Like their distant cousin, the hybridized Prius hatchback, the 2023 RAV4 Hybrid and plug-in hybrid RAV4 Prime intention to deliver spectacular gas effectivity to the compact-SUV section. And so they succeed. However their electrified powertrains include different advantages too, particularly higher efficiency. For one factor, each are faster than the nonhybrid RAV4—particularly the Prime mannequin which, amazingly, is able to outrunning a four-cylinder Supra sports activities automobile to 60 mph. Too dangerous the RAV4 Hybrid’s dealing with isn’t sports-car sharp—fairly the opposite, truly, as its noncommittal street manners aren’t more likely to fulfill drivers who worth athleticism of their every day experience. For many who need slightly extra involvement within the driving expertise—bear in mind, we’re speaking mainstream SUVs right here, not sport sedans—there’s the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and Kia Sportage. All of them supply hybrid fashions as nicely. Nonetheless, the RAV4 Hybrid is a handsome, sensible, and comfy small crossover that’s frugal on the fuel pump, which is greater than sufficient for an SUV-loving American to be ok with.
What’s New for 2023?
A brand new rough-and-tumble Woodland Version of the RAV4 Hybrid joins the lineup for 2023. Together with all-terrain tires, the Woodland Version sports activities a TRD suspension equipment, bronze-colored wheels, a roof rack, mud flaps, black exterior badging, and a particular set of all-season ground mats sporting the Woodland Version brand. Exterior colours are restricted to black, blue, and white. All fashions now include Toyota’s next-generation infotainment interface—a welcome improve over the outgoing one—which incorporates commonplace wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in addition to over-the-air replace functionality.
Pricing and Which One to Purchase
Should you can qualify for the $7500 electric-vehicle tax credit score, the RAV4 Prime is a no brainer, as the federal government’s monetary incentive lowers its worth considerably—and also you get a RAV4 with extra energy and a major electric-only driving vary. Of the 2 Prime fashions, the XSE is full of extra commonplace options, together with 19-inch wheels, a sunroof, and an infotainment system with a bigger 10.5-inch show. Should you do not qualify for the tax credit score, we would suggest the XLE Hybrid, which presents extra commonplace tools than the bottom LE with out struggling a lot of an uptick in worth. Patrons of the XLE will get pleasure from conveniences similar to passive keyless entry, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, LED projector headlamps with computerized excessive beams, heated exterior mirrors, blind-spot monitoring, and entrance fog lamps.
Engine, Transmission, and Efficiency
The RAV4 Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is assisted by two electrical motors for a mixed output of 219 horsepower. All-wheel drive is commonplace—one of many electrical motors powers the rear wheels and the second motor and the gasoline engine drive the fronts—as is a repeatedly variable computerized transmission (CVT). Not solely is the RAV4 Hybrid extra environment friendly than the unelectrified mannequin, but it surely’s additionally faster. It snapped off a 7.4-second 60-mph time in our palms whereas the gas-only mannequin wanted 8.0 seconds to carry out the identical job. Drivers will really feel that pep, too, significantly round city, the place the electrical motor’s gratifyingly speedy energy supply offers it an additional shove when taking off from a cease. In order for you much more efficiency, the Prime mannequin is comfortable to oblige. In our testing, the RAV4 Prime skipped to 60 mph in simply 5.6 seconds. Like the usual RAV4, the hybrid and Prime fashions’ dealing with is competent and its experience snug, however do not anticipate any cornering heroics right here.
Vary, Charging, and Battery Life
The plug-in hybrid RAV4 Prime shops its electrons in an 18.1-kWh battery pack, and the EPA charges its electric-only driving vary at 42 miles. In our testing, we managed to drive for 32 miles on electrical energy alone, however that was on the freeway; we’d anticipate an extended driving vary within the metropolis. A 3.3-kWh onboard charger is commonplace and a 6.6-kWh charger is non-obligatory on the Prime XSE; it decreases charging time to simply 2.5 hours on a 240-volt outlet. If solely a 120-volt outlet is obtainable, anticipate charging occasions to be about 12 hours.
