2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV

MSRP $28,350 - $32,500

Ranked #12 in Suv

8.0

Overall Rating

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2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 8, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid comes with no major changes except for the addition of one XLE Premium trim. The RAV4 Hybrid is still powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 hybrid engine that puts out a combined 219 horses via the CVT gearbox to all four wheels. The hybrid engine has given a new lease of life to the otherwise boring RAV4, the RAV4 Hybrid feels peppy and offers better drivability. The RAV4 Hybrid is pretty quick and sprints from 0-60 mph in under seven and a half seconds. The fuel-economy figures of the RAV4 Hybrid are the headlines here with it managing to return 41 mpg in city driving and a close to 550 miles of the city range from a tankful of gas.

See detailed review »

Pros

Excellent gas mileage

Plenty of performance

Generous cargo area

Spacious cabin

Cons

Gets expensive in higher trims

Poor NVH level in the cabin 

Average handling

Unrefined engine

What's New?

New XLE Premium trim has been added to the trim lineup.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$28350

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

120 mph

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

152 cu.in.

horsepower

219 hp @ 5700 rpm

torque

163 lb.-ft.. @ 3600 rpm

transmission

2 speed CVT

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12/11.1 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

105.9 in.

length

180.9 in.

width

73 in.

height

67 in.

curb weight

3710 lbs.

ground clearance

8.1 in.

capacity

passenger volume

98.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

69.8 cu ft.

towing capacity

1750 lbs.

payload capacity

1210 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.5 sec.

zero to 100 mph

14.6 sec.

rolling start 5-60 mph

7.5

standing 1/4-mile

15 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

210 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

LE$28,350 onwards

XLE$29,645 onwards

XLE Premium$32,500 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV in Blueprint color
Blueprint

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

8.3

Engine and Performance

8.2

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

8.2

Exterior

8.0

Safety

9.0

Competition

8.0

Final Verdict

6.5

8.0

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.0

Overall Rating


The overall looks of the RAV4 Hybrid remain unchanged and the same story continues on the inside. The cabin of the RAV4 Hybrid isn’t plush by all means but it isn’t budget-grade either. The ride quality isn’t comfortable but is manageable for the most part. As usual, the RAV4 Hybrid scores well on practicality and boot space. That said, the RAV4 Prime starts at as low as $28,800 which is roughly a two grand premium over the regular RAV4. The rivals of the RAV4 Hybrid are none other than the Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda CR-V Hybrid, and Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV front view
2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV rear view

8.2/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.2/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition

6.5/10
Final Verdict


2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV Features

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has more trims to offer this year with the addition of XLE Premium trim that sits between the XLE and XSE trim. Now the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid offers a total of five trims. The price starts at $28,800 for the base LE trim and goes up to $37,330 for the top-end Limited trim. AWD and 2.5-liter inline-4 hybrid engines are standard across the trim lineup. For this year XLE Premium and the Limited trim are the two trims that come with a powered moonroof as standard. While the moonroof is part of an optional package on the XLE and XSE trim. Standard features offered on the RAV4 don’t run long but we like how Toyota manages to give the essential features without going overboard.

Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, Trail and EV modes, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, Star Safety System, etc. The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam, and road sign assist. Star Safety System includes vehicle stability control, brake assist, brake force distribution, ABS, and traction control. This would have made it clear why we said Toyota gets the essential features even in the base trim without going overboard.

Model

LE

XLE

XLE Premium

XSE

Limited

MSRP (AWD)

$28,800

$30,095

$32,800

$34,750

$37,330

Features

A 2.5-liter inline-4 hybrid engine

Adds or upgrades to ‘LE’

Adds or upgrades to ‘XLE’

Adds or upgrades to ‘XLE’

Adds or upgrades to ‘XLE Premium’

 

17-inch alloy wheels

LED projector headlights

18-inch alloy wheels

18-inch alloy wheels

Puddle lights

 

Active grille shutters

Heated and powered outside mirrors

Moonroof

SofTex trimmed seats w/ blue stitching

Heated front seats

 

Dual-zone automatic climate control system

w/ rear AC vents

Fabric-trimmed seats

Power liftgate

Heated front seats

Blue ambient interior lighting

 

7-inch touchscreen infotainment

8-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support

SofTex trimmed seats

Blue ambient interior lighting

Digital rearview mirror w/ HomeLink

 

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0

Blind-spot monitor w/ rear cross-traffic alert

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Digital rearview mirror w/ HomeLink

7.0-inch Multi-Information Display

with a hybrid power meter

 

4.2-inch Multi-Information Display

with a hybrid power meter

   

7.0-inch Multi-Information Display

with a hybrid power meter

8-inch touchscreen infotainment

       

