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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

For the 2022 edition, we 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 new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited AWD SUV

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 18

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]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:

Overall Observations

In 2016, Toyota (finally) decided to put a hybrid powertrain into the RAV4, its best-selling vehicle and the industry’s best-selling crossover, which made a very good vehicle even better. Propulsion for the RAV4 Hybrid comes from a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors that produce a total of 219 hp. Gas-electric transitions are seamless, and the hybrid powertrain provides better acceleration and much better EPA fuel-economy estimates (40 mpg in combined driving) than the standard gasolinepowered RAV4 (30 mpg). All-wheel drive is standard on all RAV4s. The RAV4’s cabin offers comfort for 4 adults in 2 rows of seats. With the rear seat backs folded down, there’s room for 70 cubic feet of stuff - one of the biggest compact-crossover cargo holds on the market. Standard LED headlights and a generous number of advanced safety features are a plus. There are also a few things to ding the RAV4 for: the engine can be rough and noisy, lots of wind and road noise get into the cabin, and the interior design and infotainment system feel dated.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Very good fuel-economyratings
  • Lots of space forpassengers and cargo
  • Seamless hybrid transitions
  • Available adaptive LEDheadlights with auto highbeams

Weak Points

  • Excessive body roll
  • Noisy, rough gas-engineoperation
  • Outdated infotainmentsystem and interiordesign
  • Lots of wind and roadnoise

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:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:








Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


Easy of Entry and Exit:




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Cargo Capacity:

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