On the road, you hear a lot of noise. Your engine, your radio, maybe your noisy kids, or even just regular highway noise. However, has it ever dawned upon you whether your hybrid Toyota is loud on the inside? A prospective 2022 RAV4 buyer on Reddit asked this question and it really aroused my curiosity.
Our 2012 Prius makes some noise, but it's a great vehicle and I wouldn't trade it with another vehicle in the same category because of so many good things it offers, including a great mileage. When I drive with family, I usually turn off the radio because no one except me likes disco music. However, one thing I realized is that the hybrid system in my car is somewhat loud. Well, it's a 2012 vehicle, ten year old model.
On ToyotaNation forum user Unagi48309 asked a question, “If it's not too much trouble, could some current owners of the 2022 Rav4 Hybrid measure the cabin noise level in speeds up to 75~80mph and post here?” Sadly, I do not have a decibel reader however this got me thinking, maybe my hybrid isn’t the only loud hybrid out there? I recently got to ride in the 2022 RAV4 TRD which we wrote an article on the infotainment system, but I never have seen or rode in the hybrid RAV4.
I went straight to Reddit because that’s where all the real news is. A user by the name of u/ISCOREDwithISCO asked the same question which in this case, provided a lot more answers.
User Herbisretired said, “I have a 2021 XLE Premium and it is pretty loud. I will probably not buy another one because of it and I drive a lot of highway miles myself.” However, his was not the hybrid.
Remember that a hybrid system is mostly used to either start the car or put it in motion until the ICE can kick in. then it's used when cruising or other regular driving conditions. I personally can confirm that almost any hybrid that I have sat or rode in always makes more noise than a regular ICE car.
Should this be a concern for prospective buyers? No, not really. Unless you are a music-less driver who hates the radio and has good ears, maybe it might get a little annoying. This didn’t become a problem for me until I started to turn my radio off.
Artificial Noise in a Hybrid System
Also, keep in mind that as early as September 2020, hybrid and electric vehicles will have to emit artificial noise up to 18 decibels by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
All in all, don’t worry about the noise level. It's not too loud unless you want it to be. Also, if you like any song with a heavy base like house or disco, then it’ll 100% negate the hybrid sounds.
In any case, if you are deciding whether to buy a Toyota RAV4 hybrid or another hybrid vehicle, it might be a good idea for you to test drive, as there is more to determining whether noise is annoying than its decibel level. If you have an Apple watch, you can use it to measure the sound in decibels on the highway and on city streets.
In my personal opinion, the 2022 Toyota RAV4 hybrid cabin noise is moderate I would say. The noise is tolerable, but hardly outstanding. Take one for a test drive and see for yourself.
"I'd say it's a 5/10 on the road noise on my XLE Hybrid. Not unacceptable, but not much better than the bare minimum. Put another way, I have done long trips without it really annoying me but on my next car I will absolutely test drive it with my wife at at least 70mph to see how it sounds," comments a user OK_Confidence768 in the above-mentioned Reddit discussion about the cabin noise of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
Other people in Toyota RAV4 forum discussions say the Limited hybrid RAV4 has less noise on the highway and the interior just feels a lot more solid.
What do you think? Is hybrid engine noise a problem for you? Let us know in the comments section below. In any case, my recommendation is, test-drive one for yourself and decide if the cabin noise is too loud for you vs being just fine.
Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.