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3 Factors to Consider When Picking 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs. Gasoline RAV4

How will you choose whether to buy a 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or RAV4 gasoline model? It is not an easy decision. Here are a few important factors to consider that may help you decide.


One of the hottest vehicles on the planet right now is the 2019 Toyota RAV4. This is especially true of the RAV4 Hybrid, with a frenzied demand and low supplies leaving car buyers scrambling just to find one to test drive, let alone purchase.

May sales for RAV4 are up 13.9% over last May, the best sales month ever for the wildly popular SUV. So let’s say you have decided the RAV4 is the one you want to buy. How do you know whether to choose the gasoline or the Hybrid version? Let me help with a few crucial comparative facts.

Perhaps the best idea is to think of the most important factors for you and your family to help you make your final choice. If you do your fair share of daily commutes to work or plan regular family road trips and vacations, maybe fuel economy is the most essential consideration. Also, I rarely find that price is not of importance to someone looking to buy a new car. This may be worth researching. What about power – does it matter which one has more pickup?

MPG for 2019 RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 gasoline

Ask a random person on the street what they know about a Hybrid and I bet they talk about great gas mileage. This is definitely a selling point specifically for the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. In fact, I have heard from numerous RAV4 Hybrid owners who are thrilled with their mpg so far.

A huge advantage in gas mileage estimates is one vital reason people are frenzied over the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Let’s compare AWD mpg. The 2019 RAV4 AWD has combined fuel efficiency of 28mpg (25 city / 33 highway). On the other hand, 2019 RAV4 Hybrid AWD offers the promise of a whopping 40mpg combined (41 city / 38 highway). That is a significant difference in favor of the Hybrid. But is it enough to pick Hybrid over gasoline?

VIDEO: Watch as I compare 2019 RAV4 XLE AWD vs. RAV4 XLE Hybrid

What has more horsepower – the 2019 Hybrid or Gasoline RAV4?

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid also has more horsepower over its gasoline counterpart. Well, technically it does.

When you consider the 2019 RAV4 gasoline version (available in LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure and Limited), you will find it utilizes a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 203 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. torque. It also drives with an electronically controlled direct-shift 8-speed automatic transmission.

In comparison, the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid (available in LE, XLE, Limited and XSE) works with a combination of a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (176hp) and two electric motors. When combined and working in perfect harmony, the horsepower of the Hybrid increases to 219 net horsepower. This is a pretty significant increase versus the gasoline version. The Hybrid drives with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.

Both the 2019 RAV4 gasoline and Hybrid models drive smooth and comfortable with good acceleration. You may find the Hybrid to have more pickup and sound a little quieter.

What is the price difference between 2019 RAV4 gas vs. Hybrid?

When comparing the 2019 RAV4 AWD gasoline vs. Hybrid AWD (all RAV4 Hybrids are AWD), it is clear what an incredible value the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid is for all consumers. The RAV4 gasoline version will always cost less than the Hybrid, so it wins in the lowest price category. But Hybrid is not too far away.

The base price for a 2019 RAV4 AWD LE is $26,900 compared to $27,700 for its LE Hybrid colleague. That is a difference of only $800. There is also just a small $800 increase between Limited AWD and Limited Hybrid ($34,900 base price vs. $35,700 base price.) Tough choice here!

I would love your thoughts on the 2019 Toyota RAV4. Have you recently purchased a new RAV4 or are you planning on buying one soon? Did you choose gasoline or Hybrid and what do you think so far? Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story…

Read More: Comparison of 2019 Toyota Camry XLE vs. Camry XLE Hybrid

Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and follow Jeff's Instagram. Also Twitter at @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota review videos on his Youtube Channel at Toyotajeff.


Dmulyadi (not verified)    June 7, 2019 - 6:36AM

In reply to by David (not verified)

I owned a 2005 Prius with 280k miles on odo best car i own, transmission so much better than my 2004 Honda Element auto. Yes ppl who hate CVT usually hate changes. I was one of them. But after having problem with my Honda auto trans and experienced the reliability of Toyota CVT I can only say try it first and drive if for a long period of time before you dont like something.Did I mention the hybrid battery still works with almost 300k? saved money on oil change brake pads and gas = drive more and further. Maybe one day when i decided to get rid of my 1996 RAV4 manual transmission ill get that RAV4 hybrid, Its not easy driving stick in NYC.

Bill (not verified)    July 22, 2019 - 10:41AM

In reply to by Huseyin (not verified)

If you do buy a 2019 RAV4, be prepared for significant engine noise when going from 0 to about 40 mpg. I purchased my 2019 RAV4 last April and the loud engine and rough driving at lower speeds as it accelerates has been a real disappointment. It was something I noticed when I test drove the car, but I didn't think it would bother me that much. It does. You will also feel considerable vibration from up through the gas pedal.

