Gas Rav4 or hybrid? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Gas Rav4 or hybrid?

I've been a Toyota owner most of my life, and I have a PriusV right now. Love the 49 mpg but it rattles, the seats are uncomfortable, and the road noise is awful. I'm looking at a new Rav4 hybrid but I don't want to buy the same problems all over again! Do you have experience or opinions about these issues in the regular Rav4 vs the hybrid?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 05:56 PM
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I just bought a Rav4 Hybrid XLE 2018, so I can speak to some of it. I weighed the options of the regular Rav and the Hybrid and went with the Hybrid, because it seemed like a better car over all. Of course, this is personal opinion, but for me the road noise isn't bad at all. I've heard people complain about the seats, but I've found them to be pretty comfortable even on long trips. The back seat doesn't have as much cushion as the front, but so far no complaints from passengers. I also have to say that it's been really smooth in both the transmission and the ride. I've read that the suspension on the Limited trim isn't as smooth, because of something having to do with the suspension on the slightly taller ride. The only thing I really wish it had was the flat cargo area. It still has plenty of space, but I feel like it would be a lot more useable with a flat cargo area when the seats are folded down.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 06:37 PM
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Test drive both and decide for yourself! I have a '16 HV Limited and a '15 Prius IV, the HV(Toyota designation for the hybrid) is much quieter and rides better than the Prius. The best ride will be the LE HV or XLE HV Rav4 due to the 17" wheels which gives you Ĺ" more sidewall on the tires which soaks up bumps a bit better than the 18", other than that, there's no difference in suspension unless you get an SE HV. The extra weight of the HV models help provide the better ride over the gas model, you could prolly get the same ride in a gas model with a couple 160lb passengers in the back seat! Be aware that OEM tires aren't necessarily the best option for best ride and less noise, just depends on what OEM tires come on your vehicle of choice, it varies a lot.

2019 XLE Premium AWD
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 06:58 PM
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We are spoiled to the V-6 so I would not consider any RAV other than the Hybrid. It's got to have some moxie or I won't consider it, not to mention the MPG.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 07:36 PM
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Do the simple math. A used petrol vehicle vs a hybrid. Hybrid looses.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 07:51 PM
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Definitely take one out for a spin where the sales people are low pressure, like Carmax. You'll be able to get valuable feedback based on your environment and senses. Some dealerships even have rent before you buy option so you can get extended seat time. I would stick with the Hybrid version, it's pretty quiet and comfortable. You're also looking at about 2 seconds faster from 0-60mph than your V, it's nice when you need it. The extra weight of the hybrid gives the car a solid driving experience especially on the highway. If the Prius V seats were anything like my old 2013 Prius you will be pleased with the power and lumbar option. The higher seating position and ground clearance are also nice benefits. Inside the touch points are much better, not premium levels but better than the hard plastics in the V. It's a great time to buy a 2018 knowing they will be making way for the new models. You'd probably be looking at a 14mpg hit (about 24mpg if you went gas version) based on my averages. Let us know what you think after you drive one.

p.s. If you are on a budget then might want to just consider making some upgrades to your existing car first. Tires, thick carpeted floor mats with rubberized backing and seat cushions might make your driving experience more pleasant.

2018 Rav4 Hybrid SE 4WD


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoast View Post
I've been a Toyota owner most of my life, and I have a PriusV right now. Love the 49 mpg but it rattles, the seats are uncomfortable, and the road noise is awful. I'm looking at a new Rav4 hybrid but I don't want to buy the same problems all over again! Do you have experience or opinions about these issues in the regular Rav4 vs the hybrid?
My 2016 with about 62,000 miles on it has no rattles or squeaks at this point. Itís pretty solid. The seats in the RAV4 are the same regardless of whether or not you buy a hybrid as far as I understand. I am not particularly fond of them. The side thigh bolsters are pretty hard and tight even though Iím not exactly a heavy guy or anything...

The road noise is not bad but definitely not great. Tire selection can make a difference. Wind noise is decent because of the acoustic noise-reducing windshield. Removing the roof cross-bars when not in use also makes a noticeable improvement at highway speeds. Itís definitely not the quietest vehicle at fast freeway speeds which I notice on all-day trips, but itís certainly reasonable for my daily commutes and weekend drives.

I think that a fundamental issue to consider is that the RAV4 is an economy-oriented CUV (relatively speaking). Regardless of whether or not you get the hybrid, itís not a Lexus. Iíd test drive one first... and perhaps also test out a Highlander and/or Lexus NX (which is fundamentally a more luxurious vehicle built on the RAV4 chassis and architecture) - a used upscale vehicle might be better than a new RAV4 in terms of what youíre looking for.

In the end, if the RAV4 is what you want, I definitely recommend the hybrid. Itís got a lot of up sides and not many compromises relatively speaking. Iíve certainly been happy with mine overall! My 2 cents anyway...

2016 RAV4 Hybrid XLE
ALLA lighting L-NF 9012 LED headlights (with GTR Lighting PWM module)
Hikari CREE XHP50 LED H11 fog lights
Basic fog light mod (on with parking lights)
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 05:44 PM
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I can only speak to our experience with our RAV4 2016 XLE hybrid. My husband has significant lower back, knee and hip issues. We had a Prius prior to buying this RAV4 new. We liked our Prius a lot but the seats were too low for him to get in and out of without a lot of pain. We really like having a hybrid car for a lot of reasons, not the least of which we live in Florida and my husband waits for me in the car a lot while I'm shopping. With a hybrid he can leave the engine running and keep the air conditioner on. That may seem like a small thing but in Florida it's actually worth a lot in the middle of the summer! Despite my husband's issues, and my arthritis, we have found the RAV4 hybrid to be very comfortable. If you need to tow something it also has a higher tow capacity than the non hybrid RAV4 and of course, it gets very good gas mileage for a car of that size. Again, since we live in Florida it's nice for us to have a car that uses less gas and allows us to use an inverter to run other things, charge our devices and cool off, when we lose our electricity during storms. I can't comment on the non hybrid RAV4 because I've never driven in one but I do know that we love the one we have and would absolutely by it again.
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