In-depth reviews

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid MPG & CO2 emissions

Fuel economy can vary depending on the sort of driving you do, but the Toyota RAV4's CO2 emissions are impressively low

Toyota RAV4
Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

MPG & CO2 emissions rating

4.0 out of 5

MPG (combined)MPG (high)MPG (low)CO2 emissions

Being hybrid-only means the RAV4 posts some pretty good fuel-economy and emissions figures for a large SUV. A diesel rival will use less fuel in motorway driving, but the RAV4 is usefully more efficient around town, when it can make best use of the electric running, and low CO2 emissions mean savings for company-car drivers on their BiK (Benefit-in-Kind) tax bills.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid MPG & CO2

Official figures vary depending on whether you go for front or four-wheel drive, and what wheel size you choose, but the average economy figure only ranges from 49 to 51mpg, so you can count on something in the region of 50mpg as the best-case scenario whichever one you go for.

When we tested the front-wheel-drive car, we managed around 40mpg on the motorway, while sedate around-town driving saw that creep up to 45mpg and more, as this slow-speed stuff is where the RAV4 can make best use of its electric running.

CO2 emissions vary, too: 126g/km for the front-wheel-drive car on 17-inch wheels and 129g/km on 18-inch wheels. The four-wheel-drive version emits 131g/km regardless of wheel size. Company-car drivers stand to make big savings on their Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) bills compared to a petrol or diesel SUV of similar size to the RAV4.

The RAV4's economy will be at its best if you do mostly urban driving, giving the hybrid motor's batteries a chance to recharge as you slow down and brake. Gentle use of the accelerator when moving away and when in stop-start urban traffic will also ensure you maximise the RAV4's electric range.

If you want a hybrid SUV, but don't need something as big as the RAV4, it's worth bearing in mind the Toyota C-HR can hit almost 58mpg. The RAV4 comfortably beats its more direct rival the Honda CR-V Hybrid, though; the latter only returned 41mpg in official testing.

Also consider that plug-in hybrid rivals like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and MINI Countryman Cooper S E All4 will offer far more pure electric running if you can plug them in, although the flipside is that they'll be much less efficient than the RAV4 when their petrol engines are running. Think carefully about what sort of driving you do and how easy it'll be for you to plug a car in before you decide what kind of electrified powertrain is best for you.

Most Popular

Best plug-in hybrid cars 2021
Skoda Superb iV
Best cars

Best plug-in hybrid cars 2021

The best plug-in hybrid cars offer great fuel economy and very low running costs as long as you keep their batteries charged
17 Feb 2021
New Volvo C40 Recharge expands pure-electric range
Volvo C40
Volvo C40

New Volvo C40 Recharge expands pure-electric range

Coupe-SUV model to join XC40 P8 Recharge in Swedish brand's zero-emissions line-up
2 Mar 2021
Volkswagen Tiguan hybrid review
VW Tiguan hybrid
Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen Tiguan hybrid review

The plug-in hybrid VW Tiguan is comfortable, relaxing and good to drive – but no official efficiency figures are available yet
22 Feb 2021