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Surprise New Toyota that Could Overtake RAV4 Hybrid in Sales Quickly

2023 RAV4 Hybrid outsells all other hybrids. But what could pass it in sales soon?

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There is no disputing that Toyota RAV4 is the top selling SUV in the country. A big reason for this is the huge popularity of its RAV4 Hybrid.

This successful small hybrid SUV is known for long-term dependability, 40 miles per gallon combined, 219 horsepower, and a smooth and comfortable ride.

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition Cavalry Blue

And there are multiple powertrains to choose from. You could buy a gasoline-only RAV4, the RAV4 Hybrid, or the RAV4 Prime.

RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, meaning you can travel on gasoline alone or with electric power. Drivers can go around 42 miles on one electric charge (perfect for commuting) and have 302 horsepower to work with.

With those outstanding qualities and choices, it is clear to see why 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid was the top Toyota hybrid seller for the first half of 2023 (guess what was second).

2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Lunar Rock

But will it stay on top? There is a new challenger to the throne, and I think it deserves some consideration for top Toyota Hybrid.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Coastal Cream

Grand Highlander is the longer (by six and a half inches) and more spacious version of the traditional Highlander.

Three different powertrain options include gasoline-only, Grand Highlander Hybrid, and the Grand Highlander Hybrid MAX. The MAX combines a 2.4-liter turbo four-cylinder with electric motor power to deliver 362 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. torque.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Limited Captain's Chairs

Even tall adults with long legs can fit comfortably in all three rows (yes, even the third row). Cargo space is larger than Highlander, with 20.6 cubic feet behind the third row and 97.5 cubic feet behind the first row (the roomy Sienna has 101 cubic feet, for comparison).

And it comes loaded with cool gadgets, technology, and features.

2023 RAV4 Hybrid is Tops

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE in Wind Chill Pearl

So, for now, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is clearly the best-selling Toyota hybrid. This is seen with the latest sales report from Toyota Motor North America.

And it should stay that way.

I wonder, though, if Toyota Grand Highlander might have a chance to overtake RAV4 Hybrid in sales – even if just for one month – sooner than later.

Toyota seems to be putting an emphasis on manufacturing a higher volume of Grand Highlanders than I expected. They seem to be available in many parts of the country, which is odd, considering we are still in a worldwide vehicle shortage.

The 2023 RAV4 and 2023 RAV4 Hybrid are still challenging to find at dealerships unless they are pre-sold to customers.

So, maybe based on a higher Grand Highlander volume and consumer excitement over a new full-family-sized SUV possibility, is this the end of RAV4 Hybrid supremacy?

Probably not, but I guess time will tell.

Time for Your Toyota RAV4 Comments

What would you choose between a RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, RAV4 Prime, or Grand Highlander?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story.


Jeff Teague - I have been involved in the auto industry for just about 20 years. 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 Reviews” for the last 8 years. I take pride in delivering informative automotive news, how-to information, and reviews.

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Mark Frank (not verified)    August 13, 2023 - 6:46PM

I currently drive a 2021 Highlander Hybrid Platinum AWD. 22,000 miles and no complaints whatsoever.
I did look at the Rav4 Hybrid which is too small for my needs. Got a chance to see the Grand Highlander. It is quite nice, however the Grand Highlander is too big for needs. The Highlander to me, is the perfect size vehicle.
Plus, I get 33 to 37 miles per gallon and up to 500 miles per tank.

Denis (not verified)    August 15, 2023 - 1:57AM

In reply to by Mark Frank (not verified)

I have a rav4 hybrid and I love it. If you know how to drive it you can get more than 44 mpg. I was averaging 48 with the highest 51mpg. The cool thing is that it calculates the mileage from the full tank based on driving history efficiency. So for s full tank I was getting 625 mpg. You can trick the it to shift to EV mode above 25mph using cruise control if the battery charge is half to 3/4 full. It will shift at 30-35moh. Then I ride it out until it switched to gas. This way you can maximize efficiency. Toyota does not allow this so I find that driving using cruise’ saves lots of gas.

Ian Steward (not verified)    August 15, 2023 - 10:36AM

In reply to by Denis (not verified)

I also have a Rav 4 Hybrid.
I am very lucky to get 34 mpg.
Before that I had the Auris Hybrid & got 70 mpg, so I am not heavy footed
I am very disappointed with my rav 4 even the mechanics at Toyota said that isn't right, still nothing has changed.
I am thinking of changing for something else not Toyota

MC (not verified)    August 14, 2023 - 9:15AM

I have 2022 Rav4 Hybrid. I love the vehicle. It is quite comfortable and I am 6'2.

