2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE (Facelift) Review

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE has a 12-24 month waitlist, but it's arguably worth the wait being so compelling!

Jacob Brooke
Expert reviewer
Updated on
February 9, 2024
Saucey score


  • Set's the SUV benchmark
  • Frugal fuel economy
  • Thoughtful interior


  • Enormous 12-24 month waitlist
  • Engine can be noisy
  • Sedate looks
Car specs

131 kW + 320 Nm (Estimated)


4.7L/100km (Claimed)

5 Star ANCAP

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Is the 2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid just a huge waste of time?

That’s a question those who have placed a deposit and are playing the 12-to-24-month (yes… two years!) waiting game right now might be thinking.

But the reality is, even almost 5-years after it launched way back in 2019, the RAV4 remains a benchmark of the compact SUV segment.

That doesn’t mean great alternatives don’t exist that are relatively readily available like the new Honda CR-V Hybrid and the more affordable Haval H6 Hybrid

To make the offer even more compelling, Toyota have introduced a somewhat sneaky facelift, with minor revisions to make the RAV4 even better without rocking the boat.

So today, we’ll answer the question - should you buy and wait for the RAV4?

How much does the RAV4 Hybrid cost?

Nothing is cheap these days it seems, and while it would be hard to argue the RAV4 is cheap, it certainly packs a lot of value.

Today, we’re testing the XSE Hybrid 2WD, which is the newest grade to the RAV4 arsenal and is aimed at providing the Hybrid tech at a lower price point than the hotly in-demand higher-spec Cruiser and Edge grades.

Pricing for the Toyota RAV4 varies across its range, offering options for both traditional and hybrid powertrains and two-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. Here's a breakdown of the RAV4 lineup with their respective prices, not including on-road costs:

  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 GX 2WD: $39,760
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 GX 2WD Hybrid: $42,260
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 GX AWD Hybrid: $45,260
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 GXL 2WD: $43,310
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 GXL 2WD Hybrid: $45,810
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 GXL AWD Hybrid: $48,810
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 XSE 2WD Hybrid: $49,585
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 XSE AWD Hybrid: $52,585
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 2WD Cruiser: $48,910
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser 2WD Hybrid: $51,410
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser AWD Hybrid: $54,410
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 Edge AWD: $56,230
  • 2024 Toyota RAV4 Edge AWD Hybrid: $58,360

What’s the interior and tech like of the RAV4 Hybrid?

Stepping into the interior, and it’s easy to see why the RAV4 is so damn popular.

In reality, it just does everything right… but only really after it received a minor facelift.

Gone is the archaic 8” infotainment display, which has been replaced with a 10.5” unit that is so much better than before.

Not only is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard, the screen is one of the most responsive out there with fantastic colours, brightness and viewing angles. The wireless connectivity is great when paired with the wireless phone charger.

The RAV4 also retains it’s digi-analogue air-conditioning controls, which work simply flawlessly. Nothing is relegated to the infotainment display, its all hard switches and knobs.

Speaking of knobs, they are wrapped in the now RAV4 famous rubberised material, as are the door grab handles and a few other areas. It’s a little tacky on the surface, but in reality is a great choice of material.

Touch around the interior, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything hard and scratchy. Mostly the interior is nice and soft touch including leather on the doors, which is important for soaking up road noise and vibrations but adding an air of luxury.

Although the XSE adds faux leather seats, aka Softex ‘premium’ seat upholstery, they do provide plenty of support and adjustment, so getting into a comfortable position is quite easy. Not to mention the RAV4 XSE gets heated front seats as standard, which admittedly would be better if it also had cooled seats.

These are standard in the Cruiser grade above.

The steering wheel is a nice leather unit, which retains the very good and functional button layout. 

Another few additions for the facelift are 2xUSB-C ports in the centre armrest, which by the way, the RAV4 has numerous storage options and is very practical in that sense.

But also new is the 12.3” TFT digital instrument cluster, which makes use of extra real estate to show more than ever before, does so with beautiful graphics, and good animations and is far more customisable too.

It’s seriously near impossible to fault the interior of the RAV4. It seems to have taken everything good from every other compact SUV in the segment and combined it into a single interior space.

What about the back seats of the RAV4 Hybrid?

The rear is similarly well laid out to the front.

New for the facelift are 2 more USB-C ports in the rear, so charging will never be a problem.

At 5’10”, behind my driver's position, I have plenty of leg-room, head-room and toe-room.

You also get a couple of air-vents and a fold-down armrest with a couple of extra cupholders.

