2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

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MSRP: $27,385 - 34,280

2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has plenty of passenger and cargo space and a generous list of standard safety tech. That said, it doesn't have the all-round interior and exterior quality of some class rivals, which explains its middling rank among compact SUVs.

8.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.6
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Terrific mpg ratings
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Comfortable, spacious seats
  • Lots of standard driver assistance features
  • Uninspiring cabin materials
  • Lower safety ratings than some rivals

Is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid a Good SUV?

In the very competitive compact SUV class, the RAV4 Hybrid is a good SUV. It has spacious, supportive seats, above-average predicted reliability, and fuel efficiency that you'd expect from a hybrid. It isn't an athletic SUV, but the RAV4 Hybrid has composed road manners and standard all-wheel drive (a rarity in the class). Additionally, it has tons of driver assistance features and plenty of cargo room. However, its safety scores are matched or bettered by many competitors, and its cabin could use an update.

Should I Buy the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The RAV4 Hybrid comes with more standard equipment than many vehicles in the class, but it also has one of the highest starting prices. You can find much of what the RAV4 Hybrid offers at a lower price. The Nissan Rogue Hybrid has comparable fuel economy to the RAV4 Hybrid but offers a different set of strengths. The Honda CR-V isn't a hybrid vehicle, but it has one of the nicest interiors in the class, and it's more fuel-efficient on the highway than the RAV4 Hybrid.

Compare the RAV4 Hybrid, Rogue Hybrid, and CR-V »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid debuted for the 2016 model year, and there were no major changes for 2018. However, the Toyota Safety Sense package became standard for 2017 (it was optional for 2016). A used model can save you money, but be sure you’re getting the features you want. If you find that a used model suits your needs, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 25 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid uses applicable research and data from the 2016 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Cost?

The RAV4 Hybrid has a starting price of around $27,235 for the LE Hybrid trim. That’s one of the highest starting prices of any vehicle in the class, and it’s several thousand dollars higher than most competitors. However, it’s worth noting that hybrids typically cost more than nonhybrids, and the RAV4 Hybrid comes well-equipped, even in its lowest trim.

The highest trim is the RAV4 Limited Hybrid, which has a starting price of $34,130. Unlike the lowest trims, the RAV4 Hybrid’s highest trim is comparable to the high-end prices of many compact 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 Nissan Rogue Hybrid?

The only vehicle in the class that bests the RAV4 Hybrid's fuel economy ratings is the Nissan Rogue Hybrid. The Rogue boasts a smooth ride, a more upscale cabin, and a quieter engine than its Toyota rival. On the other hand, the RAV4 Hybrid has slightly better handling, a roomier back row, and additional standard driver assistance technology. Despite similarities, the RAV4 Hybrid is a little more practical than the Rogue, making it a better choice.

Which Is Better: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is one of the best compact SUVs. It has not only more passenger and cargo space than the RAV4 but also a richer cabin with a wider array of tech offerings, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The CR-V’s available turbocharged engine is livelier than the RAV4 Hybrid’s powertrain, and its combined fuel economy rating is almost as fuel-efficient. The Honda is also composed around curvy roads. Between the two, go with the CR-V.

Compare the RAV4 Hybrid, Rogue Hybrid, and CR-V »

RAV4 Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the RAV4 Hybrid Seat?

The RAV4 Hybrid seats five across two spacious rows. The front seats have good support for longer trips, and higher trims offer added lumbar support. The rear seats can comfortably fit adults, and legroom is ample.

RAV4 Hybrid and Car Seats

This Toyota has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The tether and lower anchors are easy to find and identify, and it doesn’t require much force to attach car seat straps.

RAV4 Hybrid Interior Quality

Some compact SUVs have nicer interiors than the RAV4 Hybrid. It looks pretty good inside, but there are too many hard plastics for the cabin to feel anything other than utilitarian.

RAV4 Hybrid Cargo Space

Though it doesn’t have quite as much space as its nonhybrid counterpart, the RAV4 Hybrid still has high cargo capacities for a compact SUV. With the rear seats up, you have more than 35 cubic feet of cargo space, which is enough room for vacation luggage or some outdoor gear. Fold the rear seats, and you have more than 70 cubic feet of space – enough room for some furniture.

RAV4 Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid include dual-zone automatic climate control and an Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, voice recognition, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

Available features include a moonroof, an 11-speaker JBL stereo, and an upgraded Entune system with a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, smartphone app integration, Siri Eyes Free, and satellite radio.

Though the RAV4 Hybrid has smartphone integration features, it doesn’t offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay – two connectivity options that are available in many rivals. That shouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker for you, though, because the Entune infotainment system is user-friendly and responsive.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

RAV4 Hybrid Performance

RAV4 Hybrid Engine: Respectable Power

The RAV4 Hybrid comes with a four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that put out a combined 194 horsepower. Most people don’t expect otherworldly performance from a hybrid, and that’s not what you’ll get here. However, this Toyota has adequate acceleration and even feels a little quicker than the nonhybrid RAV4. The engine is a little noisy though.

