2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is the most popular small SUV on the market. The RAV4 Hybrid is a slightly more expensive hybrid version of the popular small SUV. Japanese automaker Toyota produces some of the best hybrid vehicles in the industry. So, the question is, should you stick with the gas-powered RAV4 or take a chance on the hybrid? Time for 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is predictably practical

The RAV4 is a small SUV staple. It’s the cream of the crop to many Americans because it’s affordable and reliable. The small SUV can last the average driver for over 14 years of ownership. The average new vehicle ownership period is only 8.4 years, according to an iSeeCars.com study. So, when you get a RAV4, you know you’re getting your money’s worth in the long run.

The Toyota RAV4 isn’t particularly exciting to drive, and there are more refined rivals. Its popularity is largely due to the fact that the American public has decided that it’s the best small SUV for the average budget, hence its incredible sales numbers. On paper, the RAV4 is actually pretty bland compared to some newer nameplates. Its greatest strength is its value proposition for small families. A strong value proposition, some decent cargo space, and good fuel economy make the RAV4 nearly impossible to beat.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 starts at $27,975. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 203 horsepower and 164 lb-ft of torque. The small SUV achieves 27 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid brings the value

A blue 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid small hybrid SUV is parked.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid starts at $30,725. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors to make 219 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. The RAV4 Hybrid gets 41 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles per gallon on the highway.

The RAV4 Hybrid has incredible fuel economy. MotorTrend claims that the small hybrid SUV comes with great standard features. So, is the hybrid SUV’s fuel economy enough for drivers to choose it over the gas-powered version?

2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

A white 2023 Toyota RAV4 small SUV is parked off-road.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota
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The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Is Consumer Report’s Most Efficient SUV

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is more affordable than the RAV4 hybrid because of the latter’s complex hybrid powertrain system. That being said, the RAV4 Hybrid has a farther driving range, and it saves drivers money on gas.

The base model Hybrid LE comes standard with all-wheel drive. An all-wheel drive RAV4 LE starts at $29,375, so standard AWD on the Hybrid LE is a sweet standard feature. The Hybrid LE also comes with roof rails, a vehicle proximity notification system, and a drive mode dial with several different drive modes.

The hybrid version of the small SUV is the better deal for the money. Car and Driver recommends the RAV4 Hybrid XLE because of better standard features at a price that’s still affordable.

The RAV4 Hybrid is a better buy than the RAV4 for many drivers, but is it the best small hybrid SUV? Toyota’s small hybrid SUV faces stiff competition from the 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid, and the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid.

Let us know your pick for the best small hybrid SUV in the comment section below.