2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Pros

  • Fuel economy far surpasses that of traditional compact crossovers
  • Small price premium over non-hybrid RAV4
  • Ample room in both rows and generous cargo capacity
  • Delivers a composed, comfortable ride

Cons

  • Synthetic brake feel isn't very reassuring
  • Some interior controls feel a little flimsy
  • You can't get real leather upholstery
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid years


Which RAV4 Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

We think the midtier SE is the one to get. The entry-level XLE with the Convenience package is a good deal, but pay a little more — and sacrifice the front and rear parking sensors — and you can get the SE with its faux leather upholstery, heated front seats and LED exterior lighting. It also opens the door to the 11-speaker Entune Premium JBL Audio package for those who absolutely need a bumping sound system. The Limited's upgrades don't seem worth the extra cost.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

There aren't many choices if you want to buy a compact crossover segment and achieve remarkable fuel economy. Before 2016, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid was the only hybrid crossover in the game, and we didn't think its marginal fuel savings were worth the higher price. (Customers apparently agreed because the Crosstrek Hybrid has been discontinued for 2017.) Thankfully, last year brought the debut of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which offered significantly higher fuel economy compared to the regular RAV4. We think the price bump is justified.

If you're worried that this fuel-sipping crossover won't be able to keep up with traffic, know that those fears will go unfounded. The RAV4 Hybrid is quicker from 0 to 60 mph than the standard RAV4 and even many other crossovers in this class. You might also worry about cargo space, but again the RAV4 Hybrid hardly suffers. Storage is barely impacted by the hybrid battery pack, which trims space from 38.4 cubic feet to 35.6 cubic feet. Overall, the RAV4 Hybrid is a compelling compact crossover with all the benefits of a traditional hybrid with few downsides.

2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid configurations

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is one of your only choices if you're in the market for a compact crossover with seating for five and fuel economy that only a hybrid can provide. An electric motor and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (194 horsepower combined) are connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is standard. The RAV4 Hybrid comes in three trims: XLE, SE and Limited, all of which have similar features to their standard RAV4 counterparts. The XLE is loaded with equipment, while the SE and Limited command price jumps that we think are proportionate to their extra content.

Highlights for the XLE include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights with auto high-beam control, foglights, heated mirrors, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seat, a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface (Entune), keyless entry and ignition, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio. Several advanced safety systems are standard this year, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning and intervention.

Our favorite is one step up: the SE. With it you also get LED lighting (including headlights), 18-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, simulated-leather upholstery (SofTex), a power driver seat, heated front seats and a power liftgate,

If you want it all, though, there's the range-topping Limited trim with its front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver-seat memory settings, and a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation and smartphone app integration.

Some of the SE and Limited's features can be added to the XLE as options. A premium JBL sound system and a surround-view parking camera system are other notable options for the SE and Limited.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the (2.5L inline-4 hybrid | CVT automatic | AWD).

Driving

3.5
The RAV4 Hybrid offers sprightly accelerative performance, even beating the standard RAV4 in a drag race. It's also a decent handler, though it's a little wallowy in a set of switchbacks. The grabby mechanical brakes make it feel as if you're just learning how to drive every time you use them.

Acceleration

5.0
The instant torque provided by the battery and dual electric motors help the Hybrid jump off the line quicker than the standard RAV4. Makes you wish that every compact crossover had a hybrid variant. Zero to 60 mph takes 8 seconds flat, quicker than any non-turbocharged rival.

Braking

2.5
The brake pedal is long and mushy with little resistance. The handoff from regenerative to mechanical brakes is noticeable, making it hard to brake smoothly. Braking to a stop from 60 mph took 123 feet, a few feet longer than average.

Steering

3.0
The RAV4's steering wheel is weighted a little heavier than that of most compact crossovers but is fairly easy to turn. Like many in this class, it's totally devoid of feedback and feel.

Handling

3.0
You wouldn't think a big, heavy crossover (it tips the scales at nearly 4,000 pounds) goes around corners well, but you'd be surprised. The RAV4 Hybrid is composed around sweeping corners at higher speeds. Tight corners and back-to-back transitions reveal ample body roll.

Drivability

5.0
The Hybrid pulls away from a stop under battery power, firing up the engine only with liberal application of the gas pedal or once you're past about 20 mph. Avoid driving in Eco mode; it severely dulls throttle response. Sport mode keeps the engine revving higher but responses are sluggish at times.