Because of the problems I just described, I would not recommend purchasing this car.

mircea munteanu (not verified)    October 22, 2019 - 8:51PM

In reply to by David (not verified)

hybrid CVT's are totally different then a gas Chain or Belt CVT, It does not come with either, it a assisted planetary gear transmission, they are reliable and quick if not a prius :)

John (not verified)    June 6, 2019 - 10:49AM

I’ve had my 2019 RAV4 Hybrid Limited (fully loaded) for 1500 miles now. My combined fuel consumption ranges from 39-41 mpg. The car has enough oomph to make me happy in all situations. It has every safety feature that was on my former 2018 Cadillac ATS and the console and entertainment controls on the RAV4 are simply more intuitive and user-friendly. And of course the cabin is so much more spacious and has the luxury accents and materials. So far I am delighted with the switch and everyone who has ridden with me is impressed with the look, the ride, the comfort and the mileage.

Rex Hanabal (not verified)    June 6, 2019 - 11:59AM

I am the very happy owner of a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid Limited and this new Rav is hands down the nicest vehicle I’ve ever owned in my 66 years. I waited for delivery over four months and my Toyota dealer was kind enough to provide a 2019 Rav 4 gasoline version to drive while I waited. It was the Adventure version so the only real difference between the two other than the drivetrain I noticed was the Adventure was a little higher off the ground. The other glaring difference that made me very glad I ordered the Hybrid was the transmission. In having the gas version to drive that long gave me an excellent perspective to compare the two. The biggest issue with the transmission was it seemed jerky with every change of gears. The CVT in the Hybrid is so smooth it’s like a completely different vehicle. As mentioned in the review the Hybrid is noticeably quieter than the gas model. Anyway it’s a very nice vehicle.

Dave F (not verified)    June 6, 2019 - 12:00PM

A little math shows the value of the hybrid.

Assuming that one keeps the vehicle for 100,000 miles and that gas costs $2.75/gallon, fuel costs for the hybrid will be about $2900 less than the conventional engine.

Consumer Reports indicates that the reliability for Toyota hybrids are better than than the conventional counterparts.

Paul (not verified)    June 6, 2019 - 12:06PM

Purchased a 2019 Rav4 Adventure. Price was discounted $4000 off MSRP.

Don’t think buyers will be getting this type of discount on Rav4 hybrid models.

David St John (not verified)    June 6, 2019 - 12:13PM

You mentioned torque value for the gas version, but what is the torque for the hybrid? How do the torque curves compare?

Randy (not verified)    June 6, 2019 - 5:45PM

Even though the MSRP difference is only $800, the actual difference is a lot more because dealers, at least the ones around here, are discounting the gas only version a lot more than the hybrid version.

Bill (not verified)    June 6, 2019 - 7:35PM

Rav4 hybrid for me. Really like the CVT vs the 8 speed automatic which is too rough. More HP plus 40 mpg. What's not to like? Hybrids have arrived.

nich3play3r (not verified)    June 6, 2019 - 7:45PM

Our new Limited Hybrid will be here early next month. Adding it to our beloved 2009 Limited. Toyota had me at 40mpg.

Lyda (not verified)    December 1, 2019 - 9:13AM

In reply to by nich3play3r (not verified)

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Rolf hess (not verified)    June 6, 2019 - 8:03PM

Because of international travel, I frequently leave my car unused for periods of up to 9 months. I wonder how the Hybrid's batteries would be affected. Any experience anyone?

Ben (not verified)    June 7, 2019 - 10:05PM

I love my 2019 Toyota Rav4 XLE, wished I had splurged on the XSE though as it has bigger wheels, Softex seats and black roof.

Fadi (not verified)    June 21, 2019 - 8:43PM

I have had my 2019 RAV4 hybrid LE for 1500 Km now. I bought it in Quebec, Canada and the MSRP price there is 1400$ more the gasoline one. I am averaging 5.7L/100 Km (41 mpg) on mixed driving. I love this car. I had tried the gasoline vs and was totally disappointed with the noisy engine (when pressed) and the lack of driving refinement.! However, the hybrid one was much quieter and more pleasant to drive. In addition, at least in Canada, the hybrids LE come with dual climate control but not the gas vs, which adds more value. My advice is to go for the hybrid, otherwise get a CRV or CX-5.

