What Gets Better Gas Mileage: A RAV4 or Highlander? Comparing Efficient SUVs

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When it comes to fuel efficiency, choosing between a Toyota RAV4 and a Toyota Highlander can be a tough decision.

Both vehicles have their advantages, but which one offers better gas mileage for you?

The RAV4, being the smaller of the two, tends to have better fuel economy. Depending on the trim, RAV4 models can achieve up to 28/35 mpg city/highway.

On the other hand, the larger Highlander offers 21/29 mpg for its front-wheel-drive models. Keep in mind that driving habits and road conditions can also impact your vehicle’s mileage.

What Gets Better Gas Mileage: A RAV4 or Highlander

RAV4 and Highlander Overview

When it comes to choosing a Toyota crossover, RAV4 and Highlander are popular options.

The RAV4 is a compact SUV, known for its affordable starting price and decent gas mileage. It comfortably seats five passengers and offers 203 horsepower.

On the other hand, the Highlander is a larger SUV with more passenger space and cargo capacity. It seats up to eight people and boasts a stronger engine with 295 horsepower.

Both vehicles offer impressive performance, but remember that size and fuel economy will vary between the two models.

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Gas Mileage and Fuel Economy

When comparing the Toyota RAV4 and Highlander, it’s important to consider their fuel efficiency.

For the RAV4, you can expect to get 25-27 mpg in the city and 33-34 mpg on the highway depending on whether you choose FWD or AWD.

On the other hand, the Highlander offers a hybrid model with 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

As for the RAV4, it also has a hybrid option and even a more efficient plug-in hybrid called the RAV4 Prime.

Take these factors into account when choosing your ideal model for better gas mileage and overall fuel economy!

What Gets Better Gas Mileage, RAV4 or Highlander?

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the Toyota RAV4 takes the lead. With its four-cylinder engine, the RAV4 can get up to 28/35 MPG in FWD models.

On the other hand, the V-6-powered Highlander has lower fuel efficiency, even when equipped with AWD.

However, if you’re interested in hybrid models, the Highlander Hybrid shouldn’t be overlooked. It can achieve a remarkable 36 MPG in FWD and 35 MPG in AWD, making it a solid option for eco-conscious drivers.

In summary, you can enjoy better gas mileage with the RAV4, but the Highlander Hybrid offers competitive fuel savings too.

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Engine and Performance

When comparing the RAV4 and Highlander, you’ll notice key differences in engine types and performance.

The RAV4 is equipped with a four-cylinder engine, while the Highlander offers a more powerful V6 engine. Generally, the RAV4’s four-cylinder engine provides better fuel efficiency, with up to 28/35 mpg in FWD models.

In terms of power, the Highlander’s V6 boasts more horsepower and torque compared to the RAV4.

However, if you consider the RAV4 Hybrid or RAV4 Prime, you can achieve impressive fuel economy figures like 40 combined mpg or 94 MPGe respectively.

Hybrid and Plug-In Variants

When considering gas mileage, it’s important to check out the hybrid options. The RAV4 Hybrid delivers an impressive 40 mpg combined, making it a more fuel-efficient choice.

It operates on a reliable hybrid powertrain, with a 14.5-gallon tank that costs about $52 to fill.

On the other hand, Toyota offers a plug-in version, the RAV4 Prime, which is friendly to both your wallet and the environment.

You get 42 miles of electric range, and once the battery is depleted, your RAV4 Prime can still travel an additional 560 miles using gasoline. This variant provides the best of both worlds – impressive fuel economy and eco-friendly driving.

Remember, the choice between a hybrid and plug-in ultimately depends on your driving needs and preferences.

Interior Space and Comfort

When comparing the RAV4 and Highlander in terms of interior space and comfort, you’ll notice some differences.

The Highlander offers more room with its third-row seats, making it a better choice for families needing extra passenger capacity.

However, the RAV4 is surprisingly comfortable, with ample legroom, headroom, and shoulder room for five occupants.

Both vehicles come equipped with safety features like rear cross-traffic alert. Whichever you choose, expect a cozy cabin, sufficient storage, and a smooth drivetrain to enhance your driving experience.

Cargo and Towing Capacities

When comparing the RAV4 and Highlander, you’ll notice differences in their cargo and towing capacities.

