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You know you can’t go wrong when you’ve narrowed your search for the right SUV down to a pair of the most popular Toyota SUVs. The 2023 Toyota Highlander and 2023 Toyota RAV4 hit all the right notes for dependability, quality, affordability, reliability, and any other ability you want to toss into the mix.

Some differences between the 2023 Toyota Highlander and RAV4 are obvious

Put these two Toyota SUVs side-by-side, and you immediately see the larger build of the Highlander. Still, the RAV4 is the more popular model of the two. In fact, the RAV4 is the most popular vehicle in America that isn’t a pickup truck. Still, the Highlander often hits the top of the sales list in the midsize SUV segment. We can confidently say these two Toyota SUVs are well-known, popular, and trusted.

Which Toyota SUV should you drive?

Do you need more than five seats in your Toyota SUV?

Three-Row Seat Configuration of the Highlander
Three-Row Seat Configuration of the Highlander | Toyota

If you’ve got to have three rows of seats, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is out of the conversation. In this case, you’ll have to lean toward the three-row midsize Highlander SUV to give you the desired seating arrangement if a third row isn’t a must. The right SUV takes a bit more consideration.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is more affordable than the Highlander

2023 Toyota RAV4 on an Outdoor Trail With a Fully Loaded Roof Rack
2023 Toyota RAV4 on an Outdoor Trail With a Fully Loaded Roof Rack | Toyota

It should come as no surprise that the smaller of these two SUVs is the more affordable model. The compact Toyota SUV comes in six trims for the gas-only models and seven trims for the hybrid versions. The price range for the 2023 RAV4 is $29,310-$47,585.

By comparison, the gas-only 2023 Toyota Highlander comes in six trims, while the hybrid model has five different variations. The price range for this midsize Toyota SUV is $37,755-$48,715, which is only narrowly more expensive than the top RAV4 trim.

Which Toyota SUV is more dependable?

2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Driving on a Road
2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Driving on a Road | Toyota

We expect Toyota models to be dependable, reliable, and offer excellent resale value. The 2023 Toyota Highlander ranks high for dependability, while the RAV didn’t hit the same high marks. In fact, the Highlander ranks highest in its class for the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. This study from J.D. Power assesses owner-reported problems during the first three years of ownership.

Is the 2023 Toyota Highlander more powerful and efficient than the RAV4?

Red 2023 Toyota RAV4 (Left) vs Red 2023 Toyota Highlander (Right)
2023 Toyota RAV4 vs 2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The midsize Toyota SUV delivers more power from its range of powertrains. The base engine is now a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that provides 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid Highlander model provides the best fuel mileage with 36 mpg combined in FWD versions.

Although the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is smaller, it has an advantage over the Highlander. The RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid model that uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors for a total system output of 302 horsepower. This version of the RAV4 also returns 38 mpg combined, but the regular hybrid is a little more efficient at 40 mpg combined.

Surprisingly, the RAV4 is the more powerful and efficient Toyota SUV.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander and 2023 Toyota RAV4 offer several similarities but a range of differences. Which of these two Toyota SUVs makes the most sense for your driving needs?


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