Comfort

3.5
The front seats are roomy and should be comfortable for drivers and passengers, even on a long road trip. But the omnipresent road and wind noise is disappointing. The Hybrid's ride quality is well-sorted and only gets unsettled when you drive over big bumps or traverse washboard roads.

Seat comfort

3.0
Front seats are comfortable enough, but there's no lumbar adjustment unless you upgrade to the SE (though its faux leather isn't as comfy as the XLE's cloth). Only the driver's seat is height-adjustable. Three-person seating in the back is challenging due to an oddly placed middle seat-belt anchor.

Ride comfort

4.5
The RAV4 Hybrid remains comfortable and composed over rough roads. Neither does it feel floaty or disconnected. Well-done, overall.

Noise & vibration

3.0
There's not much engine noise at any speed unless you're really pushing the RAV4 Hybrid hard. Wind and tire noise is overly intrusive while cruising on the highway. The faster you're driving, the less you'll notice the engagement of the gas engine.

Climate control

3.0
The dual-zone climate control adeptly cools the interior on a hot day. For those in front, that is — rear air vents are not available at any level. The cloth seats easily dissipate body heat.

Interior

3.5
Entry and exit are fairly painless, and most occupants will find the cabin quite roomy. Controls on the upper portion of the center console are easy to reach, but you might have difficulty finding some of the buttons below. Outward visibility is excellent.

Ease of use

3.0
The infotainment system features a nice mix between high-level physical buttons and easy-to-press virtual ones. Eco and Sport buttons are slightly hidden on the lower portion of the center stack, in front of the shifter. The door's grab handles intrude on and reduce the length of the armrest.

Getting in/getting out

3.5
A low step-in height and tall doors make it easy to enter and exit the front, except for drivers who like a raised seat. Steering wheel tilt is limited, and drivers may hit their knees on the column. Entering or exiting the back is also easy thanks to the seats' lack of thigh padding and bolstering.

Driving position

3.5
The driver's seat offers a huge range of adjustment in height, and the seat bottom angles up nicely. As in many other Toyotas, the steering wheel doesn't offer much tilt or telescoping adjustment.

Roominess

3.0
There's an abundance of head- and legroom throughout the cabin. Four 6-footers will have no problem on a long road trip. Even the middle seat position has enough headroom for adults. The front seats feel a bit narrow.

Visibility

5.0
The tall, wide windows allow for an expansive view out. There's a sizable window in the three-quarter view that compensates for the wide rear pillar. The rear window is also large. Overall, the RAV4 Hybrid is impressively easy to see out of.

Quality

2.0
Materials quality in the RAV4 Hybrid is inferior to that of similarly priced competitors. Rivals simply do a better job concealing the use of hard plastics; the RAV4 seems to embrace its economy roots. Our tester had only 4,000 miles on the odometer but exhibited its share of squeaks and rattles.

Utility

3.0
Not only does the RAV4 Hybrid offer one of the largest cargo areas in the class, its low liftover height also means you won't strain your back while loading heavy items. But the liftgate doesn't open very high. Quite a few storage cubbies are strewn throughout the cabin, though none are large.

Small-item storage

3.0
There are two cupholders and a couple small storage areas under the center stack, plus a moderately sized bin under the central armrest and a tray in front of the passenger. Front door pockets aren't especially large and require a stretch to reach. Rear door pockets will only hold a water bottle.

Cargo space

5.0
The cargo area is wide and flat, with a low liftover height. Maximum cargo volume of 35.6 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and 70.6 cubes with them folded is slightly less than the regular RAV4, but it's larger than what almost every other non-hybrid offers.

Child safety seat accommodation

2.5
The lower LATCH anchors are well-concealed and far from the seatback. You really have to reach in and fish around before you find them. The three seatback tethers can be accessed with the cargo cover in place, but these are also hidden under a thin cloth cover.

Technology

3.0
The infotainment interface is easy to navigate and use, though it looks rather dated and it's impossible to see the screen in direct sunlight. All RAV4 models receive additional driver assistance features for 2017. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and multiple USB ports are all absent.

Audio & navigation

2.5
The touchscreen's user interface prioritizes function over form. It has a relatively simple layout and menu structure, though it's not particularly attractive and the screen resolution is fairly low. The screen totally washes out in direct sunlight.

Smartphone integration

3.0
There's a single USB port in front and none in the back. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are notably absent. Instead, Toyota utilizes a smartphone integration system of its own design, called Entune. You'll have to download the app, create an account, and pair your phone before it's ready to be used.

