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A blue 2023 Toyota RAV4 for sale is shown parked inside of a parking garage.

The SUV That Needs Little Introduction: The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

A hybrid powertrain combines an internal combustion engine with one or more electric motors. Together, they generate more renewable power than a traditional gas-powered engine alone. The power stored within the battery is charged through regenerative braking, combined with extra power harnessed from inside the internal combustion engine. This one-two punch allows a vehicle to operate on a smaller engine without sacrificing horsepower, thereby saving hybrid drivers a lot of money on fuel costs. Toyota is a leader in hybrid technology, and they were fundamental in popularizing the hybrid powertrain with the Prius. When the Prius was released, it exploded onto the scene, inspiring millions of converts from those who’d previously never even given hybrid vehicles a thought. When Toyota realized this model’s success, they moved forward with developing hybrid versions of their other popular models—and thus along came the RAV4 Hybrid.

The non-hybrid RAV4 has long been a best-selling model for Toyota. It is affordable, convenient, stylish, and fun to drive. The “Recreational Active Vehicle with four-wheel drive” (or RAV4) was one of the first ever compact SUVs, revolutionizing the segment with its shorter chassis and undeniable functionality. It merged an off-roading temperament with an easier-to-maneuver sedan-length body. The original Toyota RAV4 delivered a higher seat, four-wheel drive, and good ground clearance in a car-like package. Year after year, the RAV4 sold an impressive number of units to an ever-growing fanbase, so turning it into a hybrid was a no-brainer. These days, any Toyota RAV4 for sale—hybrid or otherwise—has an impressive array of features, so it’s no wonder the RAV4 maintains its position as the top-selling compact SUV.

History of the RAV4

The first conceptual RAV4 was born from the minds of Toyota engineers as far back as 1989 when they designed a prototype for the Tokyo Motor Show. The original concept went through tons of changes before launching the real deal in May of 1994. The first generation RAV4 was based on the platform used for the Corolla, with inspiration taken from the Camry and Celica GT-Four. It originally came as a two-door with room for four passengers. The RAV4’s first powertrain was home to a 2.0L V4 with standard four-wheel drive, paired with either a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual gearbox. The debut was a big hit among customers and critics alike, and Toyota immediately doubled production numbers. By the following year, Toyota launched a four-door version.

Way ahead of the competition, Toyota launched a fully electric spin-off in 1997 to comply with California’s strong emissions regulations. The RAV4 EV used a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery and charged 100-120 miles in five hours. While that model didn’t stick around, it did inspire Toyota to work towards a hybrid that would be quickly embraced by fans of the compact SUV—and, in 2016, they debuted the first of its kind. This hybrid gained new standard safety features the following year and, in 2019, it received a full exterior makeover. It soared in popularity, surpassing the Prius to become Toyota’s best-selling hybrid by 2022.

A blue 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition is shown off-roading on a dirt path.

What’s In Today’s Toyota RAV4?

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is an excellent example of why this model is so successful. Taking the best qualities of previous models and merging them with the latest tech, the newly minted RAV4 Hybrid sets the bar high for overall value. It offers comfort, off-roading capability, and, of course, tons of efficiency. The standard 2.5L V4 with front-rear electric-drive motors delivers an output of 219 hp. It effortlessly delivers an EPA-estimated 41 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway, saving you countless trips to the gas station over the course of your ownership. If you opt for one of the two Prime models, your RAV4 becomes a plug-in hybrid whose powertrain is equipped with an 18.1-kWh battery pack, rated for an EPA-estimated 42 miles of electric-only driving. It has a combined 94 MPGe, and you can charge it with either a 120-volt or 240-volt charger.

For 2023, Toyota added the Woodland Edition to the existing lineup of trim levels. That means you can choose between a whopping nine different trims, including the LE, XLE, SE, Woodland Edition, XLE Premium, XSE, Limited, Prime SE, and Prime XSE. The new Woodland Edition is an off-roading dynamo featuring a TRD sport-tuned suspension kit, bronze-colored wheels, a roof rack, mud flaps, and all-season floor mats. The eye-catching look will have you carving new paths like never before.

Toyota upgraded the infotainment system across every trim level by including standard wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto compatibility, and over-the-air system updates. The base model and XLE feature an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment center while moving to a higher trim gets you a 10.5-inch screen. Most of the trim levels also offer a 7.0-inch digital gauge display, while the pricier models have a 12.3-inch display. Toyota Audio Multimedia is easy to customize and uses touch and voice recognition to make things more user-friendly. You can activate the system by simply saying, “Hey, Toyota.” And everything is crystal clear with the JBL Premium Audio System.

One glance at the interior, and you’ll find a cabin that’s deluxe and inviting. A generous 37.6 cu.ft. of cargo space makes transporting groceries, luggage, and sporting equipment a breeze. There are tons of refined high-end features available, like SofTex trimmed upholstery, a panoramic glass roof, and heated front and rear seats. There are also tons of additional storage spaces for smaller belongings and an intuitively placed storage tray and passenger shelf. With so many ways to spread out inside the 2023 RAV4 Hybrid, you’ll never miss the chance to road trip again.

There’s no shortage of safety and driver assistance features inside the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to deliver the confidence you deserve in a vehicle. It’s Toyota’s dedication to safety that has helped the vehicle earn a five-star Overall Safety Rating from both the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). All their safety and driver assistance features are delivered in what’s known as the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. This package includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, and Road Sign Assist. These features use real-time radar to send you alerts and step in if you don’t react quickly enough.

A white 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is shown driving on a highway.

See For Yourself

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is as exciting a model as ever. Just last year, the RAV4 Hybrid earned the Best Buy Award from Kelley Blue Book. Toyota has earned every bit of recognition from customers and critics when it comes to this compact hybrid, as it delivers all the features you could want, including a super-efficient powertrain, upgraded entertainment, and all of today’s best safety technology. The RAV4 Hybrid is as fun to drive in the city as it is off-roading in the countryside. The ultra-efficient powertrain saves you money and time by cutting down on your trips to the gas station. With so many trim levels and an optional plug-in hybrid available, there are countless ways to save with the 2023 RAV4 Hybrid. Experience one for yourself and feel the incredible value firsthand. After driving a RAV4 Hybrid, you’ll never want to look back.