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2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs. 2019 RAV4 Hybrid: Which Is Better?

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Looking for a hybrid that’s as much about performance as efficiency and comfort? The fully redesigned 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers more technology, better driving dynamics, and far more efficiency and power than the 2018 RAV4 Hybrid—and it’s cheaper.  
Since it was first released in 2016, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has been one of the best-selling eco-friendly compact SUVs. It embodies exactly what a crossover was designed to be—the perfect blend of space and efficiency. Although available in both a gas-powered and hybrid variant, the RAV4 Hybrid appeals to those looking for power, performance, and practicality without dropping bills. 
But with a complete redesign after the 2018 model year, how does the newer 2019 RAV4 Hybrid stack up against its predecessor? And which is right for you? Here to compare the 2018 and 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid models is
Jerry
, the
car insurance
broker app. We’ll cover pricing, fuel economy, safety features, and styling—and help you decide which model is right for you.  
And if you’re looking to reduce your
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid insurance costs
(or insurance for any other vehicle), Jerry can help with that, too!

2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs. 2019 RAV4 Hybrid: what’s the difference?

The RAV4 is Toyota’s best-selling SUV. It’s larger than the
C-HR
but smaller than the rest of Toyota’s SUVs—the
Highlander
,
Land Cruiser
,
4Runner
, and
Sequoia
. And even though the gas-powered version is one of the most popular models in the Toyota lineup, the RAV4 Hybrid sees its fair share of fandom thanks to its affordability and efficiency
But what’s the difference between the 2018 and 2019 model years? At first glance, a lot. With a complete redesign for 2019, it wasn’t just the exterior that got a facelift—the entire vehicle saw a serious upgrade. And it didn’t come with a major price jump, either.
Ready to see a detailed comparison of what’s new? Let’s get started.

Pricing

The average price of a used 2018 or 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid varies depending on the trim level, options and features, location, and demand, but you can expect to pay around $30,000. Don’t forget—demand for hybrid vehicles has skyrocketed recently, so hybrid vehicle prices tend to be higher than they were in previous years. Used
Toyota
hybrids are no exception.
When the 2018 and 2019 RAV4s were first released, here were the original MSRPs:
Trim level
2018 MSRP
2019 MSRP
$27,385
$27,850
$29,280
$29,650
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SE
$32,435
$33,850
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Platinum
$34,280
$35,850
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General specs

Although the difference in price between the two model years may not be huge, there are some major upgrades on the new model in tech, performance, and efficiency. But the reality is that except for a slightly more powerful engine on the 2019 model, the powertrains are very similar on both models.
But what about off-road capabilities? While the RAV4 might not be Toyota’s best off-roading vehicle, both models can still hit the trails. 
That said, the 2018 RAV4 Hybrid relies on an electric motor for rear power, and it lacks the mechanical system and locking center differential like the regular RAV4, meaning it’s not the best candidate for tackling rough terrain. The 2019 RAV4 Hybrid is slightly better suited with 8.1 inches of ground clearance, giving it the basic tools for modest trail work—but don’t be venturing into
Jeep
territory. 
2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Base hybrid engine (LE, XLE, SE,
Limited
)
2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with three electric motors (194 horsepower)
2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor (219 horsepower)
Transmission
CVT (standard)
CVT (standard)
Drivetrain
All-wheel drive (AWD)
All-wheel drive (AWD)
Maximum towing capacity
1,750 lbs
1,750 lbs

Fuel economy

Although both the 2018 and 2019 Toyota RAV4’s are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with electric motors, the 2018 model has three electric motors, while the 2019 has a single electric motor. With a vehicle that weighs 215 pounds less, you’d expect better fuel economy—and the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid pulls through. But even with a more fuel-efficient car, part of your gas mileage is dictated by where and how you drive.
Here’s a comparison of the fuel efficiencies of the 2018 and 2019 models:
  • 2018 Hybrid engine (2.5-liter) w/CVT: 34 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 32 mpg combined
  • 2019 Hybrid engine (2.5-liter) w/CVT: 41 mpg city / 37 mpg highway / 39 mpg combined
The winner? The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a clear advantage where fuel economy is concerned, thanks to a lighter vehicle and a battery-assisted powertrain that makes the 2019 RAV4 the most powerful model year since the V6 engine was discontinued in 2012.
MORE: Is a Toyota Hybrid worth it?
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Safety ratings

Toyota is known for its stellar safety ratings, and the trend continues for the RAV4 Hybrid—no matter the model year you choose. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid receive five-star safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 
While neither hybrid model is rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the gas-powered 2018 Toyota RAV4 received a Top Safety Pick, while the 2019 Toyota RAV4 received a Top Safety Pick+
Any guesses why? You can thank Toyota Safety Sense. Both vehicles are loaded with a plethora of standard safety features and driver assists. 
And the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid benefits from the upgraded Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 and includes features like a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, and adaptive cruise control. Upgrading to higher trim levels unlocks even more driver assist features that aren’t standard on all trims. 

Styling and interior changes

If there’s one spot where the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid outdoes its predecessor, it’s style. The RAV4 was completely redesigned for the 2019 model year and features a more aggressive exterior style, more power, and more attitude. 
But despite the serious cosmetic changes, the RAV4 Hybrid is still a RAV4 at heart—high-tech, comfortable, and practical. Let’s look at some of the 2018 and 2019 RAV4’s highlights.
2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid:
  • SofTex vinyl seat covers
  • 6.1-inch touchscreen interface
  • Voice control
  • Six-speaker sound system with a CD player
  • Integrated blind spot mirrors
  • Keyless ignition and entry
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated mirrors
  • Bluetooth and one USB port
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid:
  • Rearview camera
  • LED headlights and daytime running lights
  • Height-adjustable driver seat 
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay smartphone integration 
  • Toyota Connected Services (includes onboard Wi-Fi)
  • Bluetooth and one USB port
  • Six-speaker sound system
If you’re looking for the best of the best (i.e., near-luxury), you’ll have to upgrade to one of the higher trims. The 2018 and 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited trims add features like front and rear parking sensors, chrome exterior trim, driver-seat memory functions, the Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite, a larger infotainment touchscreen, and an integrated hard drive-based Toyota navigation system. 
And for the tech lovers out there, you can upgrade to the Advanced Technology package that decks your RAV4 out with all the latest tech bells and whistles.

2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs. 2019 RAV4 Hybrid: which should you buy?

If you’re debating between purchasing a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid, the differences aren’t significant. But the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid offers a stronger value proposition than the previous model years.
Although the 2018 model may have a slightly lower price, you’re missing out on some of the new key features and capabilities for the 2019 model year. 

How to save on Toyota insurance

Apart from a more aggressive look and some upgrades to the handling, there may not be a huge difference between the 2018 and 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. But if you’re looking for a big difference where savings are concerned, there’s a simple solution:
Jerry
.
As the top-rated car insurance super app and a licensed insurance broker, Jerry partners with over 55 top insurance providers to find you the best
Toyota RAV4 insurance costs
without compromising coverage (or breaking the bank). Sign up in 45 seconds to browse customized quotes. If you find a better rate in the app, connect with a Jerry agent to lock in your coverage and switch over. 
It’s quick, simple, and hassle-free—and there are no phone calls, emails, or long forms to fill out. Everything is done within the app and without stress. Best of all, the average Jerry user saves over $800 a year on car insurance! 
“I have been with the same insurance provider for over 10 years.
Jerry
found me a new policy with Travelers that is $107/month cheaper. The pandemic has made finances tight, but Jerry helped me out.” —Gabriel T.
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