Quality too doesn’t take a hit like so many other compact SUVs in this class, with leather lining the doors in the rear too.

Again, really hard to fault.

How much can fit in the boot of the RAV4 Hybrid?

Although a powered tailgate comes as standard for the RAV4 XSE, I almost wish it didn’t.

I don’t think you’ll hear louder and more obnoxious beeping then when opening the tailgate. Perhaps there is a way to change this in the vehicle settings, but we couldn’t find it.

With the rear seats up, you get 580L of space which is certainly plenty. Fold the rear seats down, and that extends to 1,735L which is to say - plenty of space.

What’s under the bonnet of the RAV4 Hybrid?

Powering the RAV4 XSE is Toyota’s hybrid system, pairing a 2.5L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor.

Power output is 131kW and 221Nm for the engine and 88kW and 202Nm for the motor. Combined peak power is 160kW, and while Toyota do not give a combined torque output for the RAV4 Hybrid it is somewhere around 320Nm.

You can also get the XSE with Toyota’s AWD Hybrid system, which adds a small electric motor to the rear axle as well and 2 extra kW of power. However, it adds $3,000 and provides small bursts of minimal power which frankly is not necessary unless you live in very wet or icy climate conditions.

For today’s tester, power is therefore sent exclusively through to the front wheel via an e-CVT transmission.

How does the RAV4 Hybrid drive?

If it sounds like I’m singing the praises of the RAV4 Hybrid, it’s because I am.

It’s one of those setups that you get in and instantly feel comfortable with.

Obviously the RAV4 Hybrid is set up for maximising fuel economy, and resultantly driving the RAV4 around is very sedate. It also becomes somewhat of a game - trying to keep the electric motor going while keeping the engine off for as long as possible.

As you accelerate from a stop, the take-off is purely electric, and it’s only when the RAV4 notices it needs a bit of extra power does the 2.5L engine turn on seamlessly and begin to assist the electric motor, or takeover completely while charging the battery.

It’s an incredibly trick system which thankfully you as the driver never need to worry about, and never notice unless you go looking for it.

If you’re wondering how does the battery charge if you don’t need to plug it in, the answer is quite simple - it uses the engine to keep the battery charge up and it uses regenerative braking. 

And you can feel the regenerative braking maximising its use when you take your foot of the accelerator, with the car slowing down quicker than most hybrids.

While you can drive the RAV4 Hybrid incredibly sedately, thankfully it’s not a total snoozefest.

In fact, it’s actually quite fast thanks to the instant torque of the electric motor and not-insubstantial power outputs.

During our video review, we timed the 0-100km/h sprint of the RAV4 Hybrid FWD at a pretty good 8.94 seconds.

Taking the RAV4 Hybrid onto some backroads really proved how refined it is. Being quite comfortable around town, I wholeheartedly expected the RAV4 to suffer terrible body roll on fast rural twisty roads.

Instead, the body control proved fantastic, soaking up imperfections while also minimising roll around corners.

Steering too, while light in normal mode, really heavy’s in sport mode and provides an uncanny agility that really isn’t expected of the RAV4 and yet it delivers.

Fuel economy too was really good, though not quite meeting the manufacturer's claim of 4.7L/100km. Over a mix of highway and around-town driving, 5.5L/100km was the average. 

I genuinely hate leaving a review with nothing but praise, but the reality is that the RAV4 Hybrid does everything just right.

Maybe the engine is a little loud when it switches on... but that's it.

Is the RAV4 Hybrid Safe?

The Toyota RAV4 maintains a five-star ANCAP safety rating, a result stemming from Euro NCAP's 2019 testing procedures.

In the 2024 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid, safety performance is impressive, with scores of 93 percent in adult occupant protection, 89 percent for child occupant protection, 85 percent for protecting vulnerable road users, and 83 percent in safety assist technologies.

Standard safety features across all RAV4 models include:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) 
  • AEB Detection capabilities for pedestrians and cyclists during the daytime (New)
  • Intersection Turn Assist (New)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Tracing Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Reversing Camera with Dynamic Guide Lines (New - Upgraded)
  • Front and Rear Parking Sensors
  • Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Trailer Sway Control
  • Emergency Steering Assist (New)
  • Hill-Start Assist Control
  • Seven airbags, including one for the driver’s knee

Additionally, higher-tier models like the Cruiser and Edge are equipped with a 360-degree camera (New - Upgraded)

The Edge model exclusively features active rear cross-traffic assist and low-speed reverse Autonomous Emergency Braking.

What are the specs and features of the RAV4 Hybrid?

