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The Toyota RAV4 helped pioneer the compact crossover SUV segment when it debuted nearly three decades ago. Now, small crossover SUVs are immensely popular, and Toyota continues to capitalize on this demand with the Corolla Cross. However, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has one huge item that the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross doesn’t offer: a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with the RAV4 Prime.

Unlike the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 offers a plug-in hybrid: RAV4 Prime

Red 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime crossover SUV driving on a road
2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

Toyota has long been the automotive industry leader for hybrids. And the pinnacle of this hybrid technology is its Prime plug-in hybrid models. There’s the RAV4 Prime and Prius Prime. However, while the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross has a new traditional hybrid model, it doesn’t offer a plug-in hybrid.

With a PHEV, you can drive with electric-only power for short distances. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime has an estimated electric-only driving range of 42 miles. Considering that this range is more than the average commuting distance for Americans, many RAV4 Prime drivers won’t have to stop at gas stations very often.

Also, the RAV4 Prime is a good alternative to an electric car. With some EVs, there’s range anxiety — or the fear of running out of battery power before one can reach a charging station or make it back home. However, when the electric power in the RAV4 Prime runs out, it can just switch to propulsion from its gas engine.

2023 RAV4 Prime has better gas mileage and performance than any 2023 Corolla Cross model

Front angle view of white 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross crossover SUV
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross | Toyota

Another advantage of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime over the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross is better gas mileage. In electric-only mode, the RAV4 Prime has an estimated fuel efficiency rating of up to 94 combined MPGe — and 38 combined mpg in hybrid mode. 

In comparison, the Corolla Cross Hybrid, the most efficient Corolla Cross model, gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 37 combined mpg. Even if you opt for the standard RAV4 Hybrid model, you’ll still benefit from higher fuel economy (up to 40 combined mpg).

Additionally, the RAV4 Prime crossover SUV delivers excellent performance — with an output of 308 horsepower. Conversely, the Corolla Cross Hybrid, which is also the best-performing Corolla Cross model, generates only 194 horsepower. The other two variants of the RAV4 are more powerful, too — with an output of 203 horsepower for the fully-gas powered model and 219 horsepower for the traditional hybrid.

Furthermore, with its potent plug-in hybrid system, the RAV4 Prime boasts sports car-like acceleration. It completes the 0-60 mph sprint in only 5.5 seconds, compared to 8.0 seconds for the Corolla Cross Hybrid. 

Other advantages of the Toyota RAV4 over the Corolla Cross

In addition to its RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid model, the 2023 RAV4 has some other advantages over the 2023 Corolla Cross. It’s a larger crossover SUV, resulting in more interior space — with a maximum cargo capacity of 69.8 cu-ft and a total passenger volume of 98.9 cu-ft. In comparison, the Corolla Cross only offers up to 66.8 cu-ft of space for storage and 95.0 cu-ft for passengers. 

Also, with its higher ground clearance, the RAV4 is better for off-road use. Plus, unlike the Corolla Cross, the RAV4 has off-road models, including the highly-capable TRD Off-Road trim. Furthermore, the RAV4 can tow a heavier load than the Corolla Cross (up to 3,500 vs. 1,500 pounds).

With its powerful and efficient RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid model, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has one huge item that the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross doesn’t offer. If you’re deciding between the two crossover SUVs, the PHEV model is a key factor to consider.

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