Toyota likes to tout its Camry as the best-selling car in America, but that accolade comes with an asterisk. Include SUVs, and it’s a different Toyota on the podium – the Toyota RAV4. We are not surprised. Beyond Toyota’s reputation for durability and low running costs, the RAV4 is a safe and efficient do-everything crossover that meets the needs of most drivers, especially those who don’t prioritize driving dynamics. But what does it really cost to own the nation’s most popular SUV, and is it worth the extra cash to spring for a hybrid?
Our friends at IntelliChoice calculate the five-year cost of ownership for every car on the market, up to every trim level; Find out how their analysis works here. To even the playing field, we’re focusing on three similar trim levels: RAV4 XLE Premium AWD ($34,070), RAV4 Hybrid XLE Premium ($35,270), and the AWD version of the RAV4 Prime XSE ($46,795). Based on our long-term RAV4 experience, this trim feels like the sweet spot in the lineup. Here’s how the RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, and RAV4 Prime stack up.
RAV4 maintenance and repair costs
performing Regular maintenance Based on Toyota’s regularly scheduled intervals, industry-standard service hours, national labor rate averages, and Toyota’s recommended parts prices over five years, a standard gas RAV4 will cost $2,498 to maintain. That number factors in the automaker’s two years or 25,000 miles of free maintenance with every new car purchase. Does not cover maintenance averages Repair costsHowever, IntelliChoice projects at $686 over five years.
A RAV4 Hybrid is estimated to be $160 cheaper to maintain with the same repair costs. While electric vehicles may be cheaper to take care of with fewer moving parts, plug-in hybrids that combine EV running gear with a gas engine to eliminate range concerns still cost a conventional car. IntelliChoice predicts that RAV4 Prime XSE buyers will spend the most on maintenance costs over five years, $20 more than the standard RAV4 with identical repair costs.
Maintenance and Repair Cost Winner: 2022 RAV4 Hybrid
RAV4 insurance, financing, and state fee costs
Insurance costs The 2022 RAV4 XLE premium is $7,049 over five years. Financing costs Will vary based on several factors including your credit score and whether you are pre-approved for dealer financing. In this case, that cost comes to $3,457. State fees Sum of title, registration, miscellaneous initial fees, and renewal fees within five years. For the RAV4 in question, that’s a total of $1,182.
These data points change the most based on the vehicle’s purchase price, so the standard gas RAV4 will have the lowest value. An equivalent RAV4 hybrid is estimated to cost $302 more to insure and $125 more to finance, along with another $27 in state fees. Because the plug-in costs so much more than the other variants, this is where you’ll see the biggest delta. Opting for Prime means an expected $908 more in insurance than the standard RAV4, $1,045 more in financing, and $240 more in state.
Insurance and financing cost winner: standard 2022 RAV4
RAV4 depreciation cost
The latter two are larger. Depreciation Five years accounts for most of the cost of owning a car, and IntelliChoice evaluates the cost by considering historical used price trends for a car with 70,000 miles on the odometer and a car sold to a private party. For the standard RAV4 in question, the five-year depreciation is $18,179 (53.4 percent).
For the RAV4 Hybrid, buyers are likely to lose slightly more total value at $18,526 but a smaller proportion of its purchase price (52.5 percent). Buyers will lose much more overall value if they spring for the RAV4 Prime—$23,559, but the PHEV depreciates the least percentage (50.3 percent) of its initial purchase price.
Depreciation Cost Winner: 2022 RAV4 Prime
RAV4 fuel consumption
Of course, we need to talk too fuel consumption, which is the figure with the most obvious differences between the RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime. IntelliChoice evaluates five-year fuel consumption with 60 percent highway mileage, 40 percent city mileage, and the owner covering an average of 14,000 miles per year.
Five-year fuel consumption for the standard RAV4 (27/33 mpg city/highway) is $7,900. There’s a huge gap in efficiency between the gas-only SUV and the RAV4 Hybrid (41/38 mpg), and buyers will see that gap reflected in their gas bills, as five-year fuel costs are estimated at $6,116, or about $1,800 less than the non-hybrid twin. .
For plug-in hybrids, IntelliChoice assigns a fuel split based on the vehicle’s electric range and calculates consumption according to the same 60/40 city/highway split. That way, the RAV4 Prime XSE’s fuel consumption is $4,378, about 55 percent of what you’d spend on a conventionally driven crossover.
Fuel economy winner: 2022 RAV4 Prime
What is the cheapest RAV4?
Let’s add things up. Five-year total cost of ownership for the 2022 RAV4 XLE Premium is $40,950. Even considering the RAV4 Hybrid’s slightly higher insurance, financing, depreciation and state fees, the expected cost of owning that vehicle over five years is $39,807.
Despite the RAV4 Prime’s clear advantage in fuel consumption, it can’t overcome its higher depreciation and insurance costs than its peers. Total five-year cost of ownership is estimated at $45,201. Until recently, RAV4 Prime buyers were eligible for the same $7,500 tax credit as fully electric cars (the value of the credit was dependent on battery capacity), but the plug-in Toyota is no longer eligible due to inflation-related changes in August 2022. Diminishing law.
Rated across the RAV4 lineup, RAV4 Hybrid Estimated to be the least expensive to own over a five-year period compared to the standard RAV4 and RAV4 Prime. So yes, spending the extra money for a hybrid is worth it in the long run, but don’t worry that the plug-in will save you cash.