2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review: In The Competition’s Crosshairs

– Cleveland, Ohio

If you’re shopping for an affordable all-wheel-drive hybrid, the pickings are slim, especially if you want a crossover. Your options become more plentiful if you’re willing to spend, thanks to the many hybrid and plug-in hybrid crossovers now offered by traditional luxury automakers, but the rest of us have only a few options that ring in around $30,000.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has been on that short list since it debuted in 2016. Even in this era of inexpensive fuel, it’s proven popular with the people, outselling Toyota’s other utilitarian hybrid, the front-wheel-drive-only Prius V, by a healthy margin. For 2017, though, the RAV4 Hybrid has been joined by a couple of equally compelling options: the new Nissan Rogue Hybrid and Kia Niro. The fact it’s powered by the guts of a Prius and enjoys Toyota’s reputation for reliability all work in the RAV4 Hybrid’s favor, but it’s not the only game in town.

See the next-gen RAV4:

 

 

Pros

Big inside. Though it’s smaller on the outside than the Nissan Rogue Hybrid, the RAV4 is actually roomier inside, especially when comparing cargo areas. The RAV4 Hybrid offers a max volume with its seats folded of 70.6 cubic feet to the Rogue Hybrid’s 61.4. Its rear floor and liftover height are also significantly lower than the Rogue Hybrid’s, which makes loading and unloa...