Home Automotive AdviceMarket Advice & Buyer's Guides CRV Hybrid vs RAV4 Hybrid: Battle Of The Hybrid SUVs

CRV Hybrid vs RAV4 Hybrid: Battle Of The Hybrid SUVs

by Jordan Harris

SUVs are the hottest thing in the automotive world today. The Honda CRV and the Toyota RAV4 are two of the most popular vehicles in the SUV segment. Recently, hybrid versions of both these models were released to the public. So, when it comes to CRV Hybrid vs RAV4 Hybrid, which one reigns supreme? Stick with us until the end to find out.

When it comes to choosing your next SUV, there are a number of factors you should consider. Performance, practicality, reliability, as well as efficiency, are some of the most important. In this article, we will take a look at all of these factors, with regard to both these SUVs. Not only that, we will brief you on the benefits of hybrid technology as well.

After reading this article, you will have a clear idea of which hybrid SUV to spend your hard-earned money on. So, with that in mind, let’s start off by taking a look at the history of hybrid technology.

History Of The Hybrid

If I ask you the question “how long ago was the first hybrid car released?”, what would be your answer? 10 years ago? Maybe 20 years? Well, in that case, my dear reader, you are so far off. You see, the first hybrid car was released over 100 years ago!

crv hybrid vs rav4 hybrid

The Early Days

The first hybrid vehicle, named the Lohner-Porsche Elecktromobil made its debut at the 1900 Paris Exposition. Its designer was Ferdinand Porsche, of Porsche fame. This innovative vehicle was mostly powered by electricity. However, it had a gasoline engine that recharged the batteries, making it the first hybrid the world had seen. That concept used in this 120-year-old vehicle is still used in modern-day hybrids.

The Woods Motor Company made an unsuccessful attempt at releasing a hybrid vehicle in 1917. The Woods Dual Power was a hybrid with a 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric engine. This hybrid powertrain gave it a modest top speed of around 35 mph.

Research on hybrid technology carried on during the 60s and 70s. Large American automobile manufacturers started to gain interest in hybrid technology during these years. In 1968, General Motors developed their first hybrid, named the GM 512. However, this was merely an electric vehicle. It used electricity to travel at low speed. But, when the vehicle was traveling at high speed, it switched to a gasoline engine.

Modern Day

Hybrid technology made a comeback during the late 1990s. Japanese car manufacturers were the driving force behind this. Toyota was the first to introduce a mass-market hybrid vehicle to market. This new car was named the Prius.

Toyota’s main ambition behind investing in hybrid technology was to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Later on, the Prius went on to become the most famous hybrid vehicle in the world. However, it was initially only sold in Toyota’s native market, Japan. Later, the Prius entered the US market in 2000.

2 years later after the debut of the Prius, Honda entered the hybrid arena with the introduction of Insight. Well, these two manufacturers were at it from the beginning, weren’t they? The next Honda hybrid to see the light of day is the Accord. It made its debut in 2002.

What’s Next For Hybrids?

Hybrid technology has been getting more popular as the world progresses towards an efficient future. More and more automakers have started offering hybrid powertrains in their vehicles. Currently, hybrid technology functions as a bridge between gasoline-powered (or diesel) cars and fully electric ones. It is safe to say that hybrid technology in cars still has a long way to go.

So, that’s a brief look into the history of hybrid technology. In the next section, we will take a look at the two most popular hybrid SUVs on the planet, the Honda CRV and the Toyota RAV 4.

Honda CRV Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Although we are taking a look at two Japanese hybrid SUVs, the origin of these vehicles is worth taking a look at. Ford was the first major vehicle manufacturer to release a hybrid version of a popular SUV. In 2005, the American car maker released the Ford Escape hybrid, the first of its kind. Since then, the popularity of the hybrid SUV has only gone up.

Honda CRV Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – Similarities

When it comes to the CRV Hybrid vs RAV4 Hybrid, there are many aspects of these two SUVs which are quite similar. Base models of both start at around $29,000. However, a well-equipped, top-of-the-range version of either of these SUVs can exceed the $38,000 mark.

It shouldn’t surprise you when we say that both these SUVs get great fuel economy. They are hybrid SUVs after all! Not only that, both the CRV Hybrid and the RAV4 Hybrid come with all-wheel drive as standard. As a result, these two SUVs are fairly capable when it comes to traveling through rough terrain.