Gasoline Financial system and Actual-World MPG
In comparison with a gas-powered all-wheel-drive RAV4, the hybrid mannequin is way extra environment friendly. The EPA estimates it’s going to obtain 41 mpg metropolis, 38 mpg freeway, and 40 mpg mixed, beating the common RAV4 by 14 mpg, 5 mpg, and 11 mpg, respectively. Once we examined the RAV4 Hybrid on our 200-mile freeway fuel-economy route, it delivered 37 mpg, 1 mpg lower than its EPA score. The Prime earns an EPA mixed score of 94 MPGe, and it delivered 73 MPGe throughout our freeway fuel-economy check. For extra details about the RAV4 Hybrid’s gas economic system, go to the EPA’s web site.
Inside, Consolation, and Cargo
The RAV4 Hybrid’s cabin is nicely constructed and properly outfitted however prioritizes practicality over fashion. With a plethora of cubbies and bins to select from, you may have ample house to stash small cargo, and the entire buttons and controls are straightforward to seek out and function. Toyota throws in loads of niceties on the base degree, similar to dual-zone computerized local weather management, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and a height-adjustable false ground within the cargo space. Going up the trim-level ladder brings luxurious options similar to heated entrance and rear seats, ambient inside lighting, and upgraded faux-leather upholstery that Toyota calls SofTex. The RAV4 Hybrid presents similar cargo and passenger house because the common RAV4, and in our testing, we managed to suit 10 carry-on suitcases behind the second row and 22 with the rear seat folded.
Infotainment and Connectivity
LE and XLE fashions include an 8.0-inch infotainment show sprouting from their dashboard whereas XSE, Restricted, and Prime XSE fashions present a ten.5-inch display. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration in addition to an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot are all commonplace. Most fashions additionally include a 7.0-inch digital gauge show however a bigger 12.3-inch one comes on Restricted and Prime XSE trims and is non-obligatory on the XLE Premium. Navigation and an 11-speaker JBL stereo system can be found. In any other case, you may get a six-speaker system.
Security and Driver-Help Options
Toyota has been an aggressive adopter of driver-assistance options and presents lots of them commonplace throughout the RAV4 lineup. For extra details about the RAV4 Hybrid’s crash-test outcomes, go to the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) web sites. Key security options embrace:
- Customary automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Customary lane-departure warning with lane-keeping help
- Customary adaptive cruise management
Guarantee and Upkeep Protection
All RAV4s include a complete guarantee that matches these supplied by rivals Honda and Nissan, however electrified fashions include a prolonged safety plan for his or her hybrid parts. Removed from the norm, Toyota’s complimentary scheduled upkeep coverage stretches for 2 years or 25,000 miles.
- Restricted guarantee covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain guarantee covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Hybrid-component guarantee covers eight years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary upkeep is coated for 2 years or 25,000 miles
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$49,170 (base worth: $42,545)
DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter inline-4, 177 hp, 165 lb-ft + 3 permanent-magnet synchronous motors, entrance: 179 hp, 199 lb-ft; rear: 53 hp, 89 lb-ft; mixed output, 302 hp; 18.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
repeatedly variable computerized
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.9-in vented disc/12.4-in vented disc
Tires: Yokohama Avid GT S35, 235/55R-19 101V M+S
Wheelbase: 105.9 in
Size: 180.9 in
Width: 73.0 in
Top: 67.2 in
Passenger quantity: 99 ft3
Cargo quantity: 33 ft3
Curb weight: 4400 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 5.4 sec
100 mph: 14.0 sec
Rolling begin, 5–60 mph: 5.6 sec
Prime gear, 30–50 mph: 2.7 sec
Prime gear, 50–70 mph: 3.4 sec
1/4 mile: 14.0 sec @ 100 mph
Prime velocity (governor restricted): 117 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 195 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.75 g
Standing-start accel occasions omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
75-mph freeway driving, EV/hybrid mode: 73 MPGe/32 mpg
Freeway vary, EV/hybrid mode: 32/460 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Mixed/metropolis/freeway: 38/36/40 mpg
Mixed gasoline+electrical energy: 94 MPGe
EV vary: 42 miles