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As the world’s top-selling SUV, the RAV4 epitomizes Toyota’s successful shift from a sedan-heavy lineup to SUVs. Even the all-new Crown, traditionally a sedan, has SUV characteristics, including its high ride height. However, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has one giant advantage over the 2023 Toyota Crown: a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model with the RAV4 Prime.

Unlike the 2023 Toyota Crown, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has a plug-in hybrid: RAV4 Prime

Front angle view of 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid compact crossover SUV
2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

Toyota has dominated the hybrid vehicle segment over the past 20+ years. It started with the Prius — and now most of the models in the lineup have hybrid versions. Also, for the RAV4, the Japanese automaker takes things a step further with the Prime PHEV.

With its sophisticated plug-in hybrid system, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime can drive with electric-only power for short distances. The compact SUV has an estimated electric driving range of 42 miles, which is more than the average daily commuting distance for Americans. 

Also, plug-in hybrids are a nice alternative to all-electric vehicles. Many drivers are apprehensive about EVs due to range anxiety — or the fear of running out of power before they can reach a charging station. However, for the RAV4 Prime, this isn’t an issue, for when the electric power runs low, the compact SUV switches to power from the internal combustion engine. 

Conversely, the 2023 Toyota Crown doesn’t offer a plug-in hybrid model. While all Crown models feature a hybrid powertrain, the sedan doesn’t have plug-in hybrid capabilities.

2023 RAV4 Prime has higher fuel economy and quicker acceleration than the 2023 Crown

Front angle view of black and red 2023 Toyota Crown midsize sedan
2023 Toyota Crown | Toyota

Along with providing electric-only power for short distances, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime is very efficient. The compact SUV gets an estimated fuel economy of up to 94 combined MPGe in electric-only mode and 38 combined mpg in hybrid mode. In comparison, the 2023 Toyota Crown has an estimated gas mileage of up to 30 combined mpg for the more powerful Hybrid Max setup and 41 combined mpg for the base-level hybrid powertrain. 

Also, the RAV4 Prime delivers quick acceleration. It has a 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds. For the Crown sedan, the quickest model is the one with the Hybrid Max powertrain, which completes the 0-60 mph sprint in 5.7 seconds. 

Additional strengths of the Toyota RAV4 over the Crown

There are some additional strengths that the 2023 RAV4 has over the 2023 Crown. This includes off-road capabilities. Both vehicles offer a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system, but the RAV4 has higher ground clearance than the Crown for driving over rough terrain (up to 8.6 inches vs. 5.8 inches). Also, the compact SUV has off-road models with the RAV4 TRD Off-Road, Woodland Edition, and Adventure trims.

Furthermore, the RAV4 provides considerably more cargo space. It has 37.6 cu-ft of storage behind the rear seats — and 69.9 cu-ft in total. However, like other sedans, the Crown’s storage area is in the trunk, which has a cargo capacity of 15.2 cu-ft.

Plus, the RAV4 has a lower starting price. It starts at $27,975 MSRP, compared to $39,950 MSRP for the Crown.

With the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid model, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 SUV has a giant advantage over the 2023 Toyota Crown sedan. This is a factor to consider for automotive shoppers deciding between the two vehicles.


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