Skip to main content

The Good and the Bad with 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid MPG Told by New Owners

I recently asked new owners of the red-hot 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid about the mpg they are getting. You will not believe some of their responses. It is crazy.

If you have been searching for a 2019 Toyota RAV4 any time in the past few months, you may have discovered an interesting little fact about them. They are very challenging to locate.

Sure, you may find a few on any individual Toyota dealership’s lot. However, when you start narrowing your choice to a specific trim level (LE, XLE, XSE vs Limited), and then by option packages and color, it becomes much more difficult. At least without having an expected delivery wait time of a few weeks to several months.

Part of this national RAV4 Hybrid buying craze can be attributed to an EPA-rated 40 mpg combined. Drivers doing city driving can expect 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway at higher cruising speeds.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid window sticker mpg

This past weekend I wrote a Torque News story showing four new Hybrid owner accounts of their fuel efficiency. I did not expect the gigantic outpouring of comments from all over the country and the entire world about gas mileage from owners. This blew my mind and I love it.

New Owners are seeing great mpg with 2019 RAV4 Hybrid

While sifting through the comments from my Torque News readers, I found I could group them into those who are thrilled with their gas mileage, those who are seeing lower mpg than they expected, and a different group we will call “the others” for now.

Here is the feedback from 2019 RAV4 Hybrid owners reporting on-location from coast to coast. It is fascinating.

Reader Splaino wrote, “I have a 2019 Rav4 Hybrid Limited and absolutely live it. Been averaging a solid 42.0 mpg! A mix of driving conditions, rural and highway but here in PA no roads are flat.”

Added Lori, “We just bought a new 2019 hybrid RAV4 XLE and we are getting with less than 500 miles under our belt 41 + 42 plus miles to the gallon on average! I wasn't believing it until I read this article but I guess everyone is. That's awesome! We love it!”

“Get 48 mpg. My recommendation is to use the adaptive cruise control (dynamic radar cruise control).” Suggested Srikanth.

2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid interior

Son Do reported back excellent results so far. “My 2019 RAV4 Hybrid LE 4 months 2600 miles overall averaged 50.5 mpg. On one 800 miles trip average highway speed 75-80 mph non-stop it got 44.5 mpg. Toyota is very conservative. I am Prius owner 10 years now RAV4 and continued impressed by Toyota Hybrids.”

Check out the fuel efficiency Arun is seeing. “I am getting between 43 and 48 mpg on my 3 months old Rav4 hybrid XLE.”

“Over the first 5,000 miles averaging 42.5 mpg (combination highway and rural roads).” Commented reader Jay.

Ron found his gas mileage improved over time. “I have had my RAV4 hybrid limited since early August. MPG has been around 40. Yesterday it went up to almost 45 mpg driving the same route.”

Let’s see how Scott and his wife are doing. “My wife has put 10,000 miles on hers in 4 months and she’s seeing between 40-43 MPG average. She went from a 4Runner Limited and we noticed the savings after her first month of driving. We are totally happy with this vehicle so far.”

Some 2019 RAV4 Hybrid owners have seen lower mpg

Just as with nearly everything in life, there are two sides to every story. While I saw an overwhelmingly positive response from new RAV4 Hybrid owners, there were some who are not enjoying the great gas mileage rewards so far.

“I’m averaging 34 to 35 miles per gallon which is disappointing compared to what everyone else is getting.” Lamented Cindy.

“We bought a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid Limited. Our mileage averages 38.6-39 mpg.” Commented Michelle.

Watch as I tell 3 reasons why 2019 RAV4 Hybrid sales are skyrocketing in my video review

RAV4 Hybrid is not the only Toyota model seeing great mpg

This is perhaps the most fun part of my story. As we all know, RAV4 Hybrid is not the only kid on the block. Toyota owners reported back on the fuel efficiency they are getting with other popular Toyota models.

David loves his Camry so far. “I have the 2018 Camry Hybrid, and it's a completely new hybrid system and car versus years past. My 49 mpg is either on the open road or in town. It's quite quick too, with plenty of passing power. Hybrids have incredible range and are so friendly to live with.”

“I'm getting 40 mpg in the city with my gas Rav4.” Nikkoli shocked me with his answer about the gasoline RAV4 Hybrid. This makes the debate between gasoline and Hybrid RAV4 even more interesting.

Pbear chimed in. “I can get well into the 40's for mpg in my gas Rav4 for highway. In fact, on trips over 10 miles, I average 44 mpg.”

I sure wish we had the C-HR Hybrid in America. Leon supports my statement with his mpg over the last year. “I have had a C-HR Hybrid for over a year and averaged 60 mpg over 12,000 miles.”

