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The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a small SUV with excellent fuel economy. Moreover, as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the RAV4 Prime is quicker and more agile than you might think. But what else makes the new Toyota RAV4 Prime a leader amongst small SUVs? And how did it land the top spot on U.S. News & World Reports’ list of ‘10 Small SUVs With the Best Gas Mileage?’

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime at a glance

A 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime small SUV parked in front of a building
2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

Recently, U.S. News ranked 10 small SUVs according to fuel economy. It placed the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime on the top of the list, with a predicted fuel cost of $1,050 per year. The $40,300 all-wheel drive (AWD) RAV4 Prime achieves this annual fuel low cost by combining a 177-horsepower 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine with a 179-hp electric motor on the front axle and a 53-hp electric motor on the rear axle. These are all backed by a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This configuration results in an estimated 133 MPGe and 54 MPG combined city and highway driving with up to 42 miles on electric only. 

While many PHEVs lack performance, the RAV4 Prime “is quick from a stop and on the highway, especially when powered by battery alone,” according to U.S. News. With its 302 combined horsepower, Toyota calls the 2022 RAV4 Prime “our most powerful RAV4 yet.”

RAV4 Prime technology, safety, and interior features

The U.S. News review states that the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime “could use a tech update,” but it still offers impressive technology. Available technology features include:

  • Heads up display that projects critical information on the windshield in front of the driver
  • Nine-inch multimedia display with a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM
  • A digital rearview mirror provides a wider field of view through a camera mounted high in the rear window.

The 2022 RAV4 Prime also features Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS2.0), which includes:

  • Pre-Collision System With Pedestrian Detection
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Automatic High Beam Headlights
  • Lane Departure Alert With Steering Assist
  • Lane Tracing Assist
  • Road Sign Assist

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded this year’s RAV4 Prime its Top Safety Pick+ award, the highest award it has. Other available safety features include Front and Rear Parking Assist With Automatic Braking and Blind Spot Monitor With Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

Inside the RAV4 Prime’s cabin, you’ll find comfortable seating for five, 33.4 cubic feet of cargo space, and enough space to haul your mountain bike inside with the rear seats folded down. You’ll also enjoy Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa at no additional charge. 

Is the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime a fuel-efficient SUV?

While the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime took top honors in the U.S. News rankings of ‘10 Small SUVs With the Best Gas Mileage in 2022,’ it also finished second in its ‘13 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs in 2022’ rankings. By any calculation, the RAV4 Prime’s estimated 133 MPGe, 54 MPG combined, and up to 42 miles on only electric power make it an excellent choice for those looking for a fuel-efficient small SUV with AWD and plenty of cargo space. 


What is MPGe and How is it Different From Expected Range?