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Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Top Alternatives for 2021/2022

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Alternatives

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Alternatives

The top-selling green crossover in America is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. For years, Toyota has maintained a pace of sales of the RAV4 Hybrid higher than the pace of sales of many conventional crossovers of its size.

It is hard to find faults with the RAV4 Hybrid. It has many advantages in its segment including class-leading fuel economy, standard advanced all-wheel drive, a low cost of maintenance, and legendary reliability.

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Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Weaknesses

The Takeaway: 40 MPG is the current benchmark for compact all-wheel drive crossover SUVs with the Toyota RAV4 setting the standard.

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However, today’s market conditions mean that in some areas finding a RAV4 Hybrid may be impossible. Also, many owners find it annoying that the fuel tank can only accept about 11 gallons of fuel, and that the low fuel light illuminates with about 4 gallons remaining.

Sport utility vehicles earned a bad reputation early in their infancy for being fuel gluttons. Today, many SUVs feature great fuel economy ratings. This is almost always due to hybrid technology and advanced-technology transmissions.

Toyota and Lexus dominate in hybrid technology because the company has been focused on fuel efficiency as a core competency for three decades. No other brand has as many hybrid vehicle offerings in as many segments. However, other manufacturers are making great strides in this area. In many cases, the difference in annual fuel costs between competitive hybrid models is minor.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs. Competitors

Model Annual Fuel Cost (EPA-Estimate 15K Miles)EPA-Estimated Combined MPGEPA-Estimated Range In Miles On One Fuel Tank
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
$1,200
40 MPG
580*
Ford Escape Hybrid AWD
$1,200
40 MPG
Not Listed
Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Blue
$1,250
38 MPG
521
Honda CR-V Hybrid
$1,250
38 MPG
532
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
$1,350
35 MPG
598
Kia Sorento Hybrid AWD
$1,350
35 MPG
Not Rated
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Blue
$1,400
34 MPG
602
Ford Explorer Hybrid
$1,900
25 MPG
465

*Many RAV4 Hyrbid owners report a range of approximately 440 miles before the low fuel light illuminates.

1. Toyota Venza & Lexus NX

Toyota-Venza-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-RAV4-HybridIf you love the RAV4 Hybrid’s mechanical bits but can’t find one, look again at the Toyota and Lexus lines.

The Toyota Venza and Lexus NX are nearly identical to the RAV4 Hybrid mechanically.

Both offer sleeker styling, a more modern interior design, and both have a bit lower MPG rating, but not enough to notice at the pump.

 

The Takeway: Toyota builds two copycat RAV4 Hybrids using the names Venza and Lexus NX.

Current Toyota Venza Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaVenza1.90%$299/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals and average prices paid.

Current Lexus NX Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021LexusNX 3001.90%$529/month for 36 months, $3,999 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Lexus deals and average prices paid.

2. Ford Escape Hybrid

Ford-Escape-Hybrid-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-RAV4-HybridAlmost 20 years ago, Ford licensed hybrid technology from Toyota to develop its Escape Hybrid. Today, Ford has its own hybrid and electrification technology, and the Escape Hybrid matches the RAV4 Hybrid’s MPG ratings.

We like the sleek look of the Escape Hybrid. It contrasts with the RAV4’s squared-off outdoorsy look and offers shoppers an alternative.

We have not had an opportunity to test the Escape Hybrid, so be sure you do your own long test drive. If you don’t need all-wheel drive, note that the Escape can be configured as a front-wheel drive vehicle with a smidge better fuel economy.

The Takeaway: The Escape Hybrid is a slightly smaller, sleeker-looking alternative to the RAV4 Hybrid that can match its efficiency.

Current Ford Escape Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021FordEscape Hybrid$1,500 5.90%$338/month for 39 months, $3,266 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Ford deals.

3. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Blue

Hyundai-Tucson-Hybrid-Blue-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-RAV4-HybridHyundai’s all-new 2022 Tucson Hybrid Blue uses a very different type of powertrain than does Toyota. Hyundai offers a smaller displacement engine with a turbocharger to make its power. Hyundai even uses a geared transmission rather than an e-CVT. This combination provides 226 hp, a smidge more than the RAV4 Hybrid offers. All-wheel drive is optional.

We tested the new Tucson and found its wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay-enabled infotainment system to be better than what Toyota offers in its RAV4 line. Another reason to love Hyundai is that the company offers three years of included maintenance vs. Toyota’s two years, and its warranty spans ten years instead of Toyota’s five.

