In the highly competitive compact crossover SUV segment, the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V are the two best-selling models. The CR-V made a big leap this year with an impressive redesign. However, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has one huge thing that the 2023 Honda CR-V doesn’t offer: a plug-in hybrid model with the RAV4 Prime, which delivers excellent performance and gas mileage.
2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime: Plug-in hybrid for the RAV4 — but not for the 2023 Honda CR-V
Both the 2023 Toyota RAV4 and the 2023 Honda CR-V offer traditional hybrid models. However, unlike the CR-V, the RAV4 offers a plug-in hybrid model with the RAV4 Prime. One of the advantages of a plug-in hybrid is you can drive on electric-only power for short distances. With this capability, a plug-in hybrid is a good alternative for drivers that aren’t yet ready to go all-electric.
A common concern for EVs is range anxiety — or the fear of running out of battery power before one can drive back home or reach a charging station. However, a plug-in hybrid doesn’t have this problem. When it runs out of battery power, it can just switch to power from the gasoline engine. For the RAV4 Prime, the electric-only driving range is an estimated 42 miles.
Toyota RAV4 Prime has better performance than any Honda CR-V model
Another benefit of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime is it provides better performance than any 2023 Honda CR-V model. Combining power from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, it generates a total system output of 308 horsepower. In comparison, the CR-V Hybrid, the best-performing model for the CR-V, manages only 204 horsepower.
Also, with its potent plug-in hybrid system, the RAV4 Prime has sports car-like acceleration. It can go from 0-60 mph in only 5.5 seconds. In comparison, it takes the CR-V Hybrid 7.5 seconds to complete the 0-60 mph sprint.
2023 RAV4 Prime has better fuel economy than any Honda CR-V model
One of the biggest selling points of hybrid vehicles is their high fuel economy. This is especially the case for the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime and its efficient plug-in hybrid system. When in electric-only mode, the RAV4 Prime has an estimated fuel efficiency rating of up to 94 combined MPGe, while it gets up to 38 combined mpg in hybrid mode. In comparison, the CR-Hybrid, the most efficient CR-V model, gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 40 combined mpg.
The average daily commuting distance for most Americans is less than the 42-mile electric-only range of the RAV4 Prime. With this in mind, most RAV4 Prime owners can drive on electric-only power for much of the time — and not use any gasoline. Considering how expensive gasoline is these days, this translates to a great deal of savings at the fuel pump.
Both the 2023 Toyota RAV4 and the 2023 Honda CR-V are great choices for the compact crossover SUV segment. However, with the RAV4 Prime, the 2023 RAV4 offers something that the CR-V can’t match: a high-performance and ultra-efficient plug-in hybrid model.