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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago in the AAA Green Car Guide, which initially focused entirely on rating fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles.

For the 2021 edition, we've expanded the focus of the guide to include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and the development of autonomous vehicles.

home Home » Search Results » 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited AWD
How The Car Guide Rating Works
Test Results and Rankings:
The green cars tested by the ARC are evaluated on the basis of 13 categories: emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration, handling, cargo-carrying capacity, ride quality, interior noise, ease of entry and exit, maneuverability, roominess, and visibility. The scores for the categories are totaled, and the cars are ranked from high to low.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited AWD

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 13
Vehicle Price
Base Price: $37,030
Price as Tested: $42,317
Fuel Information
Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 14.5
EPA City mpg41
EPA Highway mpg38
EPA Combined mpg40
with specific headlights
Advanced Safety Features
Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
Advanced Headlights [S]
Advanced Headlights [S]
Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
Blind-Spot Warning [O]
Blind-Spot Warning [O]
Forward-Collision Warning [S]
Forward-Collision Warning [S]
Lane-Departure Warning [S]
Lane-Departure Warning [S]
Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
[S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:
star star star star star
Overall Observations
As human beings, we tend to look for universal rules to apply across a variety of situations, such as: If you like two things separately, chances are you'll like them together. That pretty much sums up Toyota's RAV4 Hybrid. There's a reason the compact RAV4 crossover is consistently one of Toyota's best-sellers - in fact, its sales increased 25 percent in 2020. It's a likeable vehicle that combines good maneuverability in everyday driving with a practical, roomy interior. Add the automaker's highly-refined gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain and things only get better. Inside, the cabin offers adult-size comfort in two rows of seats. Fold those rear seat backs down and there's room for 70 cubic feet of stuff - one of the biggest compact crossover cargo holds on the market. Propulsion for the RAV4 Hybrid comes from a powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors, with a total system output of 219 hp. This setup delivers both more satisfying acceleration and better EPA fuel-economy estimates (41 mpg city/38 mpg highway/40 mpg overall) than the standard gasoline-powered RAV4. Ride quality is decent, and handling feels secure, if not exactly sporty. AWD is standard.
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Strengths and Weaknesses
Strong Points
  • Very good fuel economy
  • Lots of space for passengers and cargo
  • Seamless hybrid transitions
  • Adaptive LED headlights with auto high beams
Weak Points
  • Excessive body roll, could use better ride control
  • Noisy, rough gas-engine operation
  • Outdated infotainment system and interior design
  • Lots of wind and road noise
Vehicle Specifications
Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3840.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 180.9 / 73.0 / 67.0
Wheelbase (in): 105.9
Number of air bags: 9
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Michelin Primacy A/S
Front and rear tire size: 225/60 R18
Max towing capacity (lbs): 1750
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 2.5L 4-Cyl. Dynamic Force
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 5700
Combined system horsepower: 219
Test Data
Test Vehicle Scores
Advanced Safety Features: 10.00
Fuel Efficiency: 6.91
EPA Emissions Score: 7.00
Acceleration: 4.87
Braking: 5.32
Crashworthiness: 4.96
Handling: 6.72
Ride Quality: 6.36
Interior Size: 3.34
Easy of Entry and Exit: 6.83
Visibility: 7.78
Interior Noise: 6.43
Cargo Capacity: 3.75
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