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The Toyota RAV4 is a high-quality and best-selling compact crossover SUV. One of its high points is the number of powertrains it offers. There’s the RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, and the RAV4 Prime, which is a plug-in hybrid, or PHEV. Here’s a comparison between these three great Toyota RAV4 options to to find out which Toyota RAV option is cheapest to own.

What the 3 Toyota RAV4 options have in common

Overall, the RAV4 is a great compact SUV, regardless of which powertrain option drivers choose. The interior has a lot of space for both passengers and cargo. It comfortably sits five people, and when the second row is folded down, it has a maximum cargo capacity of 69.8 cu-ft. That said, the RAV4 Prime has a lower cargo capacity of 63.2 cu-ft, and that has to do with its battery pack taking up some cargo space.

The Toyota SUV also comes with a lot of tech and safety features, as the Japanese automaker gave the car a suite of smart safety features as standard. That suite includes safety features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and more. Similarly, all three versions of the RAV4 start with an 8-inch touchscreen display.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the cheapest one to own right now

A light blue 2023 Toyota RAV4, which is one of three, so which RAV option Is cheapest to own.
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Despite their similarities, there are significant differences in terms of how much it costs to own a RAV4, according to MotorTrend. The car critic compared three premium versions of the Toyota SUV: the $34,000 RAV4 XLE Premium AWD, the $35,000 RAV4 Hybrid XLE Premium, and the $46,000 RAV4 Prime XSE. 

The site compared the three SUVs in terms of their five-year ownership costs. One of the main differences between the three SUVs was their fuel economy, as the RAV4 Prime is more efficient than the hybrid, and the hybrid is more efficient than the regular version. Across five years, drivers may pay about $7,900 for fuel for the regular RAV4, compared to $6,100 for the RAV4 Hybrid. The RAV4 Prime’s five-year fuel costs were about $4,400.

MotorTrend also looked at other ownership costs, including maintenance, insurance, and depreciation. Their maintenance and insurance costs were similar. All three SUVs were expected to depreciate by over 50%, which meant a loss of between $18,000 and $23,000. Overall, the RAV4 Hybrid is the cheapest to own, as it costs $40,000 across five years. The regular RAV4 costs about $41,000, while the RAV4 Prime costs about $45,000.

The specs of the other Toyota RAV4 options

It was a close race between the standard RAV4 and the RAV4 Hybrid, but the hybrid won mainly because of their efficiency differences. The RAV4 starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that gets 203 hp. With front-wheel drive, this engine allows the Toyota SUV to get 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on highways, for 31 mpg combined. 

The RAV4 Hybrid, meanwhile, also has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but it works with two electric motors to get 219 hp combined. This hybrid SUV has all-wheel drive as standard, and it gets 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on highways, for 40 mpg combined. That’s about nine miles per gallon more than the regular version.

The RAV4 Prime, on the other hand, has a 302-hp PHEV powertrain. It also comes with all-wheel drive, and it gets 94 MPGe. The SUV’s battery allows drivers to go 42 miles in battery-only mode, which is above average for a PHEV.


The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Might Be a Better Buy Than the RAV4 Prime