Fuel efficiency hasn’t always gone hand-in-hand with SUVs, but this is changing as more automakers release hybrid and electric versions of popular vehicles. If you do a lot of city driving and are shopping for a new SUV, take a look at the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. It gets an excellent 41 mpg in the city.
Here’s what you need to know about this fuel-efficient compact crossover.
What to expect from the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has two electric motors and a 2.5-liter gasoline engine, making 219 hp. U.S. News ranks the RAV4 Hybrid second among hybrid and electric SUVs. The publication praises the vehicle’s excellent powertrain and attractive interior.
This crossover SUV starts at $28,650. Standard features include remote keyless entry, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, and a soft-touch dash and armrests. The RAV4 Hybrid also comes with the Toyota Safety Sense suite. Features include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, and automatic high-beams.
U.S. News named the RAV4 Hybrid the winner of the 2021 Best Hybrid and Electric SUV for the Money award, giving it an overall score of 8 out of 10. Test drivers found the powertrain performed well in most driving situations, quickly accelerating and easily passing other vehicles on the highway. The ride is also fairly pleasant, with a good suspension that reduces bumps’ impact.
However, the RAV4 Hybrid’s interior really stands out. Its cargo space is near the top of the segment, with 69.8 cubic feet behind the front seats. This roominess benefits passengers, too — test drivers found that both rows offer enough headroom and legroom to seat most adults comfortably. But it’s worth noting that a certain amount of road noise enters the cabin.
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s impressive gas mileage
In addition to getting 41 mp in the city, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets a noteworthy 38 mpg on the highway. These excellent numbers led U.S. News to rank the RAV4 Hybrid fifth on its “16 Small SUVs With the Best Gas Mileage for 2021” list. Its fuel efficiency ranks among the best in class, particularly in city driving.
Of course, this efficiency has the added benefit of saving you money. According to U.S. News, the RAV4 Hybrid’s annual fuel costs are about $300 lower than for the standard base-trim RAV4. So, even though the hybrid version costs slightly over $1,000 more than the standard RAV4, you can recoup those costs in just a few years.
How does this compact crossover compare to the competition?
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid boasts laudable fuel economy, but how does it compare to its rivals? For example, the Lexus UX Hybrid ranks third on U.S. News’ list. With 43 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, the UX Hybrid offers better numbers than the RAV4 Hybrid. However, the Toyota has the advantage in affordability: The Lexus starts at $35,100.
Another comparable rival is the Honda CR-V Hybrid, which gets 40 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Though these numbers are good, the RAV4 Hybrid’s are slightly better, and it starts at nearly $2,000 less than the CR-V Hybrid.
Overall, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers phenomenal fuel efficiency at a good price point. If you do a considerable amount of city driving and you’re shopping for an SUV, it’s hard to go wrong with this vehicle.