The Toyota RAV4 Trail is a variation of the previous generation that was introduced in 2018. It is designed to offer more possibilities to buyers, with unique styling that includes black accents throughout the vehicle. The RAV4 Trail has the ability to tow 3,500 pounds, which is more than any other Toyota RAV4 that was offered at that time. This increased towing capacity was made possible due to a modified radiator, an added engine oil cooler, and an additional transmission fluid cooler. Additionally, the vehicle has a raised and recalibrated suspension compared to the XLE version on which it is based, giving it better ground clearance.
However, it is important to note that the engine in the RAV4 Trail is still the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 176 horsepower, which transmits power to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. While the cooling system and suspension have been reworked on this edition, the modest power may be exceeded by the task of towing 3,500 pounds, depending on the conditions in which the vehicle is being towed.
On the other hand, the Kia Sportage X-Line is also an off-road-oriented version that includes reworked bumpers, increased ground clearance, and varied driving modes compared to the regular Kia Sportage. The X-Line edition also features the same 2.5-litre, 187-hp 4-cylinder engine as the other versions, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. However, the towing capacity of this edition is 2500 lb, which is a considerable difference from the Toyota RAV4 Trail.
Another point that differentiates the Kia Sportage from the Toyota RAV4 Trail is modernism. The interior presentation of the Sportage is much more flamboyant, with many screens featuring a pleasant interface. The solidity of the finish is also noteworthy, as well as the living space. On the RAV4 side, it is much more conservative with analog dials and a 7-inch screen with a more rudimentary interface. This is not surprising, as there is a five-year difference between the design of these two vehicles.
While the purchase price of the RAV4 Trail should trade around $32,000, which remains very close to its initial selling price of $35,000, the Kia Sportage is approaching $37,000 or $38,000. This will invariably make a difference in terms of the monthly payment. However, the more advantageous interest rate for the purchase of a new vehicle could potentially reduce the difference in the initial price between the two models.
Kia Sportage vs Toyota RAV4 Trail: Who Gets The Edge
Overall, the uneven comparison between the two cars gives the Kia Sportage the edge. It will be more pleasant to own due to its modernity and is unlikely to be problematic for a period of five years. However, if you do not care about gadgets and your goal is to keep the vehicle for the very long term, the Toyota RAV4 is to be preferred because of its rock-solid reliability.
When it comes to towing, it is important to not only consider the towing capacity of a vehicle but also other factors such as the engine, cooling system, suspension, and ground clearance. Additionally, the purchase price and reliability of the vehicle should also be taken into consideration. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which vehicle is the best.
Please, share your thoughts in the comments section about the RAV4 vs Kia Sportage and see my previous coverage on the subject, titled: The 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs Kia Sportage: Two Honest Hybrid Savers.
Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.