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RAV4 Hybrid Was NOT Toyota’s Best-Selling Hybrid First Quarter. You Will Not Believe the Winner

See what beat 2023 RAV4 Hybrid for the top spot.

With so many high-quality options in the Toyota hybrid lineup, I find it interesting when periodic sales figures are released. You never know what the absolute best sellers will be.

This is especially shockingly true with the latest hybrid sales figures for the first three months of 2023.

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The clear leader in Toyota hybrid sales here should be 2023 RAV4 Hybrid. Buyers find it reliable and dependable, with solid pickup, and fuel economy that averages 40mpg.

Nearly 20,000 buyers (19,633 to be exact) now have RAV4 Hybrids parked in their driveways in the first quarter of 2023. However, RAV4 hybrid did not end up leading the pack at all.

Call me shocked (but I have been surprised before).

2023 Highlander Hybrid
2023 Toyota Highlander Ruby Flare Pearl profile view

With a strong start to 2023, Highlander Hybrid finished just ahead of Toyota RAV4 Hybrid with 20,927 units sold. I would have expected Highlander Hybrid to finish around third, but that is why I do not bet a lot.

My wife recently purchased a 2023 Highlander Hybrid Platinum and absolutely loves it. She previously had a 2021 Highlander Limited, but she immediately wished she had bought the hybrid due to 36mpg.

I can see why so many people enjoy owning Highlander Hybrid. To me, this is potentially the perfect all-around midsize SUV. It is smooth and quiet and comfortable, along with being one of the most reliable and longest-kept vehicles around.

The Best of the Rest
2023 Toyota Hybrid first quarter sales

Finishing out the top six for sales were 2023 Corolla Hybrid (12,454), Sienna Hybrid (10,486), Venza (7,466), and Tundra (6,989).

Corolla Hybrid expanded its choices to Hybrid LE (Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive), Hybrid SE (FWD and AWD), Hybrid SE Infrared (FWD and AWD), and XLE (FWD only). This was a wise move by Toyota and allowed more buyer types to choose their perfect Corolla Hybrid.

Sienna has the advantage in the minivan market of combining the potential for all-wheel drive and hybrid together, which makes this one a much easier decision for many buyers. Plus, it gives drivers up to 36 miles per gallon. Easy choice.

I own a Venza Limited myself and love it. The highest compliment I can give is that I feel like I am driving a Lexus. Luxury look and feel, and some of the most comfortable seats I have ever been in. Getting around 40mpg is an added bonus.

Tundra i-FORCE MAX hybrid is so impressive in many ways, so I am not surprised to see it creep up the total sales list. Imagine a Toyota Tundra with 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. torque. Never thought I would see that.

Time for your 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Comments

Do you agree with these Toyota hybrid sales rankings? Any surprises at the top for you? One for me is that Camry Hybrid fell further down the list than I would have anticipated. Maybe it will make a big jump when the next generation Camry is available.

Does 2023 RAV4 Hybrid deserve to be Toyota hybrid champion? You decide.

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story.

Jeff Teague - I have been involved in the auto industry for nearly 20 years. My primary focus is with the Toyota brand, as I’ve been a successful salesperson and social media manager at a high-volume Toyota dealership this entire time. I enjoy learning and sharing the most up-to-date news and information. My other talent is creating informative and entertaining automotive videos. I’ve been building and growing my Toyota YouTube channel “Toyotajeff” for the last 8 years. I take pride in delivering informative automotive news, how-to information, and reviews. My background serves me well with my writing. I hope you enjoy the news I bring you. Follow me on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and send me news tips please.


Mike (not verified)    April 29, 2023 - 5:57PM

Not surprising. However there are major confounding factors here, namely supply chain issues. Locally, rav4 primes had 18mo waitlist, rav4 hybrids have 4-6mo wait. Many were likely not wanting to wait that long and chose an alternative. If faced with limited chips and battery supplies, it makes sense that Toyota likely prioritized producing the more expensive/profitable Highlander and more closely meeting that demand. In other words, these sales may not match driver raw preference but rather 2nd/3rd preference situation.

Kenneth Jung (not verified)    May 4, 2023 - 6:06PM

Rebadge a 2-row Highlander Hybrid as the next generation of Venza will be my first preference. A Corolla Touring with the more powerful hybrid and eAWD is my second preference.

shoreline (not verified)    May 6, 2023 - 7:16AM

Toyota has so shortchanged the North American market in order to meet European regulations that Europe got all the RAV4 hybrids. Europe's not interested in the Highlander because it's too big to park there. Basically the market is driven by Europe's stricter fuel economy regulations, so they get the newer and more innovative product and we get vehicles that are a) bigger or b) more obsolete. 100 percent of RAV4's in Europe are hybrid or PHEV, only 25 percent in the US and Canada. We at least get a decent allocation of Highlanders here, so people who would otherwise get a RAV4 might be talked into a Highlander.