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Toyota makes the most competitive internal combustion engine vehicle on the market: the Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 is legendary in its segment because of its stellar sales numbers. The Japanese automaker produces a hybrid version of the popular small SUV. Is it the better buy? Here’s an in-depth analysis of the two small SUVs.

2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota Small SUV2023 Toyota RAV42023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Starting MSRP$28,275$31,225
Powertrain System2.5-Liter Dynamic Force Four-Cylinder DOHC D-4S Injection with Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)2.5-Liter Dynamic Force Four-Cylinder with two electric motors
Horsepower/Torque203 Horsepower/184 LB-FT of Torque219 Horsepower/252 LB-FT of Torque
MPG27 City/35 Highway41 City/38 Highway
Standard DrivetrainFront-Wheel DriveAll-Wheel Drive
Toyota RAV4 and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid specs.

Based on the information displayed in the table above, there are several conclusions to draw from the RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid’s specs. First, the RAV4 Hybrid’s starting price isn’t much different from the starting price of the internal combustion engine RAV4.

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

Furthermore, the Hybrid version of the RAV4 comes standard with all-wheel drive. The gas RAV4 with all-wheel drive starts at $29,675. There’s a price difference of just $1,550 between the RAV4 AWD and the RAV4 Hybrid LE base model, yet the hybrid gets significantly better gas mileage.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a higher power output than the gas RAV4. Electric motors make the RAV4 Hybrid more exciting to drive than its gas predecessor.

Why is the RAV4 Hybrid better than the RAV4?

There are several reasons why some consumers prefer the RAV4 Hybrid over the RAV4. Ultimately, the greatest difference between the two small SUVs is fuel economy. Thanks to its hybrid powertrain system, the hybrid version is able to travel for greater distances on a single tank of gas. This leads to thousands of dollars in fuel cost savings over a longer period of ownership.

So, if you intend on keeping a small SUV for over a decade, the RAV4 Hybrid could provide significant savings on gas. It has a 14.5-gallon gas tank. The small hybrid SUV is capable of traveling for around 572 miles on a full tank. That’s about 195 more miles of driving range per full tank of gas than the standard RAV4.

Based on the average annual driving distance in America, RAV4 owners could take 13 more trips to gas stations to refuel than RAV4 Hybrid owners. Fuel economy, standard all-wheel drive, and power output are the main reasons why the RAV4 Hybrid works out to be a better deal than the gas version for long-term ownership.

What is the best 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid trim?

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

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid comes in six trims. Its base model offers great value for the money, but the Hybrid XLE is the way to go for consumers that want the best balance of affordability and standard features. It starts at $32,735.

The small hybrid SUV comes standard with a smart key system, push-button start, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. It also includes a tire pressure monitor system, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, and road sign assist. Overall, Toyota makes one of the most competitive small hybrid SUVs in the industry.


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