That’s why the Toyota RAV4 continues to be the best-selling SUV in America | Taza Khabre

Key findings

  • The Toyota RAV4 became the best-selling SUV in America in 2023, with 434,943 units sold, thanks to its versatility and affordable price.
  • Toyota offers a wide range of trim levels for the RAV4, including hybrid options, to suit customer preferences and budgets.
  • The RAV4’s hybrid technology provides impressive fuel efficiency and low operating costs, which attracts a significant number of buyers.

The Toyota The RAV4 was originally launched in the 1990s and was quite revolutionary at the time. “RAV” stands for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel-drive, and that pretty much sums up the essence of this rugged SUV. It’s a vehicle that can be used anywhere and everywhere without requiring the huge size and expensive mechanical components of a full-size SUV. The design clearly won, and now, 3 decades later, the small SUV is a serious global success and, without a doubt, a good car.

After an 8.8% increase in sales from 2022, the Toyota RAV4 remains America’s best-selling SUV for another year, with total numbers approaching half a million total sales (434,943 units). Apparently, Americans think that Toyota’s budget SUV has a lot to love. In this article, we will tell you why the RAV4 is such a resounding success and what are the best features of the 2023 and 2024 model year Toyota RAV4.

HotCars has collected and analyzed specifications, data and pricing from Toyota to best assess why the Toyota RAV4 was such a huge success in North America last year.


HotCars’ Best Compact SUV of 2024: Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 stands out thanks to its refined interior, angular styling and wide range of trims and options.

In 2023, Toyota RAV4 sales increased dramatically

The most popular cars of 2023 in the USA


Make and model

Units sold


Ford F-series



Chevrolet Silverado



Ram Pickup



Toyota RAV4

434, 943


Tesla Model Y


It probably won’t come as a surprise to most transmission owners that the American car market is dominated by pickup trucks – and the Ford F-150 in particular. Having said that, fourth place might surprise a few as it’s not the type of car most associate with an American car.

We are talking, of course, about the Toyota RAV4. With a total of 434,943 units sold last year, the RAV4 can once again enjoy the title of America’s best-selling SUV when it takes that title in 2022, beating out a huge number of similarly capable competitors in this fiercely competitive market space. What is more impressive is that the design of the RAV4 has not changed for several years, and the last generation was launched back in 2019. It’s definitely not easy to get such big sales while pedaling from 5 years ago. a testament to Toyota’s brilliant entry-level SUV package.

Toyota is designed for a wide audience

RAV4 has a variety of equipment


Starting MSRP


26,875 USD


30,185 USD

XLE Premium

33,075 USD


34,870 USD


38,295 USD


36,980 USD

Hybrid LE

31,725 ​​USD

Hybrid XLE

33,325 USD

Hybrid Woodland Edition

34,945 USD

Hybrid XLE

36,125 USD

Hybrid SE

34,420 USD

Hybrid XSE

37,385 USD

Hybrid Limited

40,030 USD

Premier SE


Prime XSE

47,560 USD

To capture the hearts, minds and wallets of such a huge number of customers, Toyota has developed a diverse and comprehensive lineup of RAV4 trim levels. The main difference between the models is the powertrains, as customers can choose between a simple ICE engine, and then two electrically assisted options, dubbed the RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime.

From there, customers can choose whether they want a smart and savvy car, a technology-packed flagship SUV, or a fun, accessorized SUV. Starting in the first category, many are expected to be drawn to the LE trim, which offers everything you need and nothing you don’t for an undeniably attractive price of just $26,420. At the other end of the spectrum, the Limited model is packed with exciting tech features and will therefore appeal to a completely different clientele.


2024 Toyota RAV4: The Complete Guide to Specs, Features and Prices

Here’s everything you need to know about Toyota’s best-selling compact SUV as it enters its 30th year on the market.

Somewhere in the middle between those two (price-wise) and these adventure off-roaders, aptly named “Adventure, TRD Off-Road and Hybrid Woodland Edition.” These sharp SUVs are equipped with unique accessories such as cool alloy wheels, all-terrain tires and even rubber floor mats with designs inspired by nature.

Hybrid technology increases the appeal of RAV4

The RAV4 Hybrid boasts impressive fuel consumption figures


MPG (city)

MPG (highway)

MPG (combined)

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid





MPG (combined gas only)

MPGe (combined electric and gas)

Electric range only

2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime



42 miles

(Data taken from

Of the 434,943 RAV4s sold last year, a significant portion will consist of hybrid offerings. Part of the hybrid’s appeal is, of course, the increased economy, and therefore lower running costs. The plug-in hybrid is Toyota’s most expensive RAV4, starting at $43,690 for the Prime SE trim; that’s $11,695 more than the cheapest plug-in hybrid.

One of the perks of the more expensive Prime is that owners will be able to drive up to 42 miles on electric power alone, meaning the RAV4 is perfect for ultra-cheap city commutes. That equates to an EPA figure of 94 MPGe. By comparison, the standard RAV4 Hybrid can muster a decent 40 mpg combined. Regardless of the model chosen, the hybrid technology of the Toyota RAV4 will provide a cheap car and low daily operating costs, which greatly contributed to the success of the model last year.

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2024 Toyota RAV4: All confirmed for now

Toyota recently unveiled the 2024 RAV4 with only minor changes. Here’s a comprehensive rundown of all the important details you need to know.

The modern Toyota RAV4 is filled with smart technologies

Key functions of the infotainment system

  • 10.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Six speakers
  • Wireless support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Front and rear parking assistant with automatic braking
  • The driver’s display is 12.3 inches

In today’s technology-driven world, it’s unlikely that any brand new car will succeed unless it’s crammed with the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. Here, Toyota has understood the task, packing the RAV4 with as much technology as possible without going overboard to the point where the asking price has to soar.

In flagship models like the Limited, owners will benefit from two digital screens (one for the driver’s display and the other as an infotainment/multimedia display). From the center screen, passengers can access Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing for seamless playback of tunes through the six interior speakers. There’s also no need for unsightly wires, as the RAV4 boasts wireless connectivity for both connecting to music and charging your phone. Features like these have undoubtedly helped many customers decide that the RAV4 is definitely worth it, and that’s why they choose the Toyota RAV4 for their new wheels in 2023.

Fast performance is ideal for daily driving

Technical characteristics of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 in various configurations


inline-4 with two electric motors

inline-4 with two electric motors



2.5 liter

2.5 liter

2.5 liter


302 horsepower

219 horsepower

203 horsepower

A turning point

165 lb-ft

163 lb-ft

184 lb-ft

from 0 to 60 mph

5.7 seconds

7.3 seconds

8.0 seconds

The highest speed

124 miles/hour

111.8 mph

122 miles/hour

(Technical specifications obtained from Toyota and FastestLaps)

The RAV4 isn’t a high-performance SUV, they tend to be a lot more expensive, but that doesn’t mean it has to be weak. Depending on the powerplant chosen, power can vary from 203 to 302 horsepower, with the Prime PHEV boasting a higher figure.

This combination of two electric motors and a reliable Prime-like 2.5-liter inline-four allows it to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. From there, the RAV4 will continue on to a top speed of 124 mph. Such a surprisingly quick change of pace in an otherwise perfectly sensible city car has no doubt contributed to the 2023 Toyota RAV4’s impressive success.

Sources: Toyota, Fastest laps, FuelEconomy

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