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Owners Reveal Their “Real-World” Toyota RAV4 Hybrid MPG – Shocking

We hear from people who own RAV4 Hybrid about their real-world gas mileage.

I recently wrote a Torque News story about Toyota RAV4 Prime and mpg.

It was interesting for me comparing fuel efficiency estimates from RAV4 Prime window stickers versus what owners are actually reporting.

People left many comments about their RAV4 Hybrid mpg, so I thought I would dive a little deeper for you on this topic.

With gas prices climbing so high these days, it is more important than ever to achieve as much fuel efficiency as possible.

No need to spend any extra money on gas, right?

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid MPG

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid window sticker MPG

The vehicle window sticker for a 2021 RAV4 Hybrid shows its estimated miles per gallon. Owners can expect 41mpg in the city, 38mpg on the highway, and 40mpg combined.

However, it is important to note this is just an estimate of what you can expect under ideal or even average driving circumstances. Many factors play an important part in what you actually see with your vehicle.

I will list a lot of these factors later in my story, but for now, we can try to pick up clues from what current RAV4 Hybrid owners have to say.

People Discuss RAV4 Hybrid MPG

2021 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid Blueprint profile front end

I received many comments from my “ToyotaJeff Reviews” YouTube channel viewers and my Torque News / Toyota News column readers. It is fascinating learning about what type of miles per gallon they have been getting.

Bob wrote. “I have 2020 RAV4Hybrid. Get 40 mpg if take it easy, 36-37 if I don’t.”

“We bought our Rav 4 Hybrid in early Oct 2021. We have 2300 miles on the odometer and avg. 41.7 MPG. We love the vehicle. It has exceeded our expectations so far. Only thing I didn't like was The State of Ohio charging additional $125.00 for annual license fee due to hybrid. I am not certain the additional gas savings will recoup this additional tax.” Wondered a pleased Jim.

VIDEO YOU MAY ENJOY: I list reasons to choose a 2021 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid

Jonathan added. “We bought a 2019 used Rav4 hybrid Limited last year with just over 14k miles on it. During winter months we average around 40 and during warmer weather have achieved 50-55 on numerous day trips that were over 150 miles. Wife couldn't be happier.”

I believe the phrase “Happy Toyota RAV4 Wife…Happy Toyota RAV4 Life” applies here. In fact, I am sure of it. Wow I just coined a new phrase. Feel free to use it. No charge.

“I drive a 2020 Toyota rav4 hybrid xse. I'm getting about 41mpg…weekly.” Conveyed Adrian.

Tracy explained. “I have a 2021 rav4 hybrid. I drive usually about 80 miles a day in heavy northern Virginia traffic. I am averaging 44 to 45 mpg. Love it.”

“Got mine February 1 this year, exactly like this one. I'm averaging 41 mpg.” Said MassacMongo99.

Denny laid out his types of driving. “Mostly work commutes for me. I work about 15 miles from home. I am getting around 45mpg in my RAV4 Hybrid XLE but it’s a flat drive for me.”

What Factors Impact RAV4 Hybrid MPG?

And it is really interesting what Denny said here. He told of the kind of drive he does most of the time, along with the type of road he travels on.

Many factors can affect a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, which leads to such a wide range of real-world mpg for different people.

Driving style is the biggest one that I see. More aggressive (heavy accelerator pedal) driving equates to lowered mpg. People living in colder climates will often report lower gas mileage as well.

Other factors may be vehicle tire pressure, whether someone drives on flat vs hilly roads, other weather conditions, and how much weight you store in your vehicle while driving.

Time for Your Toyota RAV4 Comments

2021 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid Silver profile view

Do you own either a Toyota RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, or RAV4 Prime? Maybe another model you would like to comment on?

How similar is your actual driving miles per gallon compared to what your window sticker says?

What factors do you think have the biggest impact on what you are seeing for your vehicle fuel efficiency?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I discuss my reasons for thinking 2022 Tacoma Trail Edition is cooler than you may think.

