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2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid places near the top of our hybrid and electric SUV rankings. It excels across the board, with balanced performance, a high-end interior, and a good predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Phenomenal fuel economy
  • Peppy powertrain
  • Large cargo hold
  • Roomy, upscale cabin
  • Front passenger seat is mounted too high

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 7.8
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.4 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid a Good SUV?

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a great SUV. It offers a huge cargo hold and great fuel economy estimates, even by hybrid SUV standards. This Toyota also boasts an above-average predicted reliability rating, an upscale and roomy cabin, and lots of easy-to-use tech features. Its ride strikes a good balance between comfort and agility, and its energetic powertrain produces plenty of power for daily driving. It’s little wonder that the RAV4 stands out in our hybrid and electric SUV rankings.

Should I Buy the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The 2020 RAV4 Hybrid has just about anything you could want in a small or hybrid SUV, and its horsepower and fuel economy ratings make it a compelling alternative to the gas-only Toyota RAV4. Unlike some hybrids, it offers the same amount of cargo space as the nonhybrid model.

While this hybrid has a high base price for a compact crossover, its rich features list and standard all-wheel drive help make it a great value. On top of that, it costs less than many rival hybrid and electric SUVs, such as the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, a plug-in vehicle.

Compare the RAV4 Hybrid, RAV4, and Crosstrek Hybrid »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

Toyota redesigned the RAV4 Hybrid for 2019, and the only noteworthy change for 2020 is that Android Auto is now standard. Unless that tech feature is important to you, stick with a nearly identical 2019 RAV4 Hybrid, which likely costs less. You could save more money by shopping for a previous-generation model, but you’d miss out on the benefits of the redesign, which include revamped exterior and interior styling, larger standard and available touch screens, more standard features like Apple CarPlay, and a stronger powertrain (219 horsepower, up from 194).

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 RAV4 Hybrid, 2018 RAV4 Hybrid, and 2019 RAV4 Hybrid reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 RAV4 Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 14 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 14 professional reviews.

This 2020 RAV4 Hybrid review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Cost?

The 2020 RAV4 Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $28,100. That price is a bit higher than some of this Toyota’s gas-powered competitors, including the nonhybrid RAV4, but it’s more affordable than most hybrid and electric SUVs.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or Toyota RAV4?

Deciding between the nonhybrid Toyota RAV4 and its hybrid counterpart is mostly a question of value. The RAV4’s base MSRP is around $2,250 less than the hybrid, but if you add all-wheel drive, the difference is only $850. Given the discrepancy in fuel economy between the two SUVs (25/33 mpg for the all-wheel-drive nonhybrid RAV4 versus 41/38 mpg for the hybrid), it would take the average driver a little more than two years to make up the difference in cost.

Which Is Better: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or Toyota Highlander Hybrid?

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid, redesigned for 2020, is worth considering if you want a hybrid SUV with the latest features – such as an available 12.3-inch touch screen – and three rows of seats. If you don’t need the extra space, stick with the RAV4 Hybrid. It’ll likely cost much less, and it’s an all-around excellent pick.

Compare the RAV4 Hybrid, RAV4, and Highlander Hybrid »

RAV4 Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the RAV4 Hybrid Seat?

The RAV4 Hybrid is a two-row SUV with five seats. Cloth upholstery is standard, and synthetic leather upholstery is available. Other upgrades include an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats.

There’s a good amount of space in both rows, and the seats are comfortable. The front passenger seat is mounted a bit too high and cannot be lowered, which may increase the likelihood of hitting your head when entering and exiting the vehicle.

RAV4 Hybrid and Child Car Seats

This compact crossover SUV comes with two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the rear middle seat.

RAV4 Hybrid Interior Quality

The RAV4 Hybrid has a premium cabin full of top-notch materials and excellent fit and finish.

RAV4 Hybrid Cargo Space

This Toyota’s 37.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats surpasses many rival hybrids. It has a total of 69.8 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded. A low floor makes it easy to load and unload cargo.

RAV4 Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The base RAV4 Hybrid comes with a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a six-speaker stereo. Several tech upgrades are available, including an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, qi-compatible wireless device charging, an 11-speaker JBL premium stereo, four additional USB ports, HD Radio, and a moonroof.

The Entune infotainment system is easy to use, thanks in part to an abundance of physical controls and a well-placed touch screen.

Read more about interior »

RAV4 Hybrid Performance

RAV4 Hybrid Powertrain: Capable

The RAV4 Hybrid comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine to make 219 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard.

The electric motors provide instant torque, helping this Toyota feel a bit more brisk than the gas-only RAV4. It’s quieter too, and there’s plenty of muscle for driving around town or on the freeway. The transmission feels smooth and refined.

