4 Reasons to Buy a 2023 Toyota RAV4, Not a Highlander

The compact Toyota RAV4 and the midsize Toyota Highlander are two of the best-selling SUVs. Each SUV has various strengths. However, for this post, we focus on the advantages of the RAV4. Here are four reasons to buy a 2023 Toyota RAV4, not a 2023 Toyota Highlander.

2023 Toyota RAV4 has better gas mileage than the 2023 Toyota Highlander

Side view of Midnight Black Metallic 2023 Toyota RAV4
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

The first reason to buy a 2023 Toyota RAV4 instead of a 2023 Toyota Highlander is the RAV4 has better gas mileage than the 2023 Toyota Highlander. With gas prices at a record high, an efficient SUV like the RAV4 translates to savings at the fuel pump.

The gas-powered RAV4 has an estimated gas mileage of up to 30 combined mpg, while the RAV4 Hybrid has a fuel economy of up to 40 combined mpg. Also, the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid has a fuel efficiency of 94 MPGe when in electric-only mode and 38 combined mpg in hybrid mode.

In comparison, the gas-powered Highlander has an estimated gas mileage of up to 24 combined mpg, while the Highlander Hybrid has a fuel economy of up to 36 combined mpg.

Unlike the 2023 Highlander, the 2023 RAV4 offers a plug-in hybrid model

Side view of white 2023 Toyota Highlander
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The second reason to buy a 2023 Toyota RAV4 instead of a 2023 Toyota Highlander is that, unlike the Highlander, the RAV4 offers a plug-in hybrid model with the RAV4 Prime. While the Highlander offers a traditional hybrid model, it can’t drive on electric-only power like the RAV4 Prime. The RAV4 Prime has an electric driving range of up to an estimated 42 miles. Also, as mentioned earlier, when in electric mode, the RAV4 has an estimated gas mileage of 94 MPGe.

Another benefit of the RAV4 Prime is its performance. The plug-in hybrid system in the RAV4 Prime generates a total system output of 308 horsepower. In comparison, the highest output the Highlander can manage is 265 horsepower. Also, the RAV4 Prime delivers quicker acceleration. It has a 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds, while the quickest 0-60 mph time the Highlander can achieve is 7.5 seconds.

Toyota RAV4 has better off-road capabilities than the Toyota Highlander

The third reason to buy a 2023 RAV4 instead of a 2023 Highlander is the RAV4 has better off-road capabilities than the Highlander. While both SUVs offer a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system, the RAV4 has higher ground clearance than the Highlander (up to 8.6 vs. 8.0 inches). Also, unlike the Highlander, the RAV4 has off-road-focused models with the Wilderness Edition, TRD Off-Road, and Adventure trims.

2023 RAV4 is cheaper than the 2023 Highlander

Front angle view of black 2023 Toyota RAV4, highlighting its release date and price
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

RELATED: 2023 Toyota RAV4: Release Date, Price, and Specs

The fourth reason to buy a 2023 RAV4 instead of a 2023 Highlander is the RAV4 is cheaper than the Highlander. While the official price information is not yet available for the 2023 model year, the prices for the 2023 RAV4 and 2023 Highlander will likely have a slight increase compared to the 2022 models.

The starting price of the 2022 RAV4 ranges from $26,975 MSRP for the LE trim up to $43,625 MSRP for the RAV4 Prime XSE trim. In comparison, the starting price of the 2022 Highlander ranges from $35,855 MSRP for the L trim up to $49,510 MSRP for the Platinum Hybrid trim.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has advantages over the 2023 Toyota Highlander for gas mileage, a plug-in hybrid model, off-road capabilities, and a lower price. These are four key reasons for SUV shoppers to buy a 2023 RAV4, not a 2023 Highlander.

RELATED: 2023 Toyota Highlander: Release Date, Price, and Specs