Not only that, size is another factor that cannot be differentiated in the subject of CRV Hybrid vs RAV4 Hybrid. Both these are compact SUVs and can seat five people. Both SUVs pack a number of standard features right out of the factory. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay-equipped infotainment systems are one such feature.

Now that we have discussed the similarities between the models, let’s have a look at the differences between the CRV and RAV4 Hybrids.

Honda CRV Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – Differences

Few main differences between the CRV Hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid can be identified. These include differences in,

  • Performance
  • Comfort
  • Interior
  • Seating
  • Storage
  • Safety

Let us take a deeper dive into each of these categories.

1. Performance

Both these SUVs are powered by turbocharged gasoline engines paired with electric drive motor generators. But, the number of generators is different. The RAV4 has three electric motors, while the CRV has just one. Although the engines are quite similar, the two SUVs perform differently. The RAV4 Hybrid is the faster of the two. It has linear power delivery, which enables it to pass vehicles smoothly on the highway. On the other hand, the turbos of the CRV  hybrid take a while to spool up.

The RAV4 has the upper hand in terms of braking performance. It has more reactive brakes and linear braking action. On the other hand, the brakes of the CRV have a mushy feel. The brake pedal travel of the CRV is longer as well, which can be uncomfortable for some people.

The suspension of the Toyota RAV4 is firmer than that of the Honda. Because of that, it is more maneuverable and handles better. Moreover, the steering of the Toyota is more responsive too. The Honda CRV suffers from a disconnected and numb steering feel, which hinders performance. Overall, the RAV4 is the more enjoyable vehicle to drive.

2. Comfort

Out of these two hybrid SUVs, the Honda CRV has a more comfortable ride. It absorbs bumps surprisingly well when compared to its competitor. Meanwhile, the RAV4 has a firmer ride, which makes it a bit uncomfortable when traveling over uneven or bumpy road surfaces.

Both SUVs fail when it comes to isolating engine noise. not only that, the transmission of both hybrids is loud too. Furthermore, when traveling at a high rate of speed in either of these, expect some wind noise as well.

3. Interior

The Honda CRV Hybrid and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid both have above-average interiors for their class. Padded areas are spread throughout both interiors. However, the CRV uses higher quality materials in its construction. The seats are covered with real leather. Not only that but some fake wood panels have also been used to spice up attractiveness. On the other hand, the RAV4 uses more rugged materials, such as a rubberized texture on the control knobs.

A central touchscreen is present on both these models. The one on the RAV4 looks dated but is more user-friendly. It comes with more physical control surfaces and has easy-to-navigate menus.


In opposition, the Honda comes with a more modern-looking central display. However, it falls behind in its operation. The long response times paired with complex navigation make it frustrating to use. Not only that, it lacks a physical controller as well.

However, when it comes to the gauge clusters, the CRV is comfortably in front. It has simple but clear-to-understand gauges which tell the drivers everything they need to know. The gauge cluster on the RAV4 Hybrid is too small to be of any major use. Its mishmash of different colors comes across as overwhelming in such a small display.

This pair of SUVs come with some modern technological features as well. Both have wireless charging pads placed in convenient locations. There are USB ports spread across the inside as well. However, the RAV4 has one small advantage here too, Compared to the CRV, it has an extra USB port, adding up to a total of 5.

4. Seating

One of the main goals of an SUV is to provide additional seating space for people. The RAV4 Hybrid and the CRV Hybrid do a great job at this, with both providing accommodations for five people.

Heated front seats are present in both models, as is a heated steering wheel. But, the Toyota is the only vehicle to offer heated rear seats. During a cold day, your rear seat passengers will appreciate you more if you get a RAV4! Not only that, the RAV4 comes with ventilated front seats, which are not available on the CRV.

The CRV wins the battle for rear space with 2 extra inches of legroom. Moreover, it offers powered front seat adjustment and a narrower center console too. The large rear headrests limit rear visibility in both models. But, the RAV4 has a solution for this in the form of its optional 360-degree camera system.

5. Storage

The CRV Hybrid and the RAV4 Hybrid both have plenty of space to store all your belongings. Large center consoles with plenty of storage pockets can be found on either of these vehicles. However, the CRV has a sliding panel system in its console, which comes in handy.

