Prius vs. RAV4 Hybrid: Which $30,000 Toyota Should You Buy?
The Toyota Prius and RAV4 Hybrid are two of the best hybrid options on the market right now, and they aren’t that far apart in terms of pricing. Since they’re both Toyotas, they have many similarities, especially regarding how reliable and safe they are. That can make it hard to choose between them. Here’s a comparison between the Toyota Prius and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to help you decide which $30,000 Toyota you should buy.
The Toyota Prius is cheaper and more high-tech than the RAV4 Hybrid
Since the Prius is in the compact car segment, it has some inherent pros and cons compared to the RAV4 Hybrid, which competes in the compact SUV segment. According to MotorTrend, the RAV4 Hybrid starts at about $31,500, with the Prius starting at $27,500. That’s a roughly $4,000 price difference between the two Toyotas.
Some car shoppers may want to take that money and run, but others may want to spend it by upgrading their Prius. The Prius XLE is the car’s mid-tier trim, costing about $32,000. That is a comparable price point to the standard RAV4 Hybrid, and it also gives drivers access to more features than what the standard RAV4 Hybrid gets.
For example, smart safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert come standard with the Prius XLE, while RAV4 Hybrid owners will have to pay more to get them. Toyota also offers a bigger optional touch screen on the Priusof up to 12.3 inches, while the RAV4 Hybrid’s tops out at 10.5 inches.
Their size difference also means some obvious pros and cons
The Japanese auto giant gave the Prius a redesign for the 2023 model year, but this redesign didn’t change too much in regard to the hybrid’s physical dimensions. It’s smaller than the RAV4 Hybrid in most ways, but it’s a tight race in terms of interior legroom. What isn’t a close race is their cargo capacity, as the Prius XLE has about 20.3. cu-ft of space in its trunk. The standard Prius even gets 23.8 cu-ft.
That’s a decent amount of space for a compact sedan, but it’s a far cry from the 37.5 cu-ft of space that the RAV4 Hybrid gets without folding any seats. With the seats folded down, drivers can get almost 70 cu-ft of cargo capacity. Despite this size difference, Toyota gave the two hybrids a similar powertrain.
The Prius has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that gets 194 hp, while the RAV4 Hybrid gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that gets 219 hp. That’s a difference of 25 hp, but their acceleration times are practically identical, with the RAV4 Hybrid having a 0.1-second advantage. Obviously, the Prius’ smaller size makes it far more efficient, as it gets 52 mpg combined compared to the RAV4 Hybrid’s 40 mpg combined.
Which $30,000 Toyota you should buy as the better hybrid option?
Overall, the Prius has more advantages than the RAV4 Hybrid, which gave it the win in MotorTrend’s comparison. Most drivers will probably agree with that conclusion as the Prius is the better car in a few of the specs that many car shoppers care about. However, not all car shoppers care about those particular specs.
Some need the extra cargo capacity or the higher ground clearance that the RAV4 Hybrid provides. Therefore, the Toyota hybrid you should buy ultimately depends on your need. With the Prius redesign, Toyota has simply made the compact car a more compelling option for the average driver.