- Meet the $96,000 RAV4
- 2022 Tundra shipments are arriving soon

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Jim (not verified)    December 10, 2021 - 11:22AM

I was averaging 40 to 41 miles per gallon in my RAV4 hybrid Limited with the OEM tires. I just install a set of Michelin CrossClimate 2 tires. I read others were getting poor mpg so I up the inflation 4 pounds over the recommended pressure to help. Even with the higher pressure I’m now averaging 34.5 miles to the gallon. EV and hybrids get a triple hit from high rolling resistance tires. Once while on gas, another from faster battery drain while on battery power and a third from a loss in regen for the battery. I suggest checking the rolling resistance of a tire before buying new tires.

phil pantaleo (not verified)    December 11, 2021 - 7:40AM

I have a 2021 RAV 4 Prime and it gets at least 40 mpg and since I charge it on a 240 volt charger I also get over 52 miles on the battery. My only concern with the car is the darn seats. They show signs of abrasion or dirt, and Toyota is no help. I have to buy seat covers for the front. Car is great. I had to import it from New Jersey as you cannot buy one here in Florida.

David Neuhaus (not verified)    April 15, 2023 - 12:26PM

In reply to by phil pantaleo (not verified)

I've been wondering about the mileage I've been getting on my 2020 RAV4 Hybrid. It was easily in the low 40's for the first couple years. Since I bought Michelin tires I've been in the middle 30's. Really disappointed.

Robin Heim (not verified)    December 11, 2021 - 8:37AM

I took ownership of my XLE July 28. I now have 3,800 miles on it. A lot of it is mountain driving. While gas mileage goes down when going uphill, it is fully recouped going down. So it's a wash. I'm averaging 45-46 mpg. Couldn't be happier.

Mark A (not verified)    September 10, 2022 - 11:50AM

In reply to by Robin Heim (not verified)

I have standard RAV4 XLE hybrid. The problem with mountains is that the battery recharges in the first mile downhill, from there you're braking for the next 5 miles.

Gerald Moore (not verified)    December 11, 2021 - 11:27AM

Early this year I bought the heavier Highlander rated 35/35. My driving is all <55mph or much slower with no city mileage. I live in the hilly part of WV. I baby the throttle, so few will get what I'm seeing. This summer I was getting 39/40 even 41 on one tank of gas. Now, in colder weather I'm getting 37/38 mpg.

Luke Overbeek (not verified)    December 13, 2021 - 12:54PM

I bought a 2021 RAV4 Hybrid XSE in mid November this year and it has about 1700 miles now. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I have not been able to average even close to 40mpg. Given it currently has Blizzak tires on for winter at the moment, but my tank averages have been between 32-33 with VERY conservative driving <60mph. Even before the winter tires went on I didn’t get much above 35.

Guido (not verified)    January 20, 2024 - 9:33AM

In reply to by Luke Overbeek (not verified)

I'm with you Jack. I own a 2022 limited all-wheel drive with all the bells and whistles. Admittedly I have a heavy foot, live in a hilly, very cold area and use all the stuff--but I usually average around 30 miles per gallon winter and 35 summer. In extreme cold, I've gotten as little as 23 miles per gallon. Better than my old Ram truck but not as much as I expected. Gas mileage is actually slightly worse with my wife's Honda's CR-V all-wheel drive Sport Touring-- but there's several important things I like about the CR-V over the RAV4-- especially comfort. Not a fan of the Rav-4's sof-tec synthetic leather (think fake and really just glorified vinyl. Rhe CR-V has REAL leather) the ventilated seats in the Rav hardly blow it all, the fancy electronic rear view mirror's camera is hard to keep clean and the panoramic moon roof really only benefits the back seat passengers--none of which the CR-V has. The Rav-4 does have heated rear seats which the CR-V does not have. I'm also only 5'8" but am constantly bang my head getting into the RAV4 with the driver's seat raised all the way up which is where I like it for the view. Not so on the CR-V which had good head room. The CR-V also has doors that open at almost to 90° angle and just feels more spacious overall. Cargo area is similar .The RAV4 feels a little confined and I'm not a big guy.