And the comment of the day goes to Tim

“I’m getting 62mpg consistently with my Corolla LE Hybrid, so I am not surprised at the Rav4 Hybrid mileage being so good. Why buy anything else?”

I am happy to have such a great and overwhelming response from everyone about their gas mileage. Tell me about what you own and what your mpg is. How many miles on your current vehicle?

Also, how has your search gone for a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid? Did you have an easy time getting it, or was your wait time longer? Are you still waiting for yours?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story.

2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid interior front seats

Bookmark Jeff Teague's Toyota News and Reviews at Torque News Toyota. Please subscribe to Jeff’s “Toyotajeff” YouTube channel for Toyota news, reviews and how-to videos. Follow Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter him @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories.

You may also enjoy watching a review showing what makes Toyota Sienna such a perfect family road trip vehicle. Click to subscribe to Torque News channel for the latest Toyota news and automotive analysis.


Robert Caroti (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 9:42AM

Didn't want to wait until July for 2019 RAV4 XSE hybrid so picked up my XLE on May 14th. Love it! 41 MPG through 5000 miles so far. Plenty of power, 575 mile range with a fill up. My only complaint would be the interface with my Google Pixel phone ... It's not very good ... I may switch to an iPhone next upgrade. Toyota gets a solid 'A' rating so far.

Tom (not verified)    December 15, 2019 - 5:15PM

In reply to by Robert Caroti (not verified)

seems like you're very happy with mpg, 575 miles is really amazing. where do you live, do you go through the cold winter when temp drop down to 20s, what's the mpg in Dec now, my mpg is 375 miles with full tank in Chicago. If you're in southern state, 575 is a fantastic numbers, however, if you're in northern or midwest, that number won't happen in Dec. Also, there is winter gas blend in WI and IL, not sure about your state, with winter gas blend, you may drop even more, if you do live in Midwest, please share your Dec mpg and I'm interest to know. I just bought my xse 10 days ago in Dec, and mpg is a little 30 mpg. Tom

Jim Stewart (not verified)    January 1, 2020 - 12:34PM

In reply to by Tom (not verified)

The mileage in my 2918 RAV4 Hybrid Limited averages 34-35 in the warmer months, but drops down to 25-26 in the colder winter months in Minnesota. My driving is mostly shorter trips because I'm retired, so I don't see the advantage of sustained highway miles like I would if I was commuting on a daily basis. I assume it's the winter gas affecting my mileage the most. I heard they modify the gas to make it easier to start vehicles in the extreme cold up here.

Chrstopher (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 11:47AM

We ordered our 2019 Rav4 Hybrid Limited on June 22nd and it has been held up in Houston at the port by Toyota for the past 4 weeks due to 'quality control'. We are into our 13th week since ordering with no word from Toyota why it is still being held up. When we get our vehicle I hope to see fuel mileage similar to the other commenters.

Mark Avison (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 1:50PM

I drive a 2. 0 PETROL jaguar xe and get 48mpg so what's so good about a HYBRID doing 48mpg - Toyota should be ashamed and so should people sucked Into buying them.

Uhhhh... (not verified)    September 20, 2019 - 12:16PM

In reply to by Mark Avison (not verified)

There's a big weight difference between a small 2.0L passenger car (your Jag) and a midsize SUV (RAV4). Take a look at the hybrid Toyota passenger cars and you'll see they get well into the 50-60 MPG range. Also, buying a hybrid isn't all about fuel economy... You're producing a fraction of the emissions of a gasoline-only vehicle with a hybrid.

Alex (not verified)    September 20, 2019 - 11:37AM

I guess I belong in the "other" category. I bought a RAV4 Hybrid last April, and I'm sorry I did. The car is, IMO, not quite ready for prime time. I would recommend readers wait for the 2020 models.

There are two significant problems. The first is that it's difficult or impossible to fill the gas tank at the pump; automatic pumps keep shutting off. You can make a concerted effort to top off the tank, but this is bad practice both for the car and the environment, and is illegal in many places. Because of the difficulty filling the tank, it's hard to calculate the MPG; you have to measure it over many fills, and take an average. This issue affects many owners, and is well discussed online on RAV4 forums.

The second issue is that if you forget to turn off the engine system, or don't push the start/stop button hard enough, the engine can remain enabled, and you won't know it. The car has a so-called smart key, which doesn't need to be in a keyslot for the engine to keep running. This mistake is an easy one to make, as the car is a hybrid and typically completely silent when you park it. The gasoline engine only comes on after the hybrid battery is discharged.

