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The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular SUV in Australia - but how many RAV4 hybrids were sold last year compared to petrol versions of the Nissan X-Trail, Mitsubishi Outlander rival? | Analysis 

Most Toyota RAV4s sold last year were hybrids.

Does it seem to you like every new Toyota RAV4 on the road is a hybrid? It did to us. We decided to test this observation in this analysis where we find out exactly how many RAV4s sold in an entire year are hybrids.

We recently did a similar analysis of the Nissan X-Trail and found that about 18 per cent of the total sales of that mid-sized SUV were hybrids, meaning the petrol variant is a much bigger seller.

The RAV4 is a direct rival to the X-Trail, but the Toyota is by far the most popular SUV in Australia, and the split between hybrid sales compared to petrol is a very different story.

We asked Toyota Australia for the figures: How many of the 29,627 RAV4s sold in 2023 were hybrids?

“Of those RAV4 sales, a total of 25,666 deliveries were hybrid, which is a record share of 86.6 per cent,” a Toyota Australia spokesperson told CarsGuide.

“This clearly makes it Australia’s best-selling hybrid vehicle as well as the RAV4 being the top-selling SUV.”

So, your eyes are absolutely not misleading you. Almost 90 per cent of RAV4s sold in 2023 were hybrids.

Almost 90 per cent of RAV4s sold in 2023 were hybrids. Almost 90 per cent of RAV4s sold in 2023 were hybrids.

The reason for this most likely comes down to Toyota having a hybrid variant for every grade in its RAV4 range and the reasonable pricing - hybrids are only $2500 more than their combustion engine sibling.

The entry grade GX with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in two-wheel drive lists for $39,760 while the hybrid version of the GX is $42,260.

And then there’s the fuel saving. We’ve tested the RAV4 Hybrid extensively and in the front-wheel-drive version we’ve consistently come close to and even bettered the 4.7L/100km combined fuel consumption that Toyota says you should see.

Toyota has upgraded its RAV4 with new multimedia, Toyota Connected Services and safety technologies (RAV4 Edge hybrid shown). Toyota has upgraded its RAV4 with new multimedia, Toyota Connected Services and safety technologies (RAV4 Edge hybrid shown).

Not having to plug the RAV4 Hybrid in to charge the battery is another selling point for the model - it’s easy to use.

The popularity of the hybrid version of the RAV4 would also come down to Toyota pioneering the technology through its Prius which launched in Australia in 2001. Being so strongly associated with the tech for almost 25 years would have a reassuring effect on buyers who may be trying a hybrid for the first time, too.

And of course as car company executives have told us many times in the past, every model is a mobile billboard and the more RAV4 Hybrids people see, the more they will sell.