Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape PHEV: TrueCar Decides Which Is the Better Plug-In Hybrid Crossover

Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) have taken the automotive market by storm due to their ability to give drivers unbelievably efficient fuel economy ratings, while also giving drivers the ability to drive in a full-electric mode, which doesn’t use any gasoline at all. TrueCar has recently compiled a comparison between two of the best vehicles in the plug-in hybrid crossover segment; the Toyota RAV4 Prime and the Ford Escape PHEV. 

Which of these hybrid crossovers is the best? Here is everything you need to know about how the Toyota RAV4 Prime and the Ford Escape PHEV stack up against each other.

A 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime charging as one the 5 SUVs with the best gas mileage.
2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Robert Nickelsberg via Getty Images

The Toyota RAV4 Prime boasts some impressive stats

The Toyota RAV4 Prime takes the time-tested RAV4 SUV and brings it into the modern age with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. According to TrueCar, the RAV4 Prime stands out compared to the competition due to its wide array of standard features including, all-wheel drive, automatic emergency braking, heated seats, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, an 8-inch color touch screen, and more. 

The RAV4 Prime is capable of driving around 42 miles on electricity only, and once that battery power is depleted, the RAV4 Prime is capable of an EPA-estimated 38 mpg combined. With a 14.2-gallon gas tank, this means the RAV4 Prime has a total range of about 600 miles before a fuel stop or a battery charge is needed.

While power isn’t necessarily a focus for hybrid vehicles, the Toyota RAV4 Prime makes an impressive 302 horsepower to all four wheels, and a 0 to 60 mph time of just under 6 seconds, making any sudden highway maneuver possible. The RAV4 Prime also has an impressive amount of cargo space with 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space available. The Toyota RAV4 Prime starts at around $41,635.

Don’t sleep on the Ford Escape PHEV

The Escape has always been a wonderful seller for Ford, and its success extends further than just this vehicle, with the Ford Maverick and Bronco Sport both using the Escape platform. The Ford Escape PHEV delivers a solid list of standard features, but compared to the Toyota RAV4 Prime, the biggest missing feature is the all-wheel drive. 

Yes, the Ford Escape PHEV only comes in front-wheel drive. But the Escape PHEV still has solid efficiency ratings with this vehicle having a 37-mile driving range on electric power only. When that hybrid battery is depleted, the Ford Escape PHEV gets an impressive EPA estimated 40 mpg combined.

On the horsepower side, the Ford Escape PHEV has less power than the competition from Toyota with only 221 horsepower available, but because the Ford Escape is only front-wheel drive, not a whole lot of power feels lost between the two. 

When it comes to cargo space, the Ford Escape is better than the Toyota RAV4 Prime with 34.4 cubic feet of space available. While the RAV4 Prime is quite expensive at around $41,635, the Ford Escape PHEV wins the affordability competition coming in at around $36,950.

Which plug-in hybrid crossover is right for you?

In this head-to-head competition, TrueCar determined the Toyota RAV4 Prime is the better option overall. The RAV4 Prime offers more standard features, more comfort, and an all-wheel drive powertrain. 

However, this does not mean the Ford Escape PHEV is a pushover, starting at around $5,000 cheaper than the Toyota RAV4 Prime, the Escape offers a better-combined fuel economy and slightly more cargo space.

These two options are neck and neck when compared to each other, and for many drivers, the decision simply comes down to personal preference. So get out there and test drive these impressive plug-in hybrid crossovers today!

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