If you do this in an enclosed home garage, the car can produce lethal amounts of carbon monoxide; this has been well described for Toyotas in newspaper articles. If you do this at a airport where you leave the car for a few weeks, I believe you can discharge the hybrid battery, which would likely require having the car towed to a Toyota dealer. Discharging the hybrid battery is much more of a problem than discharging the 12V battery in a conventional car; you cannot simply have the car jump started; it needs to be towed to a Toyota dealer.

This problem was fixed in American hybrids and other cars with smart keys years ago; Toyota has announced they are correcting it in 2020 models. Which doesn't do 2019 owners any good.

These comments are, of course, just one person's opinion. As they say, your mileage may vary.

Steve (not verified)    September 22, 2019 - 3:43AM

In reply to by Alex (not verified)

Actually the petrol engine of the RAV4 hybrid can be jump started. There is a box under the bonnet ( hood for the Americans) where there is two terminals to connect the jumper cables to. It’s all in the owners book.....albeit 700 plus pages

Alex (not verified)    September 24, 2019 - 10:17AM

In reply to by Steve (not verified)


There are two batteries in the RAV4 Hybrid, both of which must be charged to start the car. One is a small 12V battery, which I think is located in the trunk (boot); this battery can be jumped via the terminals you describe. The issue I was referring to is discharge of the large "traction" battery, which is a crucial part of the hybrid system. This battery cannot be jump started on the road; if it discharges, the car needs to be towed to a Toyota dealer.

Now I'm at the limits of my knowledge about the RAV4, I don't know the circumstances under which the traction battery can become fully discharged. I believe it can happen if you inadvertently leave the hybrid system engaged for a long period of time, for example when the car is parked for a few weeks. But I'm not sure.

The point of my note is that due to the design of the "smart key" system it is easy to accidentally leave the system engaged. toyota is fixing this in the 2020 model, but it is definitely an issue with the 2019 and earlier vehicles.

jesse (not verified)    September 23, 2019 - 6:42PM

In reply to by Alex (not verified)

Im waiting on arrival of my xse and praying it doesn't have the gas fuel tank issue. I've read many posts about it so it clearly is affecting more than just a few people. Some people have said they don't have the problem too. Ive heard the brake pedal is weird too but overall people seem to love the car. I also don't know if I will be getting an 2019 or 2020 since its in early October...
No deal at the dealership though because of the demand which sucked. Toyota def should have guessed the hybrid would sell more this year.

Jake (not verified)    September 20, 2019 - 12:11PM

Reserved a RAV4 Hybrid Limited with the technology and weather packages on August 9. It arrived in the US on September 15 and the dealer said it should be ready for delivery in the next few days... so I've been waiting a little over a month and a half. Thankfully I have another vehicle I can drive in the meantime so I was able to wait for the exact color and configuration I wanted. I've been reading about people loving the new RAV4 and getting great gas mileage... I'm super excited!

David Tindall (not verified)    September 25, 2019 - 12:12PM

I say hold off on buying this vehicle. The gas tank issue is happening on a lot of the RAV4 hybrids. Toyota does not have a fix. Sometimes my tank is hard to fill, the gas gauge does not work correctly and the miles to empty is way off. I hope they fix it soon, but Toyota and my dealer have no answers and no idea when they will have a fix A new gas tank is not the answer - design flaw. Wish I had waited for 2020 or later. Buyer beware!

Cyndi (not verified)    November 9, 2019 - 4:16AM

I cannot begin to express how disappointed I am in my RAV4 MPG. The 40 MPG was a significant consideration in my decision to try a Toyota. If car manufacturers are going to decide what to make based on what consumers purchase then I want to send the message that fuel efficiency is important. I spent the extra $2,000 on a hybrid and it is getting an average of 31 MPG in the first 775 miles. That is not even as much as my husband's 3 year old Honda CRV gets (34 MPG average).

I am not quick out of the starts, I frequently take my foot off the accelerator, I have driven all but the first 75 miles on Eco mode, the weather has been mild.

I really like my Rav4 otherwise, but feel completely ripped off by Toyota on this one. My MPG is not even close to what I should be getting on a non-hybrid.

garry (not verified)    January 10, 2023 - 3:46PM

In reply to by Cyndi (not verified)

I share with you the same disappointment My RAV4 Hybrid 2019 started MPG 39, Now, in 2023 the MPG shows 34.
When I raised this point in the dealership they keep saying: different gasoline, cold season and other BS.
All this at exactly the same road condition, same driver and routs.
Very upset.

Alex (not verified)    November 10, 2019 - 2:00PM

Cyndi - First off, I agree with you. I've bought a number of cars in my life, my 2019 RAV4 hybrid is the first I regret purchasing.