Rear cargo space is plentiful as well. Both offer a 60/40 split rear seat, which can be easily dropped to increase the cargo area. A power liftgate is present in both hybrids too. This useful feature allows you to automatically open the rear tailgate without any hassle.

6. Safety

Being modern hybrid SUVs, both the Honda CRV and Toyota RAV4 come with great safety features. The CRV comes with an automatic emergency braking system, lane-keep assist, and lane departure warning systems as part of its Honda Sensing safety suite. Adaptive cruise control is present in the CRV as well.


The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 safety technology comes as standard in the RAV4 Hybrid. It contains the same safety features found in the Honda. Additionally, the RAV4 has automatic high beams, rear automatic braking, curve-adaptive headlights, and road sign assist technologies built in.

By considering all these factors, we can confidently say that you can’t go wrong with either of these hybrid SUVs. With that in mind, we will now take a closer look at each of these two models separately. This will give you more information that you can use to make the correct purchase decision.

Honda CRV Hybrid

The Honda CRV Hybrid made its debut for the 2020 model year. Since then, it has become one of the most popular hybrid vehicles in the world. However, it is not a plug-in-hybrid. It is just a regular hybrid, which means that it cannot be run on electric power alone.

Here, a 2.0-liter gasoline engine is paired with two electric generators. This puts out a combined power output of 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. The addition of the hybrid elements makes the hybrid more powerful than the regular CRV. Not only that, the fuel economy is improved as well. The EPA-rated fuel consumption of the Honda CRV Hybrid is 40 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Overall, the combined fuel economy rounds up to 38 mpg.

As we mentioned in the earlier paragraph, the CRV comes with many safety and driver assistance features which makes it one of the safest vehicles on the road.

Compared to older models, the all-new 2023 CRV Hybrid has a completely different exterior. Its design is inspired by that of the new Honda Civic (to learn more, check out our guide on are Honda Civic reliable). The interior receives an overhaul as well, with more comfortable body-stabilizing seats at the front. However, the rear seats are not lacking comfort as well. Now, they can be adjusted to eight different reclining levels.

The 2023 Honda CRV Hybrid comes in 4 different trim levels. They are named EX, EX-L, and Sport and Sport Touring. No matter which model you get, the Honda CRV Hybrid will serve you economically and reliably for years to come (but be mindful of the 2007 Toyota RAV4 problems).

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota’s compact hybrid SUV, the RAV4 Hybrid, has a lot of things going for it as well. In fact, there are two hybrid RAV4 models on sale. The regular RAV4 Hybrid and the RAV4 Prime plug-in-hybrid. This goes to the dedication of Toyota toward hybrid technology.

The RAV4 Hybrid offers buyers a number of trim levels to choose from, namely LE, SE, XLE Premium, Limited, and XSE. A new aggressive headlight design and a new wheel style are offered with the 2022 model of this SUV. Not only that, but a new color named Cavalry Blue also makes its debut.

RAV4 Hybrid MPG

Getting increased fuel economy is the main goal behind getting a hybrid vehicle. In the case of the RAV4 Hybrid, it achieves this goal surprisingly well. The EPA estimates this compact SUV to get 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg during highway driving. This equals a combined EPA rating of 40 mpg.

When comparing these figures to the regular gasoline-powered RAV4, we can see the hybrid is massively economical. The combined fuel economy of the RAV4 Hybrid is 11 mpg higher than that of the regular version.

RAV4 Hybrid Towing Capacity

Typically, the towing capacity of compact SUVs is not that great. However, the RAV4 has a decent towing capacity when compared to its main competitors. Toyota rates the towing capacity of the 2022 RAV4 Hybrid LE at 1750 pounds. Furthermore, the RAV4 Hybrid has a total payload capacity of 1230 pounds.

RAV4 Hybrid Interior

The interior of the RAV4 Hybrid was discussed in a previous section as well. However, apart from the features we discussed, there are some additional aspects as well.

crv hybrid vs rav4 hybrid

The interior of the RAV4 is more practical than that of the CRV. The controls are laid out in an easy-to-find manner. A telescopic steering wheel, as well as dual-zone climate control, come as standard options. An eye-soothing interior ambient lighting feature is also offered as an optional extra.

