2020 Toyota RAV4 vs. RAV4 Hybrid: It All Comes Down to Preference

The competition amongst popular SUVs is fierce. And to keep up with the latest trends, an automaker now faces more significant contests within itself. That is certainly the case with Toyota, as the 2020 Toyota RaV4 Hybrid has started to outsell the traditional 2020 Toyota RAV4. Both the RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid offer unique benefits at relatively affordable prices. Deciding between these two SUVs boils down to personal preference. 

The Toyota RAV4 is a long-time crossover pioneer

2020 Toyota RAV4 Off Road in the desert on a trail with the bike on the roof rack
2020 Toyota RAV4 Off Road | Toyota

You could say that the RAV4 is what initially made crossover SUVs so famous. The RAV4 is a comfortable ride and offers responsive handling. Much of this Toyota’s appeal has to do with its versatility. For 2020, the RAV4 provides even more options, designed to satisfy a wide range of buyers. 

Toyota added the new RAV4 TRD Off-Road model, which can handle extreme off-roading adventures, even in deep water. The RAV4 Adventure trim can handle rugged terrain too. Whether you’re looking to keep things simple or go off-road, the RAV4 has an answer.

All RAV4s feature the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The RAV4 accelerates satisfactorily, and its eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly for the most part. The main gripe about the RAV4’s engine is that it gets loud under pressure. On a more positive note, this crossover is among the most fuel-efficient in its class and gets a combined 27 mpg.

There are many reasons to like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid too

The traditional RAV4 is good on fuel economy, but the RAV4 Hybrid unsurprisingly takes it up a notch. The hybrid version returns an excellent 37 mpg. Furthermore, critics, including Consumer Reports, favor the RAV4 Hybrid for its speed and agility, even compared to the traditional model.

The RAV4 Hybrid’s powertrain consists of the same four-cylinder engine found in the non-hybrid, but it’s paired with two electric motors. The RAV4 Hybrid creates 219-hp, and it comes with a continuously automatic transmission. In addition to its lively nature, the RAV4 Hybrid comes standard with all-wheel-drive; the non-hybrid does not. Also, some might prefer the RAV4 Hybrid because it’s the quieter of the two. 

Interior elements between the two

2020 Toyota RAV4 Limited interior
2020 Toyota RAV4 Limited interior | Toyota

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Both the RAV4 Hybrid and the non-hybrid offer an attractive car cabin. Cloth upholstery comes standard on both, with faux leather available as an upgrade. Furthermore, both provide plenty of room for five people. These two are also evenly matched regarding infotainment. Standard infotainment features include a sharp 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android. Both offer many advanced safety features too, including forward-collision and warning pedestrian detection.

Making your decision 

The RAV4 and the RAV4 Hybrid are leaders in their respective classes. Both are well-rounded and reliable options. Deciding between the two comes down to what your preferences are and how much you want to spend. The RAV4 starts at $25,950, and the hybridized version starts at $28,350. If your main priorities are fuel efficiency and standard AWD, you might want to go with the hybrid option. But for more trim options, the non-hybrid is the more attractive choice.