8-inch touchscreen infotainment

11-speaker JBL sound system w/ subwoofer and amplifier

       

Sport-tuned suspension 

Dynamic navigation w/ 3-year trial

         

Front and Rear Parking Assist w/

Automatic Braking

Other than the standard features there are a host of packages and standalone options. A few of them worth noting are blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, Audio Plus Package, Weather Package, Technology Package, Convenience Package, etc. The package features vary according to the trim so we will state only those features that are standard irrespective of the trim to avoid any confusion. Audio Plus Package adds an 8-inch touchscreen, Service Connect, and Remote Connect. Weather Package includes heated front seats and steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers with de-icer. The Convenience Package includes a moonroof and a powered tailgate. Technology Package adds wireless charging, parking sensors, and a digital rearview mirror.

We Recommend:

Under the $30,000 price tag, our best bet is the XLE trim that gets all the basic features of the base trim and adds a Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert as standard. Other features added are LED headlights, power-adjustable seats, power outside mirrors, etc. For a premium of less than two grand, we think the XLE is the most value for money trim here.

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV Engine and Performance

8.2/10

The engine option on the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid is only one i.e., 2.5-liter inline-4 with a combination of two electric motors. The combined setup puts out a decent 219 horses. The AWD is standard on the RAV4 Hybrid with the engine and one motor driving the front wheels while the other motor drives the rear wheels. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV engine bay

Transmission duties are taken care of by the CVT gearbox and thus the power delivery is very smooth and linear for most of the time. The hybrid setup has given a lot of muscle to the RAV4 Hybrid and it not only feels quicker than the standard RAV4 but is peppier to drive. The RAV4 Hybrid easily does 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds and hits the quarter-mile mark in 15.6 seconds. 

Model

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2021 Ford Escape Hybrid

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

MSRP

$28,800

$29,105

$30,560

$35,345

Engine

2.5-liter inline-4 hybrid

2.5-liter inline-4 hybrid

2.0-liter inline-4 hybrid

2.0-liter inline-4 hybrid

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

CVT

EVT

CVT

CVT

Power (hp @ rpm)

219 hp @ 5300 rpm

165 hp @ 6250 rpm

212 hp @ 6200 rpm

152 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

N/A

155 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

232 lb-ft @ 0 rpm

145 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

0-60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.7 sec

9.3 sec

8.0 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

14.6 sec

16.0 sec

16.4 sec

Top Speed

120 MPH

85 MPH

103 MPH

124 MPH

All the rivals offer a four-pot engine in this comparison where the RAV4 and Escape get a 2.5-liter engine the CR-V and the Crosstrek gets a 2.0-liter engine. All the crossovers offer AWD as standard and come with a CVT gearbox. Among them, the RAV4 puts out the maximum power while the CR-V with 232 lb-ft of torque right from 0 rpm has the highest torque figures among the rivals. The RAV4 is quickest in 0-60 mph while the Escape beats it by one second in covering the quarter-mile.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Ride and Handling:

The RAV4 Hybrid for the most part is a docile crossover. It handles well for its size and the ride feels compliant for the most part. But don’t take it for granted that you can bash the RAV4 Hybrid around the corners as it simply is not made for that especially when it is running on the stock tires which are biased towards better fuel economy and not road grip. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV ride and handling

The only exception here remains the XSE trim that comes with the sport-tuned suspension setup and this particular model feels more athletic and planted than the other RAV4 Hybrid trims. That said, we feel the other Japanese rivals of the RAV4 Hybrid do fare better in the ride and handling department.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Braking:

The RAV4 Hybrid braking response isn't that great and to be honest, the non-hybrid RAV4 brakes feel far better than the ones on this one. The brake pedal feels mushy and sometimes there is a considerable lag between you pressing the brake and the car actually de-accelerating. It's kind of a disconnected feeling between the brake pedals and the brake that bothers us the most on the RAV4 Hybrid. That said, Toyota has thrown in a 12-inches and 11.1-inches rotor at the front and back respectively that helps the RAV4 brake from 60-0 mph in 143 feet. Assisting the brakes are ABS with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, these are offered as standard.

Model

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2021 Ford Escape Hybrid

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Brake Rotors Front (in.)

12.0

11.1

13.0

11.6

Brake Rotors Rear (in.)

11.1

10.2

11.9

11.2

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,690

3,706

3,649

3,717

60-0 MPH (ft.)

143

128

122

118

The RAV4 Hybrid among the peers here took the longest to brake from 60-0 mph even when it is neither the heaviest crossover nor gets the smallest set of brakes. On the contrary, the heaviest Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid took at least 118 feet to brake from 60-0 mph. That's a full 25 feet less than what the RAV4 Hybrid took to stop.