But I do get close to 40 MPG, though because of the gas tank issue it's sometimes hard to tell how many MPG you're really getting. Sometimes you can't come close to filling the gas tank, other times you do better. This makes it hard to figure the MPG. You have to measure over multiple fills, and take an average, and you can't trust the car's own indication of MPG.

Cyndi (not verified)    November 23, 2019 - 4:25AM

In reply to by Alex (not verified)

By calculations of miles driven and gallons filled at 1008 miles I have gotten an average of 32.16 MPG. Not too shabby if it were a standard engine, but pretty poor for a hybrid boasting real results of over 40 MPG. the 2019 NON hybrid suggests 26/35/30 MPG while the 2019 hybrid suggests 38/40/41 MPG. My new hybrid is not even achieving the non-hybrid estimates.

I took my new Rav4 to my local dealer to see if there was a problem. They didn't look at it but instead assured me that after another 1,000-2,000 miles I would be seeing 40 MPG. I get the impression that they are kicking the problem down the road as that is a significant gain in MPG as a result of a "break-in" period. That would be a 25% increase in fuel efficiency simply due to breaking the engine in.

Is Toyota's quality control that poor that one car coming off the line will get over 40 MPG and the next car of the exact same model will get 25% less fuel efficiency? Perhaps mine was made in another location, but then again, that much variation between manufacturing plants?

The sales person assured me that he would see this through. I am skeptical.

tom (not verified)    December 15, 2019 - 5:08PM

In reply to by Cyndi (not verified)

people who post 40mpg above are most in southern states, warm all year long. 40 mpg won't happen in winter in midwest, now it's middle dec. temp in Chicago is about 30 degree, my mpg is very close to yours, about 32mpg, last Friday was nice weather, 50 degree, then mpg jump to 36 to 37. temp will affect battery pack, also, winter gas blend will drag mpg down a lot, with full fill 14 gallon, we're supposed to drive 550 miles, but my last tank is only last 375 miles, even less than 400, it's disappoint in winter in Midwest with winter gas blend. If you pay attention on those people who left comments about 40 mpg, that's all in sep, you can ask them now, I don't think anyone can get close to 35 if in cold winter states.

Cyndi (not verified)    June 14, 2020 - 2:21AM

In reply to by Cyndi (not verified)

Continued to get gas mileage as mentioned in my first comment through the winter. I brought it in for her first check up near the end of March, at 3,800 miles. Still cold outside, as it has been until just a couple weeks ago.

Literally, on the way home from the dealer the MPG began going up. And up. And up. I am now averaging ~38 MPG. Still no 40 but within an acceptable range.

It wasn't the weather. I am getting a little better MPG now that it is warmer but we were hanging in the same temperature range for April and most of May that we were for October and most of November.
and immediate difference after taking it in though.

I still wish I got better MPG, and reading other comments about how people in northern climates are getting 42 MPG makes me think I should realistically expect that.

Pam (not verified)    December 17, 2019 - 2:48PM

I'm glad I ran across this, since I have been extremely disappointed as well and until now, hadn't found other reports with low MPG vs what it's supposed to be. Bought my 2020 RAV4 Hybrid black Fri and after 3 tank fills, getting 28-30 mpg (I'm tracking actual mileage between fills vs actual gallons filled at pump - so true, has to be over several fills, but per tank, not just averaged). And I'm babying it to try to see if I can get better results. Sure, it's winter driving in southern MN and WI, but didn't expect quite this much of a drop from posted ratings. I had 26.8 mpg overall average with my Nissan Rogue including winter driving, so hard to see the small improvement. Hopefully it is just a matter of being patient for warmer weather - though still won't be the overall I was expecting paying extra for the Hybrid - MUCH longer payback time making it appear that it is NOT the economical choice even assuming better mpg in summer.

Bob Caroti (not verified)    December 18, 2019 - 6:21PM

Well, that doesn’t sound good... we picked up our 2019 rav4 hybrid in May and averaged 42 mpg in Connecticut until late October. Since then it’s been under 36 mph I assume because of the falling temperatures. We shall see. My only major issue with this car has been I can’t seem to fill up the 14 gallon tank. I’ve run it down to fumes but have never been able to put more than ten gallons in. Fill up estimates from the car range from 475 to 575 miles per tank. Good luck with yours!

Paul Picciano (not verified)    December 23, 2019 - 9:43PM

I bought my 2019 rav4 hybrid limited in June . The car averaged 38 mpg until October. For November and December the car has dropped to 27MPG. I live in central NY. I also can not put in more than 10 gallons. The car has 8500 miles. I am sorry I purchased this car. I would never expect this from Toyota. Never again!

