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Toyota News & Reviews

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the electrically-assisted version of one of Toyota’s best-selling crossover SUVs. Using the award-winning Toyota Hybrid drive, it just gets things done. Just like Napleton News! So climb in and buckle up, as we hit the road for our hybrid adventure.

What’s the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid all about?

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid going away.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is almost everything to every Toyota buyer. Start with a Toyota SUV that is known for its reliability, build quality and resale value. Then toss in one of the best Hybrid systems offered today. By the numbers, we’re talking about the 2.5-liter inline-4-cylinder engine and two electric motor generators (essentially electric motors). One is mounted up front, while the other drives the rear axle. The result is an all-wheel drive vehicle delivering a combined 219 horsepower. The EPA estimates it will get approximately 38 city mpg and 35 highway mpg.

The RAV4’s hybrid system is not the newest kid on the block but still, it’s reliable and an overall fuel sipper. And, as a bonus, it can tow up to 1,750 pounds.

How does the RAV4 Hybrid look?

The RAV4 Hybrid at speed

The RAV4 Hybrid is a five-seat four door Compact SUV that features angular steel cuts with a matrix grille and catfish-like maw that you may love or not. It all depends on how much you are willing to act aggressively in your stylistic pursuit to stand out in your neighborhood. They’re not exactly weird shapes that wrap the RAV4. They just may be a bit off-putting to some customers.

To our eyes, the RAV4 Hybrid takes on a circuit board-like look that runs off at angles like you would see on a schematic drawing. Don’t be afraid of the looks. Just embrace them.

There are a wide variety of trim levels available for the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. These include:

  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid LE
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SE
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE Premium
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited

What does it look like inside?

The RAV4 Interior.

While it’s not the newest whip on the road today, the RAV4 Hybrid offers a spacious, comfortable cabin that has held its own through the years. Angular is the name of the game once again with the interior of the RAV4 Hybrid.

It can even help you make it a big day at the local big box store: The RAV4 Hybrid has the same storage and cargo haulage space as the regular RAV4. That measures up to 37.6 cubic feet behind the second row, and 69.8 cubic feet when you fold that seat forward. They also fold in a 60:40 split.

The RAV4 Hybrid Seating

A new 10.25-inch touchscreen display holds sway over the center console in the latest version of the RAV4. It operates the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and the JBL Premium audio system. A 12.3-inch driver display offers a way to configure the gauges to reflect hybrid functionality as well as more traditional gauges.

Behind the wheel of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Let’s go places in the RAV4 Hybrid.

From the time you push the starter button, the RAV4 Hybrid starts as any other would…just quieter. It’s clear from the start that the electric motors are doing most of the heavy lift when you are under 30 miles per hour. But standing on the skinny pedal picks up the pace, but also causes the powertrain to sip the fuel more liberally.

When driven angrily, the RAV4 Hybrid can make a bit of a racket. It’s something we’ve noticed in many versions through the years. Maybe Toyota should pony up for some more insulation inside the cabin to keep the highway noise at bay.

The Woodland is better equipped than other RAV4 models for heading off road. Steering is a bit more responsive than that of the regular hybrid versions, which is necessary when making those delicate on-trail movements.

The front alloys on the RAV4 Hybrid.

Following a high-speed run to Miami, we can honestly say we arrived relaxed and not tensed up, despite the travails of dealing with South Florida traffic. When we looked at the fuel gauge following the run, we noticed the fuel gauge only dipped 1/8th of a tank. That’s pretty impressive from any vehicle, even a hybrid.

Motor on people. Motor on.

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD Specifications

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD
Popular Powertrains
Engine Type 2.5-liter gas/electric inline-4
Horsepower 219 hp @ 5,700 rpm
Torque 160 lb-ft @3,600 rpm
Transmission CVT with Overdrive
Fuel Economy 37 mpg (38 city/35 hwy)
Suspension McPherson Strut / double wishbone
Turning Circle 36.1 ft.
Also Available Various trim levels, FWD
Specs
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 8 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating 5-star
Max Seating Capacity 5
Wheelbase 105.9 inches
Overall Length 180.9 inches
Width 73.0 inches
Height 67.0 inches
Cargo Room (Behind 2,1 row) 37.5/69.8 Cubic Feet
Headroom, Front 39.5 inches
Headroom, 2nd 39.5 inches
Legroom, Front 41.0 inches
Legroom, 2nd 37.8 inches
Shoulder, Front 57.8
Shoulder, 2nd 56.4 inches

This post was published on June 19, 2023

Mark Elias

I've loved everything on wheels: Trains, Planes and definitely Automobiles. I am constantly in search of the latest in new technology, which makes our lives better each day, but will always respect the classics. You can't continue forward without first taking a look back at where you've been.

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