Fast, powerful cars don’t necessarily need to break the bank. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid starts at just $28,500 and has made U.S. News’ list of 30 Fastest Cars Under $30K in 2021. With amazing fuel economy and an impressive level of power for a hybrid, this vehicle definitely stands out from the crowd.
What to expect from the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors. It makes 219 hp and has a fuel economy of 41 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles per gallon on the highway. It comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense, the automaker’s package of advanced safety features. This package includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane centering assist, and adaptive cruise control. Additionally, the RAV4 Hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive.
U.S. News praises this vehicle’s infotainment system, noting that it is easy to use and that its physical controls are easily reachable by the driver. A 7.0-inch touchscreen comes standard, as does a WiFi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. Optional features include a panoramic moonroof and proximity keyless entry.
The RAV4 Hybrid has an overall safety rating a five out of five stars from the NHTSA. Reviewers praise the vehicle’s power, noting that the torque provided by the electric motors makes it easy for the RAV4 Hybrid to pass vehicles at high speeds and take off smoothly from a complete stop.
A surprising addition to this U.S. News list
Hybrid vehicles may be well-known for their incredible gas mileage, but they are not typically noted for their speed and power. As such, it’s actually fairly surprising to find the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid on this list.
Looking at the RAV4’s specs, though, it’s easy to see why it made the cut. U.S. News does note that you have the option of purchasing the non-hybrid version of the RAV4 for approximately $2,500 less than the hybrid. However, the non-hybrid version only makes 203 hp, meaning that you’ll give up a fair amount of power in exchange for the price cut. The non-hybrid RAV4 also gets drastically lower fuel economy in the city. For highway driving, its mileage is comparable. Even so, the hybrid version of the RAV4 is undeniably the more powerful option.
Is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid a good purchase?
In short, yes: The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is an excellent purchase. In fact, U.S. News states that in its comparisons of hybrid and electric SUVs, this vehicle ranks very close to the top. For under $30,000, you can choose between the base LE model and the higher level XLE. U.S. News recommends opting for the latter, as it is only a moderate bump in price, and offers a significant number of additional features.
Reviewers state the RAV4 Hybrid has “an outstanding combination of quality and value in its class,” with “just about everything you could want in a small SUV.” It provides an impressively smooth ride, as well as a significant amount of cargo space. In fact, with 69.8 cubic feet behind the front seats, the RAV4 Hybrid boasts a class-leading cargo hold.
Reviewers also praised the RAV4 Hybrid’s ride, stating that it handles well and does not jostle passengers too much when going over bumps. This vehicle does have slightly more body sway than the non-hybrid version, but test drivers did not find it to be excessive.
For anyone on the market for a greener vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice power, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is an excellent option. It is speedy, spacious, and comfortable, with a price that’s hard to beat.