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Hi all. We are in the market for a RAV4 XLE Premium or Limited. The choices out there are slim, but we’re considering whether it makes sense to wait and get a hybrid. Does anyone have regrets for not holding out for a hybrid?
 

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2020 Limited AWD - Blizzard Pearl/Black
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I really like my gasoline Limited. I prefer the mechanical AWD vs. the electric rear end of the Hybrid. I've been getting around 33MPG lately on my trips to work which is about 70 percent highway and 30 percent city.

166510


I wanted a gasoline model from the start. I kept my last Rav4 for 20 years, hoping this one treats me just was well. 🙂
 

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2021 RAV4 Limited FWD
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I ordered my gas fwd gas limited to get exactly what I wanted. Since I plan on keeping it for at least 15+ years I was very hesitant to go with the hybrid. More engineering complexity means more things that can go wrong, and I do not believe the increase in gas mileage will pay for the increase in purchase price plus any additional expenses in the subsequent 15+ years. Some will say the ICE on a hybrid will last longer than a gas version because the hybrids engine runs less. Statistically, 90%+ of drivers do not keep their cars for more than 100K miles, so to me, the engine longevity argument is a moot point. Hybrids do have the advantage of more power particularly when starting from a dead stop. Some say the gas versions are underpowered. I’m not a power crazy kind of driver, so the gas power is fine with me. I suggest you test drive both. Each will have a slightly different driving experience. Driving with a light foot in eco mode I get 38-40mpg highway and 32-33mpg with about half and half city/highway driving. In this forum, you will never see a consensus on which is better. Test drive both and decide for yourself. You will probably be happy whichever way you decide to go.
 

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I chose our Adventure model for the torque vectoring AWD and increased towing capacity. We also keep our vehicles for a very long time and I didn't want to deal with eventually having to replace the hybrid battery. The gas model was a better fit for our needs and wants. Perfectly fine with the reduction in MPG compared to the hybrid.
 

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Toyota has a good reputation for building hybrid cars, after all they produce the highly successful Prius. I sold my 2005 Prius with 142K miles when I got my 2021 XLE hybrid. I never any problems with the hybrid portion of the Prius and only one significant problem with the engine (a leaky gasket that I could have lived with by adding 1/2 quart of oil between oil changes but I didn't want the oil drips to damage my asphalt parking pad.) I keep my cars for 15+ years so with the fuel savings and proven reliability of the hybrid I never even considered the non hybrid version. I live in AK so AWD is essential in the winter.

As DrWrangler points out, if you need a more powerful AWD then the hybrid isn't the best choice.
 

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I have no regrets purchasing my gas XLE 2021, sure I might not get the gas millage the hybrid gets, but when do some research and find out how these rare minerals are mined, & the huge footprint they leave behind, they are not as green as everyone pretends to be. Plus in a couple of years once they start having issues good luck with the repair bills and trying to sell them on.
 

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I love my hybrid, especially with the climbing gas prices. The AWD did really well on snow for me, even with the factory Michelin Primacy tires.
 

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I live in south Florida so the hybrid was a no for me since I was planning to own the car for 10+ years. The south Florida heat does takes a toll on hybrid and lithium batteries, so much that there are dozens of battery refurbishment businesses that have sprung up over the last few years. Instead of paying for a full traction battery replacement these places charge you a few hundred to replace just the bad cell, but then you're still on borrowed time. If I was leasing I would go for a hybrid or if I lived in the mid-atlantic or northeast. When I used to live in the northeast, my 12 volt battery would be good for 7+ years, here in south Florida it consistently dies in 2 years.
 

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2021 XLE Premium Hybrid + JBL
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I bought the Hybrid, based on my experience with a 2012 Prius, which has had zero hybrid related problems in 190K miles. The substantial increase in mpg and corresponding reduction in emissions is worth it. I only need AWD for 2 tracks and unplowed roads, so the AWD performance will be sufficient. I’m averaging 46mpg on my commute (50/50 city/hwy).
 

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I have a 2008 Prius that I handed down to my kid and it has 210K miles and the Prius battery test app said the battery was good out of a range of Full, Good, Poor and Fail. That being said the 10-12 mpg increase didn't move the needle and I got the gas Premium. There is enough crazy tech in the engine (electric water pump!) to worry about without the hybrid system.
 

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I regret not getting an adventure because now I want to spend 3k to do the grill swap just to get the TOYOTA pro grille smfh


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The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years. We will all be driving electric by then. There is a gas tank issue with some (mine) but you fill up less so it evens out. 41 MPG when it isn’t freezing and you don’t run the heat or AC.
 

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I got the XLE Premium because I wanted leather and the XSE was $3500 more. Specifically, I was operating under the assumption that the battery wouldn't last much past 150k miles, at which point the money saved in gas (Id have just about broken even by then) would have gone back into the battery. I intend to keep this vehicle past 200k.

Additionally, some initial anecdotes indicated the hybrid wasn't as capable off road, which may not have been that accurate.

So, knowing what I know now about the AWD system and that batteries tend to last a good bit longer now, there is a good chance I'd have snagged a hybrid XLE and just put on seat covers.
 

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2021 Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium AWD
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I purchased a 2021 RAV4 XLE Premium here in Canada. Paid Cash $42,000 OTD.
The Hybrid would save me 2-3L/100km. Which equates to $2500-$4000 in 100,000km. $5000-$8000 in 200,000km. (Roughly) The price for the hybrid I would have selected would have been the XSE with Tech Package which would have been $49,900. Might have gotten it down to $48,000. That's an extra $6000-$7000 for all the extra features I didn't care for or need. Then by 200,000km mark I'm sure the batteries would need some sort of service. That would eat up all the savings in the end.

This way I don't have to worry about cold weather and batteries. Its feels, drives and handles like a traditional vehicle and its reliable.

I'm getting 8.2L/100km right now and I'm not even driving like a grandma.
 

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I purchased a 2021 RAV4 XLE Premium here in Canada. Paid Cash $42,000 OTD.
The Hybrid would save me 2-3L/100km. Which equates to $2500-$4000 in 100,000km. $5000-$8000 in 200,000km. (Roughly) The price for the hybrid I would have selected would have been the XSE with Tech Package which would have been $49,900. Might have gotten it down to $48,000. That's an extra $6000-$7000 for all the extra features I didn't care for or need. Then by 200,000km mark I'm sure the batteries would need some sort of service. That would eat up all the savings in the end.

This way I don't have to worry about cold weather and batteries. Its feels, drives and handles like a traditional vehicle and its reliable.

I'm getting 8.2L/100km right now and I'm not even driving like a grandma.
A couple of additional savings would be fewer brake pad replacements. Also, there is no starter to wear out.
 

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A couple of additional savings would be fewer brake pad replacements. Also, there is no starter to wear out.
I considered that as well and I've only had to replace brake pads on all my cars at around 75k miles and pads are cheap. Depends how you drive as long as you aren't riding the brakes pads can last a very long time. Never had to replace a rotor either. As for a starter, my family has never had a starter die on a Honda or Toyota and we keep our cars for 10+ years, with a Highlander going on 20 years with the original starter.
 

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I should add that another reason I didn't go for the hybrid was the smaller rims and tires that come stock. Even the XSE comes with smaller 18 inch rims and with a design I don't like. The XLE premium and limited come with the 19 inch rims which are the best looking imo. I didn't want to spend $2k+ on new rims and tires on top of the $3.5k premium on the hybrid xse over a limited gas.
 
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