  As you can see the Rav4 does have adequate trunk space.  You can’t tell by the picture, but we still had a ton of room, which was great for the next part of this trip. which was going to Target.  It doesn’t get anymore basic than that, am I right?

Related:  I have a thing for this color, check out this article for another car that sports this color.

How does the music sound in the Rav4?

Kitty and I, of course had to jam out and reminisce on our younger days when we didn’t have a care in the world, and going to concerts/shows was what “living my best life” was basically defined as, at that point in time.  Because of that, we blasted ADTR (A Day to Remember) and talked about other bands that we saw in concert.  I will say, I was highly impressed by the sound, but I mean they do come equipped with JBL Speakers, and ya girl got some swag from JBL as well *woot woot*.  The speakers were actually pretty great.  If you have your phone GPS plugged in, the music does quiet down for the GPS to give you directions, I know some cars don’t do that and some people are really particular about that feature.

We arrived at Target for a few things; enough said.

That’s what she said

Once we arrived to Target, we decided to go look at some ugly Christmas sweaters, then look for some gloves because it did get a little chilly and one of our meetups was outside.  Well, you can’t take women to Target for just one thing, as I said previously.  Of course, this quick trip to Target turned into a full on shopping spree.  I came across this Dundler Mifflin Tshirt, and if you know me well, you know that I LOVE THE OFFICE.  I’m pretty sure if there was a trivia night based all around The Office, I would 110% win, every. single. time.  I mean how can you not like the iconic show that somehow got away with saying “Dwight, you ignorant slut” on television?

Day 2 of the Conference

On Day 2 we were able to drive around and find some great spots to take photos.  If you read this post last week about my adventures with my girls, you would already know about all of the things we did and where we went on each day, along with some great stories.  I swear, if you haven’t read that yet, please do because there are some amazing stories.  Weird situations follow me where ever I go.  Anyway, we took a trip to a filming location from The Walking Dead.  We took the Rav4 for this trip because it was comfortable, and honestly, we could have definitely fit more people with us.  I will say that because we were getting a little lost, the suspension in this car is a little rough.  I’m used to my personal car which has a tight suspension, and this was had a little bit of a bumpy ride.  When you drive on regular roads, that can be a little bit of an annoyance.  I also get motion sickness very easily, so it might have also just been me.  To give you an idea of how sensitive I am, I have been experiencing vertigo from traveling from this trip.

Related:  If you’re a road trip fan, this is a great way to turn it into a learning experience.

Have you tried Adaptive Cruise Control yet?

I’m not going to lie, Adaptive Cruise Control terrifies me, and so does autonomous driving.  If it doesn’t terrify you this car comes equipped with it.  In the Toyota Rav4 it’s also called Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.  For those of you who don’t know what this is, let me give you a quick explanation, but if you want a full blown article talking about this, check out this article.  Adaptive Cruise Control or Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (we are going to refer to it as ACC for the sake of keeping it simple here), is similar to regular cruise control, however this safety feature helps set a safe speed and distance between you and the car in front of you.  Here is an excerpt from the article I mentioned above:

The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control system uses a camera and millimeter-wave radar to recognize if there is a vehicle directly in front of you. If there is, the system automatically makes speed adjustments to maintain a safe following distance between you and the car in front of you.

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control works at all speed levels, which in turn reduces driver fatigue. If you’ve ever been stuck in a long traffic jam or have had a brake-happy driver in front of you, you know tiring it can be to constantly adjust your cruise control settings. The system will automatically slow or stop your vehicle when the vehicle in front of you slows or stops, and the system will increase your speed as the preceding vehicle does. This makes highway driving much easier for drivers, and it makes driving long distances much less tiring. (via this article)

Related:  If you’re not ready for the 2020 Rav4, check out this article about the 2019.

This ain’t your Mama’s Rav4

I’m going to be honest, I’m highly impressed with how much the Rav4 has changed over the years.  Do you remember what they used to look like?  They weren’t anything exciting, and  just looked like a car you would get because you’re a responsible adult.  However, with how the Rav4 has evolved over the years, it actually looks like a fun car.

Related:  If you’re a huge fan of adventure, read this article for more fun with the Rav4!

Show me the facts!

Ok, so now that I’ve talked about a lot, what are the facts about the Rav4?