The Takeaway: Hyundai’s Tucson Hybrid Blue offers better value, better infotainment, and a powertrain some shoppers may prefer.

Current Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2022HyundaiTucson Hybrid$5001.90%11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Hyundai deals.

4. Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Blue

Hyundai-Santa-Fe-Hybrid-Blue-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-RAV4-HybridWe tested the Hyundai Santa Fe back to back with the Tucson and were left scratching our heads.

Both are two-row crossovers, and the Tucson seems to have slightly more interior space.

We can’t really figure out why Hyundai offers two vehicles in the same class, but Toyota also does so with its Venza clone of the RAV4 Hybrid.

 

 

The Takeaway: The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is a mechanical clone of the Tucson Hybrid, offering Hyundai shoppers two styles from which to choose.

Current Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021HyundaiSanta Fe Hybrid$1,000 0.90%$309/month for 36 months, $3,599 due at signing11/1/2021
2022HyundaiSanta Fe Hybrid$5001.90%$319/month for 36 months, $3,599 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Hyundai deals.

5. Honda CR-V Hybrid

Honda-CR-V-Hybrid-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-RAV4-HybridAfter being noticeably absent, a hybrid version of the popular Honda CR-V finally appeared last year.

The CR-V Hybrid offers great cargo space, the usual Honda driving satisfaction, and the usual Honda styling.

The CR-V Hybrid comes within $50 per year of matching the fuel costs of the RAV4 Hybrid, and also features standard all-wheel drive.

 

The Takeaway: If you want a hybrid crossover but want to remain on team Honda, the CR-V Hybrid is the way to go.

Current Honda CR-V Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021HondaCR-V Hybrid1.90%11/1/2021
2022HondaCR-V Hybrid1.90%$299/month for 36 months, $3,299 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Honda deals and average prices paid.

6 & 7 (Tie): Toyota Highlander Hybrid & Kia Sorento Hybrid AWD

Toyota-Highlander-Hybrid-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-RAV4-HybridThe Highlander Hybrid is a larger SUV than the RAV4. It defines the midsize SUV market by virtue of its long run in the segment (three generations) and also its class-leading fuel efficiency. The Highlander is also a perennial safety and reliability leader in the industry among all vehicle types.

This segment is suddenly getting crowded with many former two-row crossover owners moving up in size a bit. Kia’s Sorento Hybrid matches the Highlander’s specs line for line. Notable advantages to the Toyota Highlander include a compact spare tire and its long history of reliability excellence.

The Takeaway: Shoppers who may prefer a bit more space than the RAV4 Hybrid offers will find it in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid or Kia Sorento Hybrid.

Current Toyota Highlander Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaHighlander Hybrid1.90%$309/month for 36 months, $3,999 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals and average prices paid.

Current Kia Sorento Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021KiaSorento Hybrid1.90%$319/month for 36 months, $3,499 due at signing11/1/2021
2022KiaSorento Hybrid1.90%$349/month for 36 months, $3,499 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Kia deals and average prices paid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Toyota Venza and the RAV4 Hybrid?

Mechanically, the Venza and RAV4 Hybrid are generally identical. The Venza offers a sleeker look, a more modern interior design, and a similar fuel economy.

What are some good alternatives to the Toyota RAV4 hybrid?

The Toyota Venza, Lexus NX, Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, and Honda CR-V Hybrid are all very similar crossovers in many ways to the segment-leading RAV4 Hybrid.

What SUV has the best urban-cycle fuel efficiency?

Among vehicles that do not plug in, the front-wheel drive Ford Escape Hybrid is notable for its 44 MPG EPA-Estimated City rating.

Are hybrid cars slow?

On the contrary, most hybrid trims offer added torque and power to a given model compared to the base powertrain. In many cases, the hybrid trim is the quickest and most powerful trim available.

Does GM make a hybrid SUV?

General Motors has committed to an all-electric future and has de-emphasized hybrid technology.

Is the Nissan Rogue offered in a hybrid trim?

Nissan offered a hybrid trim for the Rogue in its prior generation but has not released one yet for the new generation.

Do hybrids need to be plugged in?

Hybrids don’t need to be plugged in. However, there are plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) that do plug in. They are distinctly different trims.

How much more in fuel costs does a RAV4 Hybrid cost its owner compared to a Tesla Model Y?

A Tesla model Y has an annual energy cost of about $550. By contrast, a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has an annual cost for gasoline of about $1,200. It should be noted that Toyota offers a third option. The RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV) has a combined energy cost of about $850 per year. Your cost for electricity and gasoline will be an important factor in how much you will pay to power your vehicle.