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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 2023 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.

2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE AWD

Vehicle Type: SUV Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 33

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $43,125
Price as Tested: $50,731

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Electricity/regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 14.5
120V Charge Time: 4.1 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 18.7 miles per hour
EPA City mpg40
EPA Highway mpg36
EPA Combined mpg: 38
EPA Combined MPGe: 94
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 42

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • 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

Overall Observations

Toyota’s compact RAV4 is an SUV pioneer; it’s been traversing America’s roads since 1996. The RAV4 Hybrid debuted in 2016, and the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid arrived 5 years later. The RAV4 is Toyota’s best-selling vehicle and, in recent years, the best-selling SUV in the U.S. But it’s beginning to show its age. There’s no denying that the RAV4 Prime still has plenty of good qualities. For instance, it has a decent-sized cabin, and its all-electric range is genuinely useful - up to 42 miles. A 3.3-kWh onboard charger is standard, but a 6.6-kWh charger is optional on the XSE trim. The Prime is fast, too, capable of hustling from 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds - in Toyota’s lineup, only the sporty Supra bests it. Its combined mpg and MPGe ratings (38 and 94, respectively) are commendable. For a compact crossover, the Prime has plenty of cargo space - up to 63 cubic feet. Another plus is its full suite of advanced safety features, including optional adaptive LED projector headlights with auto level control and auto on/off. Finally, 2 years/25,000 miles of ToyotaCare scheduled maintenance is complimentary. If only the story ended there. The Prime’s handling and ride are unimpressive, with lots of body roll in turns and subpar braking, roadholding, and acceleration in EV mode. Steering feel and feedback, too, are lacking. Finally, the interior design, controls, instrument cluster, and infotainment system feel outdated

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • • Good all-electric range
  • • Strong package of driver-assistance features
  • • Excellent mpg, MPGe
  • • Lots of cargo space

Weak Points

  • • Unimpressive handling and ride quality
  • • Outdated infotainment system, instrument cluster, and controls
  • • Old-fashioned interior design
  • • Light steering feel, minimal feedback

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2022
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4420.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 180.9 / 73.0 / 67.2
Wheelbase (in): 105.9
Number of air bags: 9
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Yokohama Avid GT
Front and rear tire size: 235/55 R19
Max towing capacity (lbs): 2,500
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 2.5L I4 PHEV
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 177 @ 6,000
Electric motor horsepower: 179 front / 53 rear
Combined system horsepower: 302

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:





Handling: 6.20
Quality and Drivability: 6.83

Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


Easy of Entry and Exit:




Interior Noise:


Cargo Capacity:

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