RAV4 Hybrid Gas Mileage: Among the Class Leaders

The RAV4 Hybrid gets some of the best fuel economy ratings in the class, earning 34 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Those ratings look even better when you consider that the RAV4 Hybrid has all-wheel drive (AWD). Some class rivals are in the same ballpark, but nobody stands clearly above this Toyota.

Driving the Nissan Rogue Hybrid (with front-wheel drive) will save you a few bucks on gas compared to the RAV4 Hybrid – about $100 per year. But compared to a highly efficient nonhybrid like the Honda CR-V, the RAV4 Hybrid will save you about $200 per year.

RAV4 Hybrid Ride and Handling: Mild Mannered

The RAV4 Hybrid delivers a smooth ride that doesn’t jar you around much, though it’s rougher in higher trims with larger wheels. Handling is composed on winding roads, and standard AWD provides good road grip. Still, many class rivals are more agile.

Read more about performance »

RAV4 Hybrid Reliability

Is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Reliable?

The 2018 RAV4 Hybrid has an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Warranty

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Toyota covers hybrid components for at least eight years or 100,000 miles. These warranty terms are similar to those of other compact SUVs.

Read more about reliability »

RAV4 Hybrid Safety

RAV4 Hybrid Crash Test Results

The 2018 RAV4 Hybrid earned a perfect five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, though it received four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety didn’t test the RAV4 Hybrid, but it did test the nonhybrid RAV4, which earned a Good rating (the highest possible) in five of six categories. In the sixth category, the passenger-side small overlap front test, it received the lowest possible rating of Poor.

RAV4 Hybrid Safety Features

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera and the Toyota Safety Sense system, which includes pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Available features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and a bird's-eye-view camera system.

Read more about safety »

Which Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

There are four RAV4 Hybrid trims available: LE, XLE, SE, and Limited. Each trim features all-wheel drive and the same engine and transmission. Feature availability is the only thing that really separates the trims.

The higher trims are available with more comfort and convenience features, including things like leatherette upholstery, heated seats, and a hands-free liftgate. However, they don’t offer much more in the way of infotainment tech. If you’re satisfied with cloth upholstery, save yourself some money and get the XLE Hybrid.

Toyota RAV4 LE Hybrid

The RAV4 LE Hybrid is the lowest hybrid trim, and it has a base price of $27,235. There aren’t a lot of noteworthy available features or option packages in this trim, so you really only get the standard features, which include a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, voice recognition, a USB port, and Bluetooth. It also comes with Toyota's Safety Sense System, which includes pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid

The RAV4 XLE Hybrid has a starting price of $29,130. In addition to the LE’s features, the XLE comes with an upgraded Entune system with navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, and Siri Eyes Free. There are three notable option packages.

For $1,910, you can get a package that adds heated front seats, a height-adjustable power liftgate, and an upgraded Entune system with a 7-inch touch screen. All the features of both packages are available in a $2,875 package.

Toyota RAV4 SE Hybrid

The RAV4 SE Hybrid starts at $32,285. The SE comes with 18-inch wheels, a height-adjustable power liftgate, leatherette upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. There are no notable option packages with the SE trim.

Toyota RAV4 Limited Hybrid

The RAV4 Limited Hybrid is the highest hybrid trim, and it has a starting price of $34,130. This trim comes with front and rear parking sensors and an upgraded Entune infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen. There are two notable option packages.

For $1,525, you can add a bird’s-eye-view camera and a JBL audio system. For $1,675, you can get a package adding those features and a hands-free, height-adjustable power liftgate.

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 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is comfortable, efficient, and practical – traits that any compact SUV shopper can appreciate. However, many class rivals are more fun to drive, have nicer cabins, and earn higher safety ratings. So while the RAV4 Hybrid is a pretty good SUV, there are other vehicles in the class that you’ll probably like better.

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

  • "The 2017 Toyota RAV4 ups the ante in the fiercely competitive compact SUV class by including advanced safety features for every trim level. Once you factor in the RAV4's reputation for reliability, this carlike crossover is definitely worth your consideration." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Despite the sea of competitors swimming in the compact-SUV pool, the 2017 Toyota RAV4 remains the gold medal champ. The RAV4 succeeds on so many levels because it doesn't try to be too many things. The 2017 RAV4 isn't as off-road-ready as the Jeep Cherokee or Subaru Forester, but it does offer good ground clearance and a capable all-wheel-drive (AWD) system for dealing with deep snow. The RAV4 doesn't offer lots of expensive engine options and premium features like the Ford Escape, so even well-equipped models remain within reach of the average buyer." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "The hybrid is a rather unique proposition in this segment for the time being, and from what we can tell, a worthwhile purchase." -- Left Lane News (2016)
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