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A green 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid for sale is shown parked near a brick wall.

A Look at Toyota’s 2023 Hybrid SUV Lineup

Many drivers prefer SUVs because of their spacious interiors and versatile open cargo areas. But one drawback of many SUVs is bad fuel economy, which means more time at the gas station and more money spent on fuel, which can add up over time, not to mention the environmental impact of burning excess fossil fuels. Those who want to have their cake and eat it too are in luck: hybrid SUVs are becoming increasingly popular these days, and Toyota is at the forefront of this expanding segment.

Toyota’s best-known hybrid is almost certainly the iconic Prius, but that’s far from the only eco-friendly model in their lineup. These days, many of the automaker’s SUVs are available with efficient hybrid powertrains. If you look around a dealership, it’s not difficult to find a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or Toyota Highlander Hybrid for sale, alongside many other options.

But what’s the difference between the brand’s various hybrid SUVs, and what does each model bring to the table? Today, we’re going to take a look at all of the options Toyota is offering for the 2023 model year. These five models provide buyers with a range of styles, sizes, and features to choose from. Toyota also offers several plug-in hybrid options, but to keep things simple, we will focus exclusively on the traditional hybrid models. No charging is required.

A white 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is shown driving on a city street.

The Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

Toyota’s Corolla has been a popular sedan for decades now. For the 2022 model year, the brand decided to blend the Corolla nameplate with the body style of an SUV with the Corolla Cross, a subcompact crossover that seats five, and a hybrid powertrain was added to the model for the 2023 model year. The body features a ground clearance of eight inches, giving you a high vantage point and 21.5 cu.ft. of cargo volume.

The Corolla Cross Hybrid gets an impressive EPA-estimated 45 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway. To put that figure in perspective, the non-hybrid Corolla Cross gets 31 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The hybrid features Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive and produces 196 hp, giving drivers traction in inclement weather and the power they need to accelerate quickly up to highway speeds.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Highlander is a larger SUV that can seat seven or eight, depending on how it’s configured. It has been available with a hybrid powertrain for many years and has stood the test of time. While the non-hybrid 2023 Highlander gets an EPA-estimated 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway, the hybrid model has a rating of 36 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway, with a total range of 616 miles on a full tank of gas. Because of its larger size, the Highlander needs more power than the Corolla Cross, producing 243 hp. With the second and third-row seats folded flat, the Highlander Hybrid can provide up to 84.3 cu.ft. of cargo space.

The Highlander Hybrid is available with either extra-efficient front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, which provides more traction. You can adjust the vehicle’s settings to match your current situation with the selectable drive modes. These modes include Normal for everyday driving, Sport for thrilling performance, Eco for optimal fuel economy, Trail for rough terrain, and EV for fully battery-powered driving over short distances at low speeds.

A blue 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE is shown parked near a structure.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Size-wise, the RAV4 sits between the Corolla Cross and the Highlander. It seats up to five and has a maximum cargo volume of 69.8 cu.ft. Both its fuel economy figures and its power sit in the middle as well. Its powertrain produces up to 219 hp, and it delivers an EPA-estimated 41 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway. Those figures are even more impressive when you consider the fact that the hybrid comes standard with AWD. The non-hybrid RAV4 gets 27 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway with AWD.

One thing that sets the RAV4 Hybrid apart is its off-road capability. The Woodland Edition trim comes with all-terrain tires, all-weather floor mats, raised black roof rails with cross bars, exclusive badging, and special styling touches like bronze-colored wheels. While not as rough-and-ready as the non-hybrid RAV4 TRD Off-Road, this trim gives fuel-conscious drivers an option that can handle a little mud and dirt.

The Toyota Sequoia Hybrid

A full-size, three-row SUV, the Sequoia has plenty of space. It provides 86.9 cu.ft. of cargo volume with the rear seats folded down. If the second and third rows are up and in action, they provide a few more inches of legroom than their counterparts in the Highlander. The Sequoia also brings 437 hp to the table, allowing it to tow up to 9,520 lbs when properly equipped.

Of course, all that power and space comes at the expense of fuel economy. The 2022 Sequoia gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of just 13 MPG in the city and 17 MPG on the highway when combined with RWD. That’s probably why Toyota decided to offer this model as a hybrid only for the 2023 model year. It now offers an improved 21 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway. That puts it behind the pack compared to the other Toyota hybrid SUVs, but these are respectable numbers for a vehicle this size.

Unlike the RAV4, the Sequoia does offer a TRD Pro trim with a hybrid powertrain. It features a protective front skid plate, an LED light bar, an off-road suspension system with rear shocks, and a front stabilizer bar. Built with outdoor adventurers in mind, this trim is ready to tackle all kinds of rough terrain while giving you the best of both worlds: an efficient hybrid engine coupled with an array of off-road enhancements.

A red 2023 Toyota Venza Hybrid is shown parked looking over a city.

The Toyota Venza Hybrid

Last but not least, the two-row Venza SUV is a bit bigger than the midsize RAV4 but not quite as large as the Highlander. Like the Sequoia, it’s exclusively available as a hybrid for the 2023 model year. Its efficient engine will get you 40 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway. Between its engine and its electric motor, the Venza delivers 219 combined hp.

The Venza’s interior is full of modern tech features. It’s available with a large 12.3-inch fully digital gauge cluster and a digital rearview mirror, adding modern touches to traditionally analog components. There are also plenty of luxuries available, like a 9-speaker JBL premium audio system and a panoramic moonroof. The cabin seats up to five, but if you only need to fit two, you can fold the rear seats flat to unlock the maximum cargo volume: 55.1 cu.ft.

Which Hybrid Model Is Right for You?

With so many different factors to keep in mind, trying to narrow your options down can feel overwhelming. The best way to keep things simple is to take it one step at a time. Start with how much passenger capacity you need. If you need seats for six or more people, you can eliminate the Venza, RAV4, and Corolla Cross. Then, consider how much cargo space you’re going to require. If you often take long family road trips or need to transport bulky items, then you’ll want to make sure you have a lot of cargo volume. If not, you don’t need to let a lack of space be a big dealbreaker.

If you don’t need to carry as many passengers or as much cargo, you can use other factors to help you decide. If you have to drive a long distance to work or run errands, you might want to go with the most fuel-efficient choice. If you like outdoor adventures, you might choose a more capable model. And if you’re more flexible and don’t have strong needs in any of these categories, you can simply decide which one best fits your personal style. Every driver is unique and has their own sense of priorities, but with this many options to choose from in the Toyota lineup, even the pickiest driver should be able to find a model that checks all their boxes.