The advertised mileage is off though. I live in rural Va., so I do not drive in traffic that much. Plus, there are lot of rolling hills. I only use my vehicle when I am going into Richmond where I will be in more traffic.

Granted, the tank is smaller so fill ups aren't as painful. When they do mileage tests, they should do them in real life areas instead of optimal courses to pass government regulations.

Tom Swetts (not verified)    August 14, 2023 - 5:01PM

In reply to by MC (not verified)

I have a 2020 Rav4 Hybrid and I find the mileage rating pretty much on target with about 38.5 mpg in the winter and 41.2 in the summer. I just wish I bought the Prime. I love the car and what I pay at the gas pump compared to my Dodge Ram 1500 at 16mpg.

Marion Mott (not verified)    August 14, 2023 - 1:06PM

I have 2022 RAV4 and I love it
But I wished I could get my second key
When I got my car last November I was told they couldn’t supply 2nd key until later. Well it’s later and still no key

Carla Muller (not verified)    August 14, 2023 - 2:55PM

I have a 2023 RAV4 Hybrid XLE Premium and have never been so happy with a SUV. I have had it a little of 2 weeks now and driven almost 3,000 miles. I'm getting 46 mpg in the City and 43 on the highway which is slightly higher than the government official mileage. I just can't say enough positive things about it. Great, smooth, quiet ride. The car feels almost like a luxury car. Excellent pickup and turning range. Drives smoothly at 30 mph and smoothly at 90 mph. Great built in technology. Comfortable seats. Able to see all around the car when driving and very few blind spots which the car tech assists with. I added upgraded premium JBL sound and it's impressive. Nice cargo space and with the seats down. I can carry three dog kennels in the back, plus have storage behind the front row seats.

I wish I had ordered a self-dimming mirror as I assumed with all the other fancy tech that that would be included. Toyota doesn't have an after build option for the mirror, but Amazon does. I also would have ordered the tow hitch, but that can be installed post production.

My only negative amd suggestion for future builds is that when the 2nd row seats fold down (which is super easy), the back seats do not fully lay flat. That's an issue when you are fitting 3 dog kennels in the car as I had to bend a cardboard box to level out the kennel closest to the front seat so my dog wouldn't be traveling at an odd angle. Those seats need to lie flat or raise the cargo area so it's all even. Having more locations to connect tie down cords would also be nice. Also, it would be nice if the font seats would also go all the way back like the Honda CR-V front seats do (or at least used to). That allowed a driver to sleep in the back seat with feet extended through the front seat. Great option for a quick nap at a rest stop.

Overall, I am in love with this SUV and have never been so satisfied with a large purchase. No second guesses what so ever. I feel certain I will be able to drive this vehicle for at least 15 years which is the average I drive SUVs.

sooperedd (not verified)    August 14, 2023 - 7:26PM

Toyota has no vehicles on their lots and when they scam you into "ordering" one they are ridiculously, overpriced toasters.

Av (not verified)    August 15, 2023 - 12:05PM

I have a 2023 rav4 hybrid xle awd. Perfect no issues. My wife also wanted one but a prime but there was no availability at the time. She bought a 2022 honda crv hybrid platinum awd. It blows the rav4 out of the water in every way except handling. I also understand its not apples to apples. I traded in a 2019 hylander xle for my rav4. Huge difference in space/power/gas mileage. The Issue I had with the hylander was the throttle delay & the delayed shifts with the transmission. Went to 3 different dealerships and they all said it was formated that way from factory for gas mileage. But 2 of 3 dealers said they were seeing a uptick in transmission failures. I'm a loyal customer to toyota since the Cressida days. My wife preffers honda. But yet she asks to use my car...

Al D (not verified)    August 15, 2023 - 3:28PM

I still want a RAV4 Prime at MSRP or below. Perhaps by the time I can get the one I want, it will be the next generation model with several improvements.

Stephanie Lumaden (not verified)    August 15, 2023 - 5:41PM

I just purchased my 3rd RAV4. The first two I had for over 250,000 miles. I’m hoping to keep this one for 300,000 miles. With regular maintenance I have found that this make and model seems to run forever without any issues. Tires, brakes, wipers, oil changes, that’s it! Mine have always been AWD and let me tell you in the deep snow in the north, my car would safely get me down the road better than a 4x4 truck. Now that I’m living in the south, I have no worries about hydroplaning in the heavy rains. It rides so smooth and is very comfortable. Best vehicle ever made and the maker stands behind their product. Love the RAV4!!!!