The Test: Toyota designed the RAV4 Hybrid to drive just like its gas-powered brother, so that there wouldn’t be any reason not to go with the Hybrid. Steering is taut, and there’s less body lean due to the bolstered rear suspension. It is heavier—300 pounds more than the all-gas version—but felt more than capable climbing up a long highway ascent that topped out at 5,000 feet.
Despite the RAV4’s decent-at-best 6.3 inches of ground clearance, driving on rocky and dusty two-track was hardly an imposition, while the crossover switched smoothly and automatically between front and rear electric motors, depending on available traction. The 70.6 square feet of cargo room is plenty for use as a mobile gear shed.
The Verdict: A composed and confident hybrid with the same fun crossover ride of its gas brethren.
$28,370; 34 city mpg/31 highway