Tom (not verified)    December 27, 2019 - 7:54AM

In reply to by Paul Picciano (not verified)

mpg will drop in cold weather on every car, hybrid and electric car will drop 30% due to weather and temp. Battery pack won't output max like in summer, also, car ecu unit will limit battery output in order to protect battery when it's cold. There is a orange cable from generator to the hybrid battery to warm up battery when car is running, but the heat is not enough. Toyota has to balance how warm they want battery to be, a little heat will not work, but too much heat will lead to overheat. If you really want to get summer mpg in winter driving, you have to remove back seat and floor, wrap or cover battery pack with heated blanket, there is aftermarket available, then wire blanket switch to the car, if you can do that, then you get max juice from battery in winter. Also winter gas blend affect mpg as well, but not as much as cold. You'll see mpg back up when temp back to 60 and above. I was on ford c max and prius before, rav4 is the same system as prius, just bigger and more hp output. On the gas tank problem, it's common, toyota is looking into it, it's a bad design on the tank and vaping system. Here is a trick, when you hear the 1st click and see gas pump stops, don't keep on pushing, If you pump more gas in and hear more click sound, it will cause damage to fuel and vaping lines in the long run. what you can do is, after pump stop 1st time, take pump out a little, to the edge of filling port, then continue to fill in, make sure no click sound. You can still fill up 4 gallon after 1st pump click. Shoot me a message next spring when warming up, see you can reach 38mpg again, it should be, then maybe by then, toyota will issue a tsb or recall to fix gas tank issue.

Lyn (not verified)    September 13, 2020 - 11:36AM

In reply to by Paul Picciano (not verified)

we purchased our 2020 Rav hybrid in May. Its now September and we have 8800 miles on it. We average over 46 mpg. I traded in my 2014 which averaged 25 mpg. Very happy with this vehicle.

Stephen Woodward (not verified)    December 26, 2019 - 5:17PM

I bought my RAV4 Hybrid in June. When I first purchased the car, it stated 475 miles was the range for my fuel. 6 months into owning the vehicle, it has dropped to 325 after each fill-up. I'm just not seeing any fuel savings either. I got much better gas mileage from my "regular" 2011 RAV4. Not sure what's up. I wish I hadn't traded in my car older car.

tom (not verified)    December 27, 2019 - 8:04AM

In reply to by Stephen Woodward (not verified)

the problem is on gas tank and cold winter driving. cold cause the weak of battery, you'll see 30% drop on mpg in winter on hybrid cars, it's normal. People like 40 mpg all year long, but the fact is 40mpg only before winter. 325 is a little low, because gas tank is not full, you only filled up 10 gallons vs 14 gallons full. I told other guys, when you hear pump click 1st time, don't push more gas in, if you push more, you'll hear more click sound, that's really bad to the car. Take pump out a little to the edge of filling port, then fill in more, you can still fill 4 gallons more from 1st click, make sure no click sound anymore, and watch pump meter closely, don't overfill too much, 3 to 4 gallons are ok, 5 gallon is too much. then you'll get 450 miles on a full tank in winter, then 550 in summer. give it try, then let me know.

Dave (not verified)    January 11, 2020 - 9:45AM

At least I'm not alone... Bought 2019 RAV4 XLE Hybrid Mid August. Initially Gas mileage was great, higher than sticker numbers (over 40MPG highway) until around Oct/Nov. Latest check of actual gas pumped against miles driven returned 34MPG on Chicago to Houston round trip completed yesterday. Seemed to me that gas mileage dropped each time I took it to Toyota for 'free' service. I was thinking maybe they re-program the car when it 'disappears' into service workshop. Probably coincidental 5k service was end Sept and 10k mid Nov, just turned 15k yesterday so not been to next 'free' service yet.
I have same gas filling problem and have been doing exactly as described above and can slowly fill extra 4 gallons after first pump shut off.
Gas mileage drop concerns me more, it was main reason I got this vehicle for frequent trips between Chicago and Houston, so not totally happy with it right now, will see if it improves any in warmer weather, if it doesn't I'll be feeling totally ripped off. On the bright side, still getting way better mileage than my 08 Expedition EL

Art Wade (not verified)    January 13, 2020 - 8:11PM

Purchased 2019 Toyota LE RAV 4 Hybrid in September. I like then Car , but I've had a problem filling the gas tank. I have about 4000 miles on the vehicle I have been able to fill only about 8 gallons of gas before shut off. What I now do is fill up to about 8 gallons and then pull the hose nozzle back and pump at slowest volume possible. I put in 10.5 gallons to fill the tank.Toyota dealer says Toyota is aware of the problem and I will be contacted when correction is available.