Jack Silas (not verified)    December 19, 2021 - 5:31PM

We bought 2021 RAV4 limited hybrid in February here in Las Vegas area. We are retired and averaging 42.2 mpg with city driving. Love vehicle, but wife was disappointed because it didn't have power passenger seats! We will be testing it on highway in near future.

Stephen klares (not verified)    February 22, 2022 - 11:26PM

In reply to by Jack Silas (not verified)

I have a 2021 Rav4 hybrid XLE AWD I too live in vegas and am only getting 39mpg with using EV mode at stops lights and cruise control. I mostly drive on the freeway. Does anyone know how in gas mileage the sticker give more mileage to in city then freeway, wouldn't this be opposite

Rich (not verified)    July 26, 2022 - 12:37PM

In reply to by JayK (not verified)

True. And it's the case with a majority of hybrids. I think it's also important to note that while brake regen is quite efficient, it could never recoup 100% of the force lost in braking, so brake regen itself doesn't completely explain why EPA city MPGs are higher than highway MPGs. Another significant factor is wind resistance. Wind resistance has a big impact on MPG, and the difference in MPG at 70-80mph compared to 45-55 is quite significant.

Ben (not verified)    April 10, 2022 - 4:10PM

In reply to by Stephen klares (not verified)

I have a 2019 RAV4 ltd. 35-36mpg city and 39-40mpg freeway. Toyota claims that regenerative braking gives you better city mileage but that doesn’t make sense because it breaks the laws of physics. frequent city braking is always less efficient than infrequent highway braking. I CAN believe that the engine duty cycle is lower in the city so you get better city mileage.

Rob (not verified)    November 2, 2023 - 10:51PM

In reply to by Stephen klares (not verified)

yes with a hybrid you use more battery power and less gas at lower speeds ( UDER 40MPH) and the opposite is true at higher speeds Above 40mph the higher the mph the more you use the gas engine

Kevin B Sheneman (not verified)    December 21, 2021 - 8:30AM

I really don't believe the 40 mpg claims. Every Rav4 owner, I have spoken to, gets the same as me at 32 - 36 mpg.

Tim (not verified)    January 5, 2022 - 10:28AM

2.5 years into a 2019 Rav4 XSE Hybrid and I'm at 37.7 mpg with a healthy mix of highway/local, hills, flat, mountains, etc. Living in Maine we get to take it through all of the rigors. It's a great vehicle, but I'm skeptical of the 40 mpg claims outside of ideal yearround conditions. 37.7 is still a great number!

Dan Warner (not verified)    January 22, 2022 - 9:19AM

I got a new 2021 Rav4 Hybrid LE in summer 2021. It was getting about 38 MPG on a couple of trips long distance trips that we took over the summer. However lately things have gone terribly wrong. For the last five weeks (from December 17 to January 20) it's been getting under 27 MPG. During that time I've driven about 400 miles in the city.

No, this is not cause I was driving up a 400 mile hill. This is general city driving in and around Pittsburgh. Five weeks and 400 miles is enough to get an accurate measurement. And the mileage sucks.

Reid (not verified)    March 20, 2023 - 3:33PM

In reply to by Dan Warner (not verified)

Interesting to hear you state what you did. I bought a 2022 RAV4 Hybrid last summer and have had the same experience. Great mileage last summer but getting lower and lower through the winter. I was close to 39 up until the fall and my cumulative average is 35.4. I would guess I'm getting less than 30 the last couple of months.

I also live in Pittsburgh with hills and cold weather. Did you see your MPG go back up in the summer?