Driver aids

3.0
The RAV4 is now equipped with a ton of standard advanced safety equipment, including lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking. Adaptive cruise overshoots its speed on downhill grades, which is unusual. The low-resolution display translates to a fairly muddy rearview camera picture.

Voice control

2.5
Hitting the voice control button displays a list of phrases, and the recognition software also recognizes natural speech. It's not the best, with a lot of garbled translations before it hits the mark. Best to use Siri Eyes Free if you have an iPhone (accessed by holding the phone disconnect button).

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

My Rav4 AWD Limited Hybrid SUV
Raina,11/11/2016
I love Toyoya, my first vehicle in 1988 was a Toyota which is why I stayed loyal to Toyota all these years. They have been very comfortable and reliable vehicles. As much as I love the looks and features of the 2017 Rav4 Hybrid Limited I am very diappointed with the look of the Soft Tex fabric which looks cheap. In addition, the passenger seat is extrememly uncomfortable. I have owned numerous Toyotas over the years and this is the first Toyota with an uncomfortable passenger's seat. I would advise anyone planning to get a Rav4 Hybrid Limited to test ride the vehicle as a passenger if they intend to spend time being a passenger. It does get the stated 34 mpg and I love all the safety features.
Get the Hybrid RAV4 instead of the Gas Version
Laura,02/10/2017
I absolutely LOVE my new Toyota Hybrid RAV4 Limited. If your considering getting a regular RAV4, I strongly urge you to get the Hybrid instead. The Hybrid is faster than the regular RAV4 and its more economical (higher mpg). When I'm driving in the city, I use ECO mode which is very economical. When I'm on the highway, I use SPORT mode. SPORT mode opens up the throttle so that you have better acceleration, and boy is it fast! Its like turning a kitten into a tiger! I purchased this car because consumer reports said in February of 2017 that consumers absolutely love the Hybrid version of the RAV4 and rated it #1 among small SUVs. I never thought I would buy a hybrid. This one will not disappoint you! During the summer, I average 35mpg (highway and city combined). I have had the car one year now and I am very happy with it. I just want to mention that during bitterly cold days (10 degrees or less), hybrid cars get lower gas mileage. I still love my RAV4; especially the safety features. I recommend purchasing the RAV4 Limited which includes many safety features.
33 mpg but Driver's Seat Cushion is Painful
Mitch,07/14/2017
I'm going to make it perfectly clear. I was insistent on getting a hybrid. For years I have been driving a gas-sucking Subaru and wanted a versatile vehicle that averaged over 30mpg, not under 20. I knew that Toyota has a reputation for reliability and the RAV4 had most of the features I was looking for. I am also going to make it clear that if not for the hybrid, I would NOT have purchased the RAV4. I'll make it simple what I like and don't like about the RAV4. LIKES: With 9 fill-ups so far, I have averaged 29 to 37 mpg based on calculations at the pump. Almost every tank is approximately 33 mpg. My driving is mostly suburban stop and go. I like the rear camera with trajectory. The LED headlamps are fantastic. The auto-on feature for the headlamps is good but as far as I'm concerned it waits too long to activate, but you still have the bright DRLs on as long as auto is on, so it's probably ok. I don't use the auto high-beams because it's too gimmicky for me. I like the "Galactic Aqua" paint when the sun hits it (looks black otherwise) and the color is one of the reasons I chose the RAV4... I know... dumb reason. The acceleration with the battery kicking in almost feels like a turbo at times, nice and strong. The AC and heated seats work very well. Side mirrors are very large and come with turn signal repeaters. Blind Spot Monitoring works well. Cross Traffic Alert (for reversing out of a spot or driveway blindly) works great!!! Pedestrian sensor has already kept me from backing into a pedestrian suddenly walking behind me from behind some bushes. Now for the DISLIKES: After only 30 minutes of driving, my butt and hips are in pain. I don't know if the cushion has gotten softer or what because it felt firmer when I first got it. It's like the part where your butt goes sinks in too much and then the hard side bolsters start pressing into your hips. After only an hour I am so ready to get out of the car. It hurts!!! I am going to have to get a seat cover and fashion some foam padding in there to lift myself away from the bolsters. The cushion like most cars today is too short as well. I am 5'10" and 180 lbs. The passenger seat has no height adjustment, whereas many competitors no have this available. The rear seat while having a nice recline feature is kind of flat. The road noise, depending on the type of asphalt used can be atrocious at times.... like a jet plane loud. The steering is very artificial feeling... too light... very boring to drive. The telescoping steering wheel does not extend enough... still uncomfortably too far away. The car rides kind of annoyingly hard with the 18 inch rims that you are forced to get on the limited. Don't know how much softer the ride is with 17 inch rims. The ride is fine as long as the road is smooth. The rear of the car was almost purposely designed to get damaged. After my purchase I started noticing many, many new RAV4s with dented tailgates and even dented rear fenders. Then I realized why. The rear "bumper" is an absolute joke. Not only is it too low, it only protrudes like an inch and a half!!! And it does not protect the sheet metal at the rear of the fenders like every other car today has wrap around bumpers that go up high. They also put the reverse lights at the corners where they can get hit. I am going to have to get one of those steel rear bumper protectors that I see on so many RAV4s in NYC. What good is saving so much in gas if you have to spend so much repairing a fragile vehicle? And some minor annoyances... why only ONE auto window??? My Prius V which is cheaper has ALL 4 windows auto!!! And no puddle lamps on the door bottoms... my cheaper Prius V has those as well!!! So there you have it... obviously I am not in love with my new RAV4. I don't hate it.... but I am looking forward to the day when something more enjoyable comes along....
Great SUV
cyclenut,06/07/2017
It's a truly remarkable combination of technology, quality, value,and refinement that sets a standard for Honda (and others) to chase. I was very interested in the new CRV since I just turned a 2014 in after a 36 mo. lease. The current (spring/summer 2017) Toyota incentives made me look at the RAV 4 and I chose the RAV 4 Hybrid because the deal/value proposition was exceptional. It's my first hybrid car so there's been a little acclimation required with all the extra noises a car with regenerative braking and a CVT entails but since my mileage is 37.8mpg in mixed driving I having no problems getting used to the odd sound or two. I hate cars that have a no get up and go (press the accelerator and nothing happens). This car ain't the quickest but if you hit the gas it actually responds well so I'm okay. The only 'complaint' I have is that it definitely has less internal cargo space than the CRV. The ride is very, very solid. The handling is smooth, about what's to be expected in a small SUV. The safety features are phenomenal especially considering the price. I read lots of reviews dissing this car on one attribute or another but every one of the reviews ends with the same mantra: If you want a car that combines value, reliability, and awesome gas mileage, there's only one, the Toyota RAV 4 Hybrid. Update: I’ve had the RAV for five months and I continue to amazed and pleased with it’s mileage which is better than advertised and it’s Ride/comfort which wasn’t part of my buying calculation. My only complaint is that the NAV system isn’t very good. If Toyota put Apple Car Play in its cars/trucks they’d be the ‘gold standard’ but alas we’re left with ‘Entune’ a vastly inferior product. Update: It’s been a year. I still love this crossover. I use it to deliver for Amazon Flex and it’s been awesome. The combination of reliability and utility makes it a truly great vehicle.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$34,030
MPG
34 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
194 hp @ 5700 rpm
MSRP
$29,030
MPG
34 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
194 hp @ 5700 rpm
MSRP
$32,185
MPG
34 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
194 hp @ 5700 rpm
See all 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite RAV4 Hybrid safety features:

Pre-Collision System
This standard feature automatically applies the brakes if a forward collision with a vehicle or pedestrian is deemed imminent.
Lane Departure Alert w/ Steering Assist
Sensors read lane lines, sound an alert and apply corrective steering if the vehicle is moving outside its lane. This feature is standard.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
The RAV4 Hybrid's cruise control speed automatically reduces if it rapidly approaches the vehicle in front.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Good
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

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More about the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Overview

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: RAV4 Hybrid SUV. Available styles include Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What do people think of the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 RAV4 Hybrid 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 RAV4 Hybrid.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 RAV4 Hybrid featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5

Driving

3.5 / 5

Acceleration5.0 / 5
Braking2.5 / 5
Steering3.0 / 5
Handling3.0 / 5
Drivability5.0 / 5

Comfort

3.5 / 5

Seat comfort3.0 / 5
Ride comfort4.5 / 5
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5
Climate control3.0 / 5

Interior

3.5 / 5

Ease of use3.0 / 5
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5
Driving position3.5 / 5
Roominess3.0 / 5
Visibility5.0 / 5
Quality2.0 / 5

Utility

3.0 / 5

Small-item storage3.0 / 5
Cargo space5.0 / 5

Technology

3.0 / 5

Audio & navigation2.5 / 5
Smartphone integration3.0 / 5
Driver aids3.0 / 5
Voice control2.5 / 5
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

Which 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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