Bill Lancaster (not verified)    July 12, 2019 - 4:02PM

I purchased a 2019 Rav4 in April and I wish now I had tried harder to find the Hybrid. The engine is really loud in the fuel only Rav4, especially when you are accelerating from a complete stop. It's also not very smooth when changing gears. I do about 95% of my driving on streets, not highways. The MPG in my car is far less than my previous car - a 2014 Accord. I'm retiring in a year and I wanted to make my purchase soon enough that I would have the car paid off before I retire. That's why I did wait longer to get a Hybrid. Now I'm stuck with a car for probably the next 10 or 15 years (however long I have to live) that sounds like a dragster half the time.

Jerome Quigley (not verified)    July 25, 2019 - 5:02PM

My wife and I bought a 21019 RAV4 Hybrid in June. We have put about 3K miles on it now. I love this car. It gets better than rated mpg (I get 44-46 in town and 42 driving 70mph on the interstate) It moves from electric to gas without any noise or shaking. It has plenty of pep. We traded in a 2017 AWD Sienna. We miss the greater room of the Sienna, but that is it. The RAV4 Hybrid is a remarkable car and fun to drive. I could not be happier.

Bill Lancaster (not verified)    July 25, 2019 - 9:58PM

I have no doubt the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid is a great car and I wish I had one. As for the all gasoline powered version, not so much. I really regret purchasing one.

Jerome Quigley (not verified)    July 25, 2019 - 11:52PM

My wife and I bought a 21019 RAV4 Hybrid in June. We have put about 3K miles on it now. I love this car. It gets better than rated mpg (I get 44-46 in town and 42 driving 70mph on the interstate) It moves from electric to gas without any noise or shaking. It has plenty of pep. We traded in a 2017 AWD Sienna. We miss the greater room of the Sienna, but that is it. The RAV4 Hybrid is a remarkable car and fun to drive. I could not be happier.

Terry Williams (not verified)    September 18, 2019 - 6:09PM

I just purchased the xse hybrid and it is a good car but my wife has a 2019 subaru forester and believe me or not it totally beats the rav4 in every single catagory except gas mileage but still gets very good and cost about 5k less. From the xdrive system in the subaru down to the side door compartments, the subaru wins hands down. The subaru has apple car play and andriod auto unlike just apple car play with the subaru. I have all kinds of issues with Etune 3.0 regarding having to reconnect each time I get in the car but not with wires car. Xdrive will take you places the rav4 can only dream about. The sub has over all much more cargo space, The upgraded stereo in the sub is much better than the totally overrated 1600 jbl system in the rav. NO power seats on passenger on rav, side doors on sub open almost straight out to make getting in much easier. The sub has the best dual camera eyesight in the car industry and that includes luxery models.The Sub rear cargo goes up and down fairly quick and twice as fast as the rav. you can push one button down on rear hatch to lock all doors and you have to push two down on rav and only after it closes. Real leather seats in sub are far more comfortable, The icons in the sub are much bigger (like the street sign recognition, hard to even see in the rav. One button on sub to open the inner sun roof cover and the sun roof, two separate on rav. The sub has all led lights inside and out and the rav really went cheap here and put in standard bulbs that looks so yellow. There is so much more and I know as soon as I post this I will think of them. The rav seems to me made very solid and it is certainly nice looking but if a plethora of daily driving niceties and conveniences matter to you then you really owe it to your self to consider the sub. Just watch some side by side comparisons although most of the people that are doing the comparisons would not realize some of the rav short comings unless they drove both cars every day.

gus (not verified)    November 19, 2019 - 1:06PM

I bought my first Toyota RAV4 hybrid over two years ago.I went to see the Toyota because a friend of mine sells Them and not being a Toyota fan but a good friend, I decided to meet my obligation to him. When I got there, the dealer right next door was a subaru dealer, which was on my list to view and drive. I drove the Rav4 limited and it was nice when the salesman told me there was a hybrid version and that kind of tweaked my interest. The Rav4 had a very clean crisp interior with great seats which I found very comfortable. Anyway, he had me drive the hybrid and it was an experience that I just didn't expect. I am a mileage freak.
This thing was amazing. You would never know it was a hybrid. But the mileage was just impossible..I make a 99 trip each weekend, one way, and unless I do a lot of traveling when I am there I use about 5 gallons (or less) round trip. There ate times I get 48 MPG. I was sold. Now I have a 2017, the last model before the 2018 makeover. Last week I went to check out the 2019 and I was amazed at the difference the two years made. everything was better, it has a rear view mirror that is actually a camera, high def, and is shows the whole back view, both lanes, more powerful motors, very nice interior and great view. The difference in sitting in the drivers seat offers a very nice view as the hood is more square rather than rounded. I didn't really notice the difference as much until I pulled it up beside my car. It took me over a year to by my present car and amazingly I made up my mind to save a lot of time and just buy the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid. Try one out. It will change your attitude. One huge consideration is helping the environment. Its super efficient and that saves gas.