4 Great RAV4 Prime Alternatives Under $40,000

The RAV4 Prime seems to be a runaway sales success for Toyota. The $40,300 plug-in hybrid certainly checks a lot of boxes for efficiency and utility. But there are a number of PHEVs on the market that check a lot of the same boxes from Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru that deserve a look. So, if you don’t want to own the same plug-in SUV as your neighbors, here are four alternatives to the hot-selling RAV4.

Why should you consider a PHEV SUV

A red RAV4 Prime at an auto show. The RAV4  Prime has set a standard for PHEVs, but there a lot of great alternatives.
Toyota RAV4 Prime | Mark RALSTON via Getty Images

PHEVs are great because not everyone has easy access to a plug-in charger, like those of us in apartments. For most around-town trips the electric range of a PHEV is plenty, and you may find that you may never need to dip into the fuel tank. The RAV4 Prime SUV has 600 miles of total range and can go 42 miles on electric-only power while getting 94 MPGe. In gas mode, the EPA estimates that the RAV4 gets a combined 38 mpg. It also comes well appointed, especially in top XSE trims where it gets leather and a nine-inch touchscreen.  

Ford Escape PHEV is one of the RAV4 Prime alternatives

A blue Ford Escape PHEV is parked .
The 2022 Ford Escape PHEV | Ford

While Ford dealers aren’t quite seeing the same demand for the 2022 Ford Escape PHEV SUV, that doesn’t mean the Ford Escape plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is lacking compared to the RAV4. The Escape PHEV has a 37-mile range on electric power and 105 MPGe . While its interior isn’t quite as nice as the RAV4 Prime’s, with hard plastics, it is a lot less expensive with a base price of $34,785. It has an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Ford’s easy-to-use SYNC3 system.

Hyundai Tucson PHEV packs a lot of value

Coming in at $35,400, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson makes a great value proposition. The Tucson can travel 33 miles on a charge, comes standard with all-wheel drive, and with 261 horsepower on tap, it’s not slow. According to the EPA, it gets up to 80 MPGe combined. The back seat suffers a tiny penalty in legroom, because of the battery, but that’s about the only drawback. The big bummer with the Tucson PHEV is that it’s only sold in 10 states right now.

Kia Niro is the cheapest PHEV SUV

A blue Kia Niro driving on a wet road.
2022 Niro PHEV | Kia

The Kia Niro comes in three versions for 2022, a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and a full EV. They’re all five-seat crossover SUVs that come well equipped. The PHEV version allows you to plug it or charge it and drive for up to 26 miles on all-electric power and get 105 MPGe, and then you can engage the 1.6-liter gas engine and keep going. Every version of the Niro comes with driver’s aids, like lane keep assist and forward collision avoidance, and advanced safety systems are available.

The specs don’t match up to other PHEVs, but then again, this is a $29,590 PHEV, the cheapest PHEV SUV. It only has a 26-mile range, for example, which isn’t as much as other more expensive PHEVs.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has the least EV range

most satisfying SUVs that people love driving include this Subaru Crosstrek
2022 Subaru Crosstrek SUV | Subaru

Subaru doesn’t say in the name that the Crosstrek Hybrid is a plug-in, but it has a battery that allows you to drive up to 17 miles on EV power while getting 90 MPGe. While that’s not as far as the others, the engine works to charge the battery while you’re driving so you may never need to find a charger. The Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $36,845. Like all Subarus, it comes standard with all-wheel drive.

Though the RAV4 Prime is a popular SUV it looks like other manufacturers are trying to get in on the action with their own PHEV SUVs that combine the benefits of both electric and gas power in one.

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