Dear Drive… Is it worth waiting for the Hybrid?


James Ward

Dear Drive… Where we answer reader, viewer, and listener questions. Something on your mind? Call us on the radio show or email us at

Tony spoke to us on the radio and asked:

I’m still waiting for my Toyota RAV4 Edge Hybrid, but the dealer now has a petrol one available, should I take it?

The Toyota RAV4 continues to be one of the hottest pieces of four-wheeled property on the market, particularly in its hybrid form, but supply constraints have plenty of buyers waiting months for a car so when an alternative pops up, should you take it?

In Tony’s example, the RAV4 Edge is available in two all-wheel drive variants, where the convenient and clear delineation between both RAVs is the hybrid drive train.

The $2500 premium (2022 Toyota RAV4 Edge list price is $50,200 for the petrol, and $52,700 for the hybrid – plus on-road costs, of course) for the Edge Hybrid gives you a little extra zip (160kW/221Nm vs 152kW/243Nm), but most importantly you get better fuel consumption.

And that’s where we can work out the value.

The Edge Hybrid has a claimed combined cycle fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km, whereas the regular petrol steps to 7L/100km. That’s an additional 2.2L for every 100km travelled.

With fuel prices around $2.00 per litre at the moment, that’s $4.40 extra for every 100km. If you run about 15,000km per year, you’ll spend $660 more on fuel.

In terms of comparison, that means you’ll equalise the price gap in a shade under four years.

You can change the details yourself with this handy calculator.

Fair to note too, that we found our fuel consumption averaged around 7.6L/100km on our most recent review of the Edge Hybrid, and 8.3L/100km for a petrol RAV. Having these figures closer together only extends the amount of time between price parity, so you need to be economical with your hybrid to really bank the benefits.

Servicing for both drivelines is $230 per year for the first five years, and while the hybrid may arguably command a higher resale percentage four years from now, all RAV4 models tend to retain their value well.

So, for Tony, if he intends to keep the car for four years he will break even. If that’s worth having a car now, then jump on that petrol Edge before someone else does!

Another option, if you need the car now, would be to take the petrol Edge the dealer has and keep your order in the queue for the rest of the 12-month wait time.

That way, even with keeping a $1000 deposit on the Edge Hybrid order and spending $440 more on fuel, you’ll still be a bit ahead and be able to judge the market in a year’s time.

Have a question about your next set of wheels or just need some car advice? No query is too big, small or obscure! Call in to the radio show (Trent on 2GB Sydney 1:30pm Monday and 9:00pm Wednesday, 5AA South Australia 1:30pm Tuesday, and James on 3AW Melbourne 9:00pm each Thursday), or contact us by email here:

James Ward

James has been part of the digital publishing landscape in Australia since 2002 and has worked within the automotive industry since 2007. He joined CarAdvice in 2013, left in 2017 to work with BMW and then returned at the end of 2019 to spearhead the content direction of Drive.

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