RAV4 Hybrid Horsepower

Under the hood of the RAV4 Hybrid is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. There are two electric motors which provide extra power as well. In total, the compact SUV makes 219 horsepower, which is 7 more than the CRV Hybrid.

The two electric motors are responsible for powering the two axles separately. This means that the RAV4 has a permanent all-wheel drive system. A CVT automatic transmission takes care of the gear changes.

The additional power makes the RAV4 Hybrid faster than its gasoline-powered sibling. It can dash to 60 mph in just 7.4 seconds, which is 0.6 a second faster than the regular RAV4. This peppy acceleration will be most useful around the city.

RAV4 Hybrid Cargo Space

The cargo space of the RAV4 Hybrid is the same as the regular RAV4. So, it can carry a total of 10 suitcases behind the rear seats. However, the cargo area can be increased by folding the rear seats. In that case, there is the capacity to store 22 suitcases.

There are small storage areas spread across the interior in the form of cubbies and bins as well. These provide places to store small belongings such as mobile phones, water bottles, and sunglasses.

Hybrid SUV Comparison: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs Honda CR-V Hybrid

  1. Both the RAV4 and CR-V hybrids have excellent space and comfort.
  2. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has five different trim levels, with the base level being LE, while the CR-V Hybrid only has three.
  3. The RAV4 Hybrid has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, while the CR-V Hybrid has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
  4. The RAV4 Hybrid has an EPA-rated estimated fuel economy of 40 mpg combined, while the CR-V Hybrid has an EPA-estimated 38 mpg combined.
  5. The RAV4 Hybrid has a playful vibe with big knobs and buttons, while the CR-V Hybrid feels more sophisticated.
  6. The RAV4 Hybrid has a standard 7-inch touchscreen, and the CR-V Hybrid only comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, and no upgrade is available.
  7. On the road, the RAV4 Hybrid feels lively and peppy, while the CR-V Hybrid is less about speed and more about smoothness.
  8. The RAV4 Hybrid offers 37.6 cubic feet of space in the trunk behind the rear seats, while the CR-V Hybrid has 33.2 cubic feet of space.
  9. Other small hybrid SUV options include the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Kia Niro.


The Honda CRV Hybrid and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid are arguably the two most popular compact hybrid SUVs on the planet. Both of these are more efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Not only that, these hybrids are more environmentally friendly as well.


When it comes to CRV Hybrid vs RAV4 Hybrid, there is no clear winner. The Honda CRV is more stylish, while the RAV4 offers more practicality. Both vehicles are priced equally as well. So, it is ultimately up to your personal preference to pick between the Honda or the Toyota. No matter which one you choose, you are getting a fuel-efficient and reliable daily driver, at an affordable price.

FAQS on CRV Hybrid vs RAV4 Hybrid

Here are some popular FAQs:

What Is A Hybrid SUV

Hybrid SUVs rank just behind all-electric SUVs in terms of efficiency. These vehicles pair an internal combustion engine with electric motors to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. The first hybrid SUV was the Ford Escape Hybrid. It was released all the way back in 2005. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Honda CRV Hybrid are two of the most popular hybrid SUVs in the current market.

Which Is More Reliable Honda CR V Or Toyota RAV4

Japanese vehicles are world-renowned for their reliability. When it comes to the reliability between CRV Hybrid vs RAV4 Hybrid, the Honda has the upper hand by a slight margin.

Is Honda CR V Or Toyota RAV4 Better

Both of these hybrid SUVs excel in different categories. With its eye-catching exterior and comfortable interior, the Honda is the more stylish of the two. However, in terms of practicality, the RAV4 takes the crown.

Which Is Better Honda Or Toyota

The reliability of both Honda and Toyota vehicles is well known among car enthusiasts. But, in recent years, Toyota has made more reliable vehicles than Honda. Furthermore, it has vehicles in more segments in the market as well, making Toyotas more accessible than Hondas.

How Long Is The Toyota RAV4

Although the RAV4 is considered a compact SUV, the latest model has grown a lot compared to the first generation. In terms of dimensions, the 2022 RAV4 is 73 inches wide and 67 inches high. The overall length of this SUV is 180.9 inches. The body sits on a wheelbase that is 105.9 inches long.

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