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The Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular SUVs ever made. Consumers love the RAV4, but it isn’t the best-selling vehicle of 2023. Surprisingly, a more expensive electric vehicle is outselling the popular Toyota SUV. It happens to come from one of the most controversial automotive brands in existence. Why is the Toyota RAV4 being outsold by the Tesla Model Y?

The age of the electric: Tesla’s rise to the top

Part of the reason that the Tesla Model Y is outselling the Toyota RAV4 is because of the popularization of electric vehicles. What was once considered taboo is being normalized thanks to accessible charging and more EV options.

Tesla is leading the charge for electric vehicles with models like the Model 3 sedan and Model Y small electric SUV. They aren’t necessarily affordable in the broader sense, but they aren’t overpriced for EVs. Furthermore, they provide adequate value in the form of driving range and quality.

Teslas are now the first choice for many consumers looking to switch from gas to electric. The brand has created exclusive ownership experiences for those who purchase its products, like special features and access to its large network of superchargers. Its stock has skyrocketed in 2023, and it is easily one of the most dynamic American companies today.

Toyota remains important to the industry, but its brand and vehicles aren’t in the headlines as much as Tesla. It’s not as controversial or as exciting to many consumers, which is a blessing and a curse.

The Tesla Model Y is performance-oriented

An orange Tesla Model Y small electric SUV is driving on the road.
The Tesla Model Y | Tesla

Tesla’s small electric SUV boasts incredible performance specs. The Model Y Long Range can travel for 330 miles on a full charge. That’s more driving range than the average electric vehicle. It accelerates from 0-60 miles per hour in just 4.8 seconds. The EV comes standard with all-wheel drive. It has a top speed of 135 miles per hour.

When it comes to performance, the Tesla Model Y has very few rivals in its price range. Its final configuration is insanely quick. The 2023 Tesla Model Y Performance goes from 0-60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds. It is one of the quickest electric vehicles on the market, making it extremely appealing to consumers who want an exhilarating driving experience.

Why the Tesla Model Y is outselling the Toyota RAV4 SUV


Why Is the Tesla Model Y so Much More Popular Than the Model 3?

Toyota’s small SUV isn’t antiquated, but the Model Y is definitely the more future-facing vehicle. The Model Y is the small family SUV of tomorrow, which is why so many consumers are after it today. It’s in a different league of refinement and performance than the affordable RAV4.

Another reason why drivers are lovin’ the Model Y in 2023 is the price. The EV is eligible for a $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax incentive. The Long Range trim costs around $42,990 after the tax credit. Moreover, the final Model Y configuration, the Performance trim, costs around $46,990 post-incentive. Neither model is necessarily cheap to the average consumer, but the small electric SUV’s value proposition is sufficient to justify its starting price after incentives.

If 2023 is any indication of the future of small SUV sales, then the Tesla Model Y’s sales run won’t slow down anytime soon. Is Toyota’s streak as the producer of the best-selling vehicle doomed?