Dave Yust (not verified)    February 8, 2022 - 4:46PM

In Feb 2021 our new RAV4 XLE hybrid was getting a hi of nearly 52 overall MPG. Most of the rest of the time, for the next 8 months the overall MPG was around 45. After an early oil change at 2500 miles and another at 5000 - the overall MPG's dropped off to a recent check that was 29.47 overall MPG. No warning lights have ever come on. What the heck is going on? Do you have any ideas? Might it be an ox sensor. Or might it be a problem with the gas engine runniing more that it should. I CAN say - it does seem to be a bit louder as I am driving it than what I recall it being when it was first new . . . What should be my next step in resolving this awful MPG? The service manager at the Toyota dealership was questioning my ability to calculate the mileage . . .

Peg Saari (not verified)    February 21, 2022 - 9:46PM

I own 2020 hybrid XLE. The last 4 months I can’t get more than 9 gallons at a fill up when it shows I have 45 miles left to empty! Used to have a range over 500 miles, now it’s barely 400! I see Toyota settled a class action suit in Texas. They say my vin # says I have no problem…what?!!! It’s a pain as I’m at the pumps a lot. They recalculated my gas gauge. Not fixed…I’m disgusted!!

Chris (not verified)    February 27, 2022 - 11:25PM

In reply to by Peg Saari (not verified)

Yes, there was a recall that affected many RAV4 hybrids due to the way the tank and filler pipe was mounted. I suspect even if your VIN# wasn't in the recall range, the "fix" (and your 'unaffected vehicle' ) may not be 100% working as expected. I've found (on my 2020 RAV4 [bought in Oct 2019]) that I have to fill until the the pump does the auto-shutoff thing, then *wait ~10 seconds* (not 4 seconds....not 7.... give it a good 10), then *slowly* begin filling again -- but not so slow that you allow it to overflow. Fill the last couple gallons at ~ 0.1 gallons every two seconds (twenty seconds/gallon) .

Rebecca L Abbott (not verified)    February 28, 2022 - 9:08PM

I have a brand-new 2022 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid LTD and have been struggling to get better than 35 mpg, even though I accelerate slowly, drive very conservatively and always in ECO mode, and removed the roof-rack to cut down wind resistance. The dealer said using the heater can cut mileage (I guess running on battery doesn't generate heat like the engine does, and it does kick on if I put on the heater) so I've been driving without it. I live in CT, driving both around town and highway more the former than the latter. It's pretty frustrating as I bought the car largely for the mileage and all-wheel-drive.

magda (not verified)    March 1, 2022 - 5:53PM

I live in the Laurel Highlands in PA. Up and down all day. Use eco and EVO. 33 MPG. Have about 360 miles on car. Kinda bummed.

Kps (not verified)    March 2, 2022 - 6:23PM

I bought 2022 new Rav 4 hybrid and believe or not I am getting 47 to 49 per gallon.its Amazing love it.

James Hutto (not verified)    March 14, 2022 - 11:08PM

I've tried for two months to buy an Rav4 LE HYBRID 2022 SKY SILVER. I TRIED CHATTANOOGA, DALTON GA, KNOXVILLE, TN, AND MACON GA. They all said I can't get one

Richard (not verified)    March 15, 2022 - 5:05PM

Picked up a new 2021 Rav 4 Hybrid XLE 12/12021. Started out at 40 mpg and I’m in the mountains currently and getting 30 mpg. Live in the flat lands of Illinois and was getting about 32 mpg. Thinking that the batteries are not preforming the way they should. Not an aggressive driver.
Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Ben (not verified)    April 10, 2022 - 4:26PM

In reply to by Richard (not verified)

I get about 35 mpg and drive it so the needle stays in eco zone as much as possible. I can get 40 if going downhill or right after topping off the tank because, I suspect, there is extra gas in the fill nozzle that gets consumed before the float in the tank moves and registers has getting used.
I don’t believe any mileage numbers over 40mpg.