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV Fuel Economy

8.0/10

The fuel economy is the forte of the RAV4 Hybrid hands down. Even the EPA agrees on that and thus has estimated the RAV4 Hybrid to return 41 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 40 mpg combined. And those are surely good numbers because they have managed to beat the RAV4’s figures by 14 mpg in the city, 4 mpg on the highway, and 8 mpg combined. Coupled those figures with a 14.5-gallon fuel tank and you can expect the RAV4 Hybrid to have a city range of close to 600 miles and a highway range of around 550 miles. Thus to conclude, if you do a lot of traveling around the city then the RAV4 Hybrid makes so much more sense than the regular RAV4.

Model

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2021 Ford Escape Hybrid

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

MPG (City)

41

43

40

N/A

MPG (Highway)

38

37

35

N/A

MPG (Combined)

40

40

38

35

Fuel Tank Capacity (gal.)

14.5

N/A

14.0

13.2

Range (City/Highway/ Combined)

595/ 551/ 580

N/A

560/ 490/ 532

N/A/ N/A/ 462

These hybrid crossovers are real games in city driving mostly. The Escape Hybrid returns the highest 43 mpg in the city which is 2 mpg more than what RAV4 Hybrid gets you. While on the highway and combined the RAV4 Hybrid has the best mileage figures. As for the fuel tank capacity again the RAV4 Hybrid has the biggest tank beating the CR-V Hybrid by 0.5-gallon to take the first spot.

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV Interior

8.2/10

The well-appointed cabin of the RAV4 Hybrid prioritizes function over form. High on practicality with lots of small storage space around the cabin, the cabin is well put and ergonomically arranged. The dash layout is simple with no unnecessary design elements. Even the base trim is decently equipped and Toyota has ensured that the quality of the material remains satisfactory even in the lower trims. Being a crossover the ingress and egress are pretty easy and the doors open wide giving you better access to the cabin. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV cockpit area

The seats of the RAV4 Hybrid are not the best in the business but you won’t dislike them either. They are a bit firm and the fabric-trimmed seats of the base trim don't feel nice at all. Higher trims with faux-leather upholstery do negate that part to some extent. Other interior niceties include dual-zone automatic climate control with rear AC vents on all trims. The power-adjustable seats are standard from the XLE trim while the moonroof is only available as standard on two trims. Except for the base trim rest, all trims can have them through optional packages.

Model

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2021 Ford Escape Hybrid

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.5/ 57.8/ 41.0

40.0/ 57.6/ 42.4

38.0/ 57.9/ 41.3

39.8/ 56.7/ 43.1

Rear (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.5/ 56.4/ 37.8

39.3/ 56.0/ 38.9

39.1/ 55.6/ 40.4

37.6/ 55.6/ 36.7

Cargo Capacity (ft3)

37.6

30.7

33.2

15.9

The interior cabin space is a bit mix and match here. The Escape Hybrid has the most spacious front cabin while the CR-V Hybrid has the most spacious rear cabin. As for the RAV4 it slots between the Escape Hybrid and the CR-V Hybrid in terms of cabin space. But when it comes to the cargo capacity the RAV4 Hybrid with 37.6 cubic feet of cargo area has the most spacious boot. The closest to it is the CR-V Hybrid with 33.2 cubic feet of cargo space. Key highlights of the interior features include:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control system w/ rear AC vents
  • Fabric-trimmed seats
  • 8-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support
  • SofTex trimmed seats (available)
  • Heated front seats (available)
  • Digital rearview mirror w/ HomeLink (available)

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Infotainment System:

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers two screen sizes for the infotainment system. The standard one is a 7.0-inch unit while the other one is an 8-inch unit. The 8-inch infotainment system is also a part of the Audio Plus Package. Whichever screen size you chose, the infotainment system on this RAV4 Hybrid runs on Toyota's Entune software. 

To be honest it isn’t the best in the business and still needs fine-tuning to iron out the niggles. That said, standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, a six-speaker sound system, Amazon Alexa, etc. Optional features available as standard on higher trims or part of the package include an 11-speaker JBL sound system, navigation, etc. Key highlights of the infotainment include:

  • Entune system w/ 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen
  • Six-speakers
  • Wi-Fi Connect
  • SiriusXM w/ 3-month all-access trial
  • 11-speaker JBL sound system (available)
  • Dynamic navigation (available) 

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV Exterior

8.0/10

The exterior design of the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid is a mix and match of a lot of cuts and creases which when put together actually looks good. The RAV4 Hybrid sits tall giving the occupant good all-round visibility and a better height in case you happen to hit the off-roads. The front fascia sports a massive grille flared by a pair of LED headlights on the base trims and projector LED headlights on the higher trims. Lower down you get integrated fog lights with a skid-plate at the bottom. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV 

The side profile has a stretched look with big square wheel arches and body cladding all around. The biggest in terms of alloys size you can go is up to 18-inches on the RAV4 Hybrid while the 19-inches alloy is exclusive for the regular RAV4 and the RAV4 Prime. At the rear, the macho design theme continues with a blacked-out bumper and a silver skid plate.