  • MSRP:  From $25,850
  • MPG:  Up to 26 City/35 Highway
  • Horsepower:  203 HP
  • Towing Capacity:  1,500-3,500lbs
  • Engine:  2.5 L 4-Cylinder

This particular model that I drove, the XLE has the following features:

  • $27,145 starting
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0)
  • Available Audio Plus — includes 8-in. touch-screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay® & Amazon Alexa compatible, and SiriusXM® with 3-month All Access trial
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Smart Key System on front doors and liftgate
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)

Let’s move on to the interior of the car!

Remember how I talked about adaptive cruise control?  If you look on the steering wheel on the right side, that’s where you set the adaptive cruise control, check out the video below to see exactly how to set it up.

This is touch screen that I talked about in the facts portion of this post.  Kitty and I ended up using our phones for Apple Play and Android Auto.  I’m a creature of habit, so when I have to learn new GPS systems in a car, I get nervous and use my phone haha!

These are the different modes that you could use in the Rav4 depending on what kind of terrain you are met with.

I know a lot of cars nowadays have this, but I do love that you are able to control the temperature on both the driver and passenger side.  My body temperature changes from hot to cold extremely often that probably drives most people nuts.

The center console was huge, and could fit so much, even your purse if it’s a little smaller.  Now, as a blogger and someone who is constantly on their phone, there are so many USB hookups in this car.  There are two in the center consule, one in the consule that has the temperature control, and you’ll see this a little bit later, but two in the back.

Just as an FYI, this two tone interior is fabric and not leather.  I know some people prefer one over the other.

Anyone in the back can regulate their vents, and they also have two USB hookups.  This is great for anyone really, but if you’re a mom, this is perfect for those children who love to watch shows and kill their batteries fast.

Don’t mind us, we are just taking over every part of this car haha!  The back is great for us bloggers who take outfit photos in multiple locations and may or may not change in the car for each photo.

Photo Courtesy of Ginger Me Glam

Remember how I mentioned the car seat challenge that we did?  This is photo evidence of how tight it was for me.  So for my mama’s out there, if you have two, it might be slightly uncomfortable.  However, if you’re smaller than me then it might be perfect for you.

Related:  If you’re a mama, let your child record their voice for Waze.

The trunk space in this car was surprisingly impressive.  You can also put down the back seats if you need more room and don’t need seating for anyone in the back.

PROS of the Rav4

The color!  I absolutely fell in love with this Lunar Rock color.  I’m not going to lie, this was the first thing I noticed about the car.

It does have Apple Play and Android Auto.  For those people who want to stick to what they know (like myself) Apple Play and Android Auto are great!

I can’t get over the trunk space.  My first car had an enormous amount of trunk space, and ever since then, that’s one of the things I look for in a car.  It’s probably because I became used to it and the convenience of it.

JBL speakers are amazing.  As someone who listens to a lot of music, sound quality of speakers are something I truly look into.  Thankfully my fiance is a mechanic and also an expert with electrical, so he was able to change the entire sound system in my daily driver (I also had subwoofers).  However, not everyone is as lucky as me, so having a car that comes equipped with good sound quality is a plus in my book.

Push Start.  For some people this is definitely a pro, however for me it’s a con, BUT I’m weird so I’m adding it into the pro list for the rest of the world haha.  I like the old fashioned starting your car with a key, but some people prefer push start.

Cons of the Rav4

The pickup isn’t that great for my gear heads out there, but great for a nice drive, or just cruising.  It’s definitely not the hp that I’m used to, but this isn’t really a car that you want to be “racing” with.

If you’re a mom, you can’t sit comfortably in the middle with two car seats on either side.  If you only have one car seat then you can definitely sit in the back.  With that being said, it might be uncomfortable trying to get the kids in and out of the car.  I may not have kids, but I have two nephews, and it can be a little uncomfortable.

The suspension makes me feel every bump.  It’s a very bumpy ride, and with me being very susceptible to motion sickness, this is definitely something that is a major con for me.

Does this pass the road trip test?

Yes!  Even with the cons, it does pass the road trip test.  I made memories in this car with my new friends, and drove all around Atlanta and Marietta Georgia with it.  There is a ton of room in the trunk, and the backseat does have enough room to have passengers, and of course it’s blogger/influencer friendly.

In conclusion

You may be asking yourself (if you were following me on social media), well what about Day 3?  That is a totally different topic that is going to be saved for Thursday, so make sure to stay tuned!  Video will be included as well.

Have you ever owned or driven the Rav4?  What year did you drive, and what did you think?

xoxo Monica

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Disclaimer:  This was a media vehicle loaned for our A Girls Guide to Cars #GirlsDrive2019 Conference.  We were hosted by A Girls Guide to Cars, however all opinions are my own.

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