The RAV4 offers a maximum towing capacity of 1,500-5,487 pounds, depending on your model and trim. With the rear seats folded down, you can enjoy ample cargo space for your belongings.

On the other hand, the Highlander is a larger vehicle, providing more cargo area to store even more of your stuff.

However, keep in mind that larger vehicles sometimes come with less fuel efficiency. So, depending on your priorities, consider what works best for your needs.

Pricing and Trim Levels

When considering the RAV4 and Highlander for fuel efficiency, it’s important to also look at their pricing and trim levels.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has 6 different trim levels: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, Limited, and TRD Off-Road. The RAV4’s fuel economy ranges from 25/32 mpg for the AWD TRD Off-Road trim to 28/35 mpg for FWD models.

| RAV4 Trim      | Starting Price |
| -------------- | -------------- |
| LE             | $26,550        |
| XLE            | $28,200        |
| XLE Premium    | $30,600        |
| Adventure      | $33,350        |
| Limited        | $34,750        |
| TRD Off-Road   | $35,980        |

On the other hand, the 2023 Toyota Highlander is available in various trims, including the fuel-efficient FWD version that achieves 21/29 mpg.

Keep in mind, your choice should be based on your priorities, such as fuel efficiency, features, and budget.

Technology and Convenience Features

In both the RAV4 and Highlander, you’ll find a user-friendly infotainment system featuring a touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto capabilities.

Your Highlander comes with available JBL sound system and standard features such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist.

In the RAV4, you can enjoy similar tech features alongside climate control and USB ports. Keep in mind, the RAV4 offers better gas mileage, while the Highlander caters to those desiring extra space.

Safety and Driver-Assist Features

In your quest for better gas mileage between the RAV4 and Highlander, let’s explore their safety and driver-assist features.

Both vehicles have Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control.

The RAV4 offers standard all-wheel drive and better gas mileage, giving it an advantage for safety and overall reliability.

For your convenience, features like cross-traffic alert and satellite radio can also be enjoyed while driving. Enjoy your safe travels!

Exterior and Styling

In your search for a fuel-efficient vehicle, you’ll find the RAV4 and Highlander are two popular crossover SUVs from Toyota.

As a compact crossover, the RAV4 is smaller than the midsize Highlander. Both these SUVs can be equipped with all-wheel drive to tackle adverse road conditions.

Design-wise, the RAV4 sports a rugged look with a prominent grille, while the Highlander boasts a sleek body with subtle curves.

If you enjoy off-roading, the RAV4 offers the TRD Off-Road variant that further enhances its adventurous vibe. In terms of engines, you’ll find a V6 engine in the Highlander, but a more fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine in the RAV4.

So, when choosing between these crossover SUVs, consider their distinct exterior styles and your driving preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do RAV4 and Highlander compare in terms of fuel efficiency?

The RAV4 and Highlander have different fuel efficiency levels based on their engine sizes and features. In general, the RAV4 has a better fuel efficiency than the Highlander, with some FWD RAV4 models achieving up to 28/35 mpg city/highway. On the other hand, FWD Highlanders achieve 21/29 mpg city/highway.

Between the RAV4 and Highlander, which is more cost-effective regarding gas consumption?

Considering fuel consumption rates, the RAV4 tends to be more cost-effective than the Highlander. With its smaller engine and overall 30 mpg rating against the Highlander’s overall 24 mpg, you’ll save more on gas expenses with a RAV4.

How do the gas mileages of RAV4 and Highlander differ?

The main difference in their gas mileages comes from their engines. The RAV4 features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 203 hp, while the Highlander has a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 295 hp. Due to the smaller engine, RAV4 offers better fuel efficiency than the Highlander.

In terms of gas mileage, should I choose RAV4 or Highlander?

If fuel efficiency is important to you, the RAV4 would be a better choice, as it offers higher fuel economy compared to the Highlander. However, consider other factors like cabin space, features, and handling before making your final decision.

Which vehicle has a lower fuel consumption rate: RAV4 or Highlander?

With its better fuel efficiency and smaller engine, the RAV4 consumes less fuel compared to the Highlander. This makes the RAV4 a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective option for those looking to save on gas costs.


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