Model

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2021 Ford Escape Hybrid

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,690

3,706

3,649

3,717

Length (in.)

180.9

181.3

182.1

176.5

Width (in.)

73.0

74.1

73.0

71.0

Height (in.)

67.0

66.1

66.5

62.8

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.1

N/A

8.2

8.7

Wheelbase (in.)

105.9

106.7

104.7

104.9

Dimension-wise the RAV4 Hybrid is the tallest among all while it is smaller in all other measurements. The RAV4 Hybrid is 180.9-inches in length, 73.0-inches in width, 67.0-inches in height, has a ground clearance of 8.1-inches, and has a wheelbase of 105.9-inches. In comparison to this, the longest crossover CR-V hybrid is 1.2-inches longer than the RAV4 hybrid. The widest Escape hybrid is 1.1-inches wider than the RAV4 hybrid. The Crosstrek Hybrid has the highest ground clearance of 8.7 inches while the Escape hybrid has the longest wheelbase of 106.7-inches. Key highlights of the exterior features include:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Dual chrome-tipped exhaust
  • LED taillights
  • Moonroof (available)
  • Foglights (available)
  • Heated and powered outside mirrors (available)
  • Power liftgate (available)

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV Safety

9.0/10

Safety-wise the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a well-rated car and part of that credit goes to the fact that Toyota has given most of the driver-assist and active safety features as standard. The NHTSA gave the RAV4 Hybrid a full five out of five stars in the overall ratings while for the front crash testing it got four stars and for the side crash testing it got five stars, all the ratings are out of five. The IIHS also has a good opinion of the RAV4 Hybrid’s crashworthiness. It gave the RAV4 Hybrid a rating of ‘Good’ in all its six parameters. 

The ease of use of LATCH was rated as ‘Good+’ but only the trims with projector LED headlights and adaptive headlights features were rated as ‘Good’ rest other trims got the second-lowest rating of ‘Marginal’ and the lowest rating of ‘Poor’ for the XLE, XSE, and Limited trim. Key highlights of the safety features include:

  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
  • Road sign assist
  • Dynamic radar cruise control
  • Automatic high beam
  • Lane departure alert with steering assist 
  • Brake assist
  • Brake force distribution
  • Lane Tracing Assist

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV Competition

8.0/10

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Vs 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid

The Ford Escape Hybrid is not as powerful as the RAV4 Hybrid but is quicker to cross the quarter-mile distance. The Escape Hybrid is also more fuel-efficient than the RAV4 Hybrid and offers better cabin space, especially in the front row seats. To counter that RAV4 Hybrid has more standard safety features, is faster in 0-60 mph, has more power, and much bigger cargo space. Thus choosing one between the two makes it easy and our bet will be on the RAV4 Hybrid.

2021 Ford Escape Hybrid

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Vs 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

There is not a single segment where the Hondas and the Toyotas don’t compete. But the Honda CR-V Hybrid looks like a half-hearted effort in front of the RAV4 Hybrid. Overall the RAV4 Hybrid is more powerful, quicker, more fuel-efficient, and offers better practicality compared to the CR-V Hybrid. The CR-V Hybrid on the other hand has a more plush interior and a spacious rear cabin compared to the RAV4 Hybrid. Now, these minor differences aren't enough to make it a better offering than the RAV4 Hybrid.

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Vs 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid was nowhere close to beating the RAV4 Hybrid in any of the comparisons. Except for better ground clearance and a spacious front-row seat, the Crosstrek Hybrid has nothing better to offer than the RAV4 Prime. Thus it won’t be wrong to say that this is a one-sided comparison with the RAV4 Hybrid winning the battle right from the start.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

 

2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid SUV Final Verdict

6.5/10

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid commands roughly a premium of two grants over the regular RAV4 if you compare the base trim. Thus Toyota needed to give you enough reason to justify the price premium. Let’s look at how Toyota has tried to differentiate it from the regular one. The RAV4 Hybrid offers a class-leading city mileage of 41 mpg and offers punchy performance from the hybrid powertrain, the RAV4 Hybrid due to the AWD feels more sure-footed and well-powered to drive. These are the reasons enough for anyone to consider the RAV4 Hybrid over the regular one. That said, the usual cons of an average ride and handling and interior quality of the RAV4 can be seen here on the RAV4 Hybrid too. So if you are looking for the RAV4 it's better to give the RAV4 Hybrid a look.