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Cabin Noise on the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Is Too Subjective

A recent question surfaced on a Toyota forum asking whether the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a lot of cabin noise. The firsthand accounts will surprise you, but you have to test-drive the vehicle and see it yourself because the cabin noise on a vehicle is too subjective to judge. Don't believe everything you read online, but rather test-drive the vehicle for yourself.


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.

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid May Be Too Loud…Here’s How

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.


Chris (not verified)    April 23, 2022 - 1:26AM

I have a 2021 Rav4 XLE CONVIENCE and I love it. I do not find it to be loud at all. I go on the highway often and I never even noticed any noise. Compared to other compact SUV's I think this ome is very quiet and has a very comfortable ride!

Sam (not verified)    April 23, 2022 - 7:42AM

The noise issues are really more related to the use of a CVT, not that it's a hybrid per se. It causes a disconnect between speed and engine rpm you don't get with a standard automatic transmission. That, in turn, causes the engine to really boom on some cars. I found the RAV 4 hybrid to be noisy on the highway. It was objectional on a test drive, and I knew it would grate on me if I owned it. Bought a Tucson hybrid instead. THAT is a quiet car and a pleasure to drive. Would have got a bit better fuel economy in the RAV 4 hybrid, though.

Brad Stocker (not verified)    April 23, 2022 - 9:15AM

On our 5th Rav 4 since 1997. First hybrid. I can assure everyone that the hybrid is MUCH quieter than the gas only version. Also ridiculously smoother.

Jo Blow (not verified)    April 23, 2022 - 10:11AM

Wow, there are tons of sound measurement apps in the playstore. None of the genius's referenced in the article actually measured the sound level? Worthless article...

David Foster (not verified)    April 23, 2022 - 10:45PM

Bought my first Toyota ever. It’s a 2022 hybrid le highlander and I think the cabin noise is to loud. Dealer says never have heard complaints before. Love the vehicle except the wind noise

David Foster (not verified)    April 23, 2022 - 10:46PM

Bought my first Toyota ever. It’s a 2022 hybrid le highlander and I think the cabin noise is to loud. Dealer says never have heard complaints before. Love the vehicle except the wind noise

Dawn (not verified)    April 24, 2022 - 8:36PM

I have a Toyota Corolla Hybrid ZR sports. I know it it not a RAV but I am absolutely besotted with my new car. It is so quiet I can’t believe it. In fact a friend of mine purchased a RAV 4 because my car was so quiet and loves it.

Mike Q (not verified)    April 24, 2022 - 9:48PM

All auto manufacturers should report cabin sound level in decibels at 40mph ((busy local street) and 70 mph (US highway) using OEM tires. Like dishwashers, this practice will reduce subjective analysis. My 2015 RAV4 Hybrid is too loud at 70 mph but that's because I speak too softly while driving.

Jonathan Knowles (not verified)    April 25, 2022 - 10:22AM

I've had a 2020 LE that got totalled so I ended up buying a 21 PHV Rav4. Of course there's lots of noise on the highway, Its still just Rav4, my wifes NX version is about 500lbs heavier, worse gas mileage and slower. It's much quieter though, and more expensive.. why are people complaining about an economy level vehicle. Also you shouldn't start an online article with don't believe everything you see online.

Pieter Einthoven (not verified)    April 25, 2022 - 12:33PM

If you want a quiet interior for a similar hybrid SUV, look at the Hyundai Tucson. It couples a 6 speed automatic transmission with the hybrid drivetrain. The RAV4 gets a few MPG more than the Tucson, but the Tucson is awesome to drive.

Jennifer (not verified)    April 25, 2022 - 8:25PM

Was so excited to get a 2022 Hybid rav4 . Even the wait time (6 ) months could not deter me . Until ……we took it for a test drive . Yikes whole car sounded loud . Felt all bumps in road . Test drove a VW Tiguan later the same day . Omg what a difference. Bought it and love it . Yes not a hybrid but so much more for similar $. Was driving a Ford Escape prior .

Tim Strom (not verified)    May 17, 2022 - 8:08PM

I have a '22 Highlander Limited and it does have a lot of wind noise as well The noise becomes a lot more pronounced on rough road surfaces - concrete worn with spike tire damage and old blacktop. On new paving sections, the noise level is much lower. Other than that, it is a great car with not too horrible gas mileage.

Ed B (not verified)    August 30, 2022 - 8:12AM

Trust me—it is loud! The road noise coming from the wheel wells, specifically, is almost intolerably loud on my ‘22 RAV4 hybrid XLE Premium AWD. I expected better from Toyota. Will I keep the car? Probably…it’s a great car otherwise. I’m getting 43.1 mpg! But if you are buying the car with a priority on a quiet ride, forget it. Go elsewhere.

Stella (not verified)    October 27, 2022 - 1:57PM

Thanks for this article! I bought a Lexus RX300 the first year it came out; smooth, quiet ride. When the RX400h was released in 2006, I bought that and drove it for 16 gloriously smooth, quiet, delicious years. Then went to a 2022 NX350h and the noise was unbearable! Road noise plus noise coming from near/around the windshield. I could not drown it out with music---drove me to distraction! After just 2 months, I am trading it in. (Noise not the only issue; it is, to me, not a Lexus in terms of noise, comfort---the head rests tilt forward and hit you!---or several other measures. Very disappointed in it.) I've driven Lexus for 20+ years and am a devoted, loyal fan, but that NX350h is not for me! I never quite understood men's love affairs with cars till I drove a Lexus; now, I completely get it! Was looking at the RAV4 hybrid, but will give it a pass thanks to this article.

Jonathan (not verified)    November 9, 2022 - 2:53AM

I just sold my 2019 Rav4 Hybrid XLE, mainly because of the noise level. It's especially loud in the back seats. The road noise makes it hard to even have a proper conversation in the back seats. I bought a 2022 Venza and although both cars are similar, the Venza is quieter inside. I think Toyota didn't insulate the Rav4 or many of the economy hybrid models to keep the weight down and to improve the gas mileage. The Venza is heavier than the Rav4, probably because it has better insulation.