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 drops 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.
- 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
- Synthetic brake feel isn't very reassuring
- Some interior controls feel a little flimsy
- You can't get real leather upholstery