RAV4 Hybrid Gas Mileage: Driving to the Top

The RAV4 Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Those are phenomenal ratings in our hybrid and electric SUV rankings. They easily eclipse some of the best figures among nonhybrid compact SUVs, such as the Honda CR-V, which gets 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

RAV4 Hybrid Ride and Handling: Good, Not Great

This hybrid generally has a smooth ride on most roads. It can feel a touch firm, especially in the XSE trim, which has a sport-tuned suspension. The flip side of that is that the XSE rides a bit sportier. All-wheel drive comes standard.

Read more about performance »

RAV4 Hybrid Reliability

Is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Reliable?

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a good predicted reliability of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Warranty

Toyota covers this SUV with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hybrid components come with an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

RAV4 Hybrid Safety

RAV4 Hybrid Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The SUV earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover evaluations.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid.

RAV4 Hybrid Safety Features

Every RAV4 Hybrid comes with a rearview camera and the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver aids. This package includes pedestrian detection, a pre-collision warning and braking system, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, road sign recognition, and lane trace assist, which reads lane markers and detects other vehicles.

In addition to blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, rear cross traffic braking, front and rear parking sensors, and a surround-view parking camera system are available.

Read more about safety »

RAV4 Hybrid Dimensions and Weight

The RAV4 Hybrid is about 15.1 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,710 to 3,800 pounds. It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,920 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Built?

Toyota builds the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid in Canada.

Which Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

Toyota offers the RAV4 Hybrid in four trims: LE, XLE, XSE, and Limited. Each trim comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. The base LE has a good helping of tech and safety features, but shoppers after more comfort amenities should look to the XLE.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid LE

The entry-level RAV4 Hybrid LE has a starting MSRP of $28,100. Standard equipment includes a 7-inch touch screen, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a rearview camera.

The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of advanced safety features is included too. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are available for $590.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE

The XLE trim retails for $29,395, and it adds four additional USB ports, proximity keyless entry, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.

Several options are available. The Cold Weather package costs $925 and adds a heated steering wheel, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The XLE Convenience package costs $1,265 and features a moonroof and a power liftgate.

For $2,255, you can pick up the XLE Convenience package and Audio Plus. It bundles the contents of the Convenience package with an 8-inch touch screen and HD Radio.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE

The XSE starts at $34,050. In addition to everything listed above (minus the heated steering wheel and rain-sensing windshield wipers), it comes with synthetic leather upholstery and a sport-tuned suspension, as well as larger alloy wheels. The other components of the Cold Weather package can be added for $375.

For $1,620, you can add navigation and an 11-speaker JBL premium stereo. For $2,260, you can get those items plus the XSE Technology package and its qi-compatible wireless device charging, front and rear parking sensors, and rear cross traffic braking.

Also, you can pay $2,460 to get the XSE Technology package, navigation, the JBL stereo, and a dual panoramic moonroof.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited

The top-of-the-line Limited trim starts at $36,630. It doesn’t gain much in the way of standard features outside of navigation and the upgraded sound system.

The Limited Grade Cold Weather package adds perforated front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, and a heated steering wheel for $1,015.

The Limited Grade Advanced Technology package costs $1,025 and includes wireless device charging, a power liftgate, and a surround-view parking camera system. For $200 more, you can add the panoramic moonroof. Or you could spend $1,440 and get the Technology package and adaptive headlights.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is an excellent vehicle. It checks off just about everything you could want in a small SUV, from great fuel economy and ample power to a large cargo hold and plenty of standard features. On top of that, it has a good predicted reliability rating. All of these factors help it stand out in our hybrid and electric SUV rankings.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "As we mentioned above, there's a RAV4 for just about anyone. All iterations come with an impressive array of active safety tech. As far as on-road driving goes, the Hybrid is both quicker and more fuel-efficient, and given that it commands an extremely small $800 premium when you factor in its standard AWD system, we encourage buyers to give it strong consideration over a non-hybrid model." -- Autotrader
  • "Moms, dads, doctors, retirees, adventurers, humanities majors, human-resources managers, acolytes, activists, zealots, and zombies will like this vehicle. Sales are going to grow, maybe because the category is expanding but also because the 2019 RAV4 is so appealing, especially compared to baby Jeeps and dowdy Subarus. Toyota’s risky redesign is rousing, and the rewards will be large." -- Automobile Magazine (2019)
  • "Few vehicles reflect the sensibilities of the American car-buying public like the Toyota RAV4, and that's why the redesigned 2019 Toyota RAV4 is a big deal. Toyota knows better than to tinker too much with a winning formula. As such, the 2019 RAV4 sticks closely to the just-right sizing and mission of its predecessor. This time around, Toyota focused on giving the RAV4 improved fuel economy, more standard features, a nicer interior and styling that better stands out in a crowd." -- Edmunds (2019)
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