Toyota RAV4 GX:

  • 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Wireless and wired Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation with OTA updates
  • 7.0-inch driver instrument display
  • Toyota Connected Services (12-month subscription)
  • Five USB ports (4x USB-C, 1x USB-A)
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with junction assist
  • Reversing camera with guide lines
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Cloth seat trim
  • 'Premium' leatherette steering wheel
  • Automatic LED headlights (parabolic on petrol, projector on hybrids)
  • LED daytime-running lights and tail-lights
  • Halogen fog lights
  • Manual air conditioning (petrol) or dual-zone climate control (hybrid)
  • Push-button start
  • Power-folding heated side mirrors
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Rear seat belt reminder
  • LED interior lights
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Front and rear carpet floor mats
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control (high-speed on manual, all-speed on auto)
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Auto high-beam

Toyota RAV4 GXL (additional features over GX):

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Illuminated door switches
  • 'Premium' embossed fabric upholstery
  • Wireless phone charging
  • Keyless entry
  • Upgraded reversing camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • 'Premium' front bumper and grille
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Roof rails
  • Dual-zone climate control (all models)
  • Leatherette-wrapped shifter
  • Front mudflaps
  • Two-level boot floor

Toyota RAV4 XSE (additional features over GXL):

  • 10.5-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Electric tailgate
  • Black exterior accent pack (including two-tone roof)
  • Gloss black wheel finish
  • Dark headlining
  • 'Softex' premium interior seat trim
  • Electric driver's seat with lumbar adjustment
  • Two-stage front seat heating
  • Ambient cabin lighting
  • Projector LED headlights
  • Black headliner and pillar garnish

Toyota RAV4 Cruiser (additional features over XSE):

  • 360-degree camera with underfloor view
  • Digital rear-view mirror
  • Three-stage front seat heating and ventilation
  • 19-inch alloy wheels (petrol only) or 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels (hybrid only)
  • Leather-accented seat upholstery
  • Nine-speaker JBL premium sound system
  • Tilt and slide sunroof
  • Auto power-folding mirrors
  • 10-way power driver’s seat with memory
  • 8-way power passenger seat

Toyota RAV4 Edge (additional features over Cruiser):

  • Unique 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Edge-specific front bumper, grille, wheel-arch trims, and fog light surrounds
  • LED projector headlights (now standard on petrol variants)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert and rear autonomous emergency braking
  • Off-road mode selector dial
  • Hill descent control
  • Softex ‘premium’ upholstery
  • Panoramic sunroof (optional for petrol model only)

Options Available:

  • Premium paint ($675)
  • Full-size spare wheel for GX Hybrid ($300)
  • Panoramic sunroof for Edge AWD petrol ($1300)

How much does the RAV4 Hybrid cost to run?

The Toyota RAV4 comes with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, consistent with Toyota's broader range.

For the 2024 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid, this warranty is extended to seven years for the powertrain, provided servicing is carried out on time within the Toyota Australia dealer network. Additionally, the hybrid battery warranty extends up to 10 years, subject to the same conditions.

Scheduled service intervals for the RAV4 are set at every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, whichever is reached first. The cost for each service is capped at $230 for the first five years, positioning it as one of the most competitively priced in its class for servicing.

What’s CarSauce’s take on the RAV4 Hybrid?

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, enduring a lengthy waiting period, remains a strong contender in the compact SUV segment. Its recent facelift subtly enhances its features, keeping it relevant and competitive.

The interior sees notable improvements, especially with the new 10.5-inch infotainment system and the addition of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, enhancing both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Practicality is a key strength, evident in its ample storage and comfortable seating, though some may find the faux leather upholstery in the XSE variant a compromise. Rear passenger space and cargo capacity are generous, aligning with the segment's expectations.

Under the hood, the hybrid setup offers a blend of efficiency and adequate performance, though it's not the most dynamic in its class. The RAV4's on-road behavior is generally smooth, with a noticeable shift in handling dynamics when switching to sport mode.

While the RAV4 Hybrid scores well in practicality and comfort, it's important to consider other options like the new Honda CR-V Hybrid and the more affordable Haval H6 Hybrid. which may offer different advantages. The RAV4's overall package provides a balanced choice for those prioritizing hybrid efficiency and interior comfort in a compact SUV.

Saucey score breakdown

Maintenance Costs and Warranty
Fuel (or EV) Efficiency
Interior Design and Features
Value for Money
Technology and Innovation
Is it fit-for-purpose?
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Jacob Brooke
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.
Car specs

131 kW + 320 Nm (Estimated)


4.7L/100km (Claimed)

5 Star ANCAP

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