When considering a new SUV, the choice often narrows down to finding the right fit between the Toyota RAV4 and the Toyota Highlander. Both models boast their unique strengths and features, making the decision a nuanced one. In this 2023 Toyota RAV4 versus 2023 Toyota Highlander comparison, we delve into multiple facets, including performance, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, and pricing to help streamline your decision-making process.
Performance and Fuel Efficiency: The 2023 Toyota RAV4 presents three engine options: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 203 horsepower, a hybrid version with 219 horsepower, and the RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid generating a substantial 308 horsepower. On the other hand, the 2023 Toyota Highlander offers two engine choices: a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four engine producing 265 horsepower and a hybrid variant with 243 horsepower. The RAV4 stands out for its efficiency, with the gas-powered RAV4 achieving an estimated fuel economy of up to 30 combined MPG. The RAV4 hybrid excels further, attaining up to 40 combined MPG, while the RAV4 Prime achieves an impressive 94 MPGe in electric-only mode and 38 combined MPG in hybrid mode. In comparison, the gas-powered Highlander achieves up to 24 combined MPG, while the Highlander Hybrid reaches up to 36 combined MPG.
Towing Capacities: The Toyota Highlander takes the lead in towing capabilities, boasting a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds for the gas-powered model and 3,500 pounds for the Highlander Hybrid. Meanwhile, the RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Off-Road Prowess: For off-road adventures, the RAV4 outshines the Highlander. With higher ground clearance of up to 8.6 inches compared to the Highlander’s 8.0 inches, the RAV4 offers a more favorable stance. Additionally, the RAV4 presents specialized off-road models like the Woodland Edition, Adventure, and TRD Off-Road trims, enhancing its off-road capabilities.
Safety Features: While detailed IIHS crash test scores for the 2023 models are pending, historical data for the 2022 versions indicates the Highlander’s superior safety performance. The 2022 Highlander earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus Award, while the 2022 RAV4 secured the second-tier IIHS Top Safety Pick Award.
Passenger and Cargo Space: In terms of space, the Highlander, with its larger dimensions, provides accommodation for up to eight passengers and boasts a total passenger volume of 141.3 cubic feet. In contrast, the RAV4 seats five individuals and offers a total passenger volume of 98.9 cubic feet. Furthermore, the Highlander provides more storage capacity, with a maximum cargo volume of 84.3 cubic feet, compared to the RAV4’s 69.8 cubic feet.
Warranty and Pricing: Both the RAV4 and Highlander come with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. While the exact pricing for the 2023 models is undisclosed, both are expected to have a slightly higher cost compared to their 2022 counterparts.
In conclusion, the choice between the 2023 Toyota RAV4 and the 2023 Toyota Highlander hinges on individual priorities. The RAV4 excels in gas mileage, off-road capabilities, and potentially a lower price point, while the Highlander impresses with towing capacity, safety features, and expansive passenger and cargo space. Understanding these distinctions will guide you toward the SUV that aligns best with your preferences and requirements.