Toyota RAV4 vs. RAV4 Hybrid: Can You Go Wrong?

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In the SUV world of 2021, Toyota offers two versions of the 2021 Toyota RAV4: Gas and Hybrid. Let’s compare the two to see which may be the better model for you.
A 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid on display
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers great value compared to similar hybrid SUVs.

Direct comparisons of the Toyota RAV4 models

U.S. News reviewed the RAV4 and the RAV4 Hybrid with some interesting results.
Most categories wound up being a tie (understandably so, since Toyota likely wants to appeal to a diverse consumer audience).
However, there are slight differences that might make you prefer one model over the other.
Pricing: RAV4
The 2021 non-hybrid RAV4 has a starting price of $26,150. The price then varies from $27,445 to $35,880 depending on if you want a loaded, top-shelf trim.
The RAV4 Hybrid starts at $28,500, which is more affordable than many other hybrid and electric SUVs. Depending on alternative trims you want, it can then go from $29,795 to $37,030.
Cargo Space: Tie
Both models have identical cargo space (37.6 cubic feet).
Interior Comfort and Features: Tie
Both models seat five people in two rows with ample head- and leg-room. that if you’re on a long trip, you can still remain comfortable.
Both models also come with as standard: a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a USB port, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Powertrain: Hybrid
While the non-hybrid RAV4 is more than adequate for getting by daily in the city or highway, it has received complaints about certain transmission problems on CarComplaints.
Paired with an engine that can get loud at times, the gas RAV4’s powertrain took a backseat to the RAV4 Hybrid.
Fuel Economy: Hybrid
RAV4RAV4 Hybrid
City28 MPG41 MPG
Highway35 MPG38 MPG
Obviously, the hybrid RAV4 has the better fuel economy. In fact, its performance is exceptional!
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that choosing the RAV4 Hybrid over the non-hybrid RAV4 can save you up to $500 per year on fuel.
Ride and Handling: RAV4
The non-hybrid RAV4 wins by having better handling and less body sway. Doing a test drive of both cars would be best to see if it’s a noticeable difference to you.
Safety and Reliability: Tie
Both have an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. As both models are equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, you won’t miss out on any safety and driver-assistance features by choosing either model.
According to U.S. News, both earned average scores for predicted reliability. Toyota covers both models with warranty, and the Hybrid has additional 8+ year warranty for its hybrid components.

The final verdict on the Toyota RAV4 comparison

If you want a cheaper SUV option, the non-hybrid, gas RAV4 model is better to purchase.
However, based on performance and user reviews, it seems like the Hybrid is better if you’re willing to pay more.

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