The Most Fuel-Efficient Compact SUV Is Also the Fastest Compact SUV, According to Consumer Reports

Even with gas prices still painfully high, consumers’ love of the SUV has barely budged. This is in part because of the prevalence of hybrid powertrains. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime is one of the finest examples on the market today. In fact, Consumer Reports found that the RAV4 Prime is not only the most fuel-efficient compact SUV, but it’s also the fastest Compact SUV on the market. 

A red 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid SUV.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

Is the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime a good SUV? 

Consumer Reports ranked the RAV4 Prime amongst the highest-ranked cars for the year. From comfort to efficiency, the new hybrid RAV4 impressed every tester to cross its path. 

The Toyota RAV4 Prime has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. With their powers combined, the RAV4 cranks out a sharp 302 hp all through a surprisingly satisfying CVT. The hybrid engine paired with the fully electric driving mode can yield up to 74 MPGe, making it the most fuel-efficient compact SUV. It also comes standard with All-Wheel Drive. On top of having an excellent powertrain, the RAV4 is comfortable, reliable, and safe, according to all testing.

Although fuel efficiency is a big part of Prime’s draw, there is a secondary benefit for the added cost; speed. 

How fast is the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime? 

According to Consumer Reports, the 2022 RAV4 Prime can hit 60 mph in only 6.3 seconds. That makes this the fastest compact SUV on the market. In order to hit this mark, the Prime uses every ounce of power it has. However, in normal driving, CR says that the Prime barely needs to use its gas-powered engine for moving around town. 

Despite the peppy powertrain, the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime wasn’t built to be sporty. CR describes the steering and suspension as “…responsive, but this is not a sporty-driving SUV when it comes to tackling corners with verve.” CR also mentioned that in its avoidance maneuvers, the back end would break loose long before the stability control stepped in. Even still, the Prime remained somewhat predictable around the corners of the Consumer Reports test track. 

How much does the RAV4 Prime cost? 

The Toyota electric vehicle tax credit was used on this popular Toyota RAV4 Prime SUV
The Toyota RAV4 Prime in red | Toyota

This Toyota Model Won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place for the Best Compact SUVs on KBB

The 2022 RAV4 Prime starts at $40,300 and tops out at around $43,625. Given the massive price jump from the other RAV4s to the Prime, CR suggests that customers step up to the SE or XSE. The main reason for the upgrade is that the faux leather seats are a noticeable step up with the higher trims. 

With these higher trims comes the optional 6.6 kW onboard charger. While this accessory shortens charge times, CR says that with a plug-in hybrid, this isn’t as helpful as it might be in a full EV. 

The Prime is without question one of the best SUVs on the market, period. Regarding compact SUVs, it is the fastest and most fuel-efficient SUV. With that in mind, I guess it makes sense why people are queuing up to buy one.