Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SE vs. XSE: What’s the Difference?

If you already know you want a hybrid SUV, then the Toyota RAV4 may already check all of the right boxes for you. Yet, how do you choose between trim levels? For example, what are the differences between the RAV4 Hybrid SE vs. XSE models?

In this article, I reveal the specs of both models, from the exterior to the cabin. I will also show you the prices and discuss why you may want one trim over the other. By the end of this guide, you shouldn’t have any questions about what you get with each trim. 

2022 toyota rav4 se hybrid


As far as dimensions are concerned, the two SUVS measure the same. Here are the specs.

  • Wheelbase: 105.9”
  • Overall length/width: 180.9”/73.0”
  • Height: 67.0” 
  • Track (front/rear): 63.0”/63.7” 

When looking at the colors, you want to make sure there’s something available that suits your personality. Toyota offers something for everyone, including these four colors that come with either trim. 

  • Calvary Blue
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic 
  • Silver Sky Metallic
  • Wind Chill Pearl

If you want the SE trim, you can also choose the Midnight Black Metallic color, which is not available with XSE models. 

As you look at the similarities between the Hybrid SE and XSE, you see many of the same features. Here are some included with both. 

  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • Active grille shutters
  • Privacy glass
  • Bi-LED projector low- and high-beam headlights with LED accent lights
  • Low-profile black roof rails
  • Dual chrome-tipped exhaust
  • 18” multi-spoke black sport alloy wheels 
  • Intermittent rear window wiper
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • LED taillights
  • Integrated LED fog lights 

However, the Hybrid XSE does include a few standard features that the SE doesn’t, such as:

  • Height-adjustable power liftgate with jam protection
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof with one-touch open/close
  • Blue-painted shock absorber
  • Vertical LED accent lights



The interior dimensions of the two hybrid trim levels are also exactly the same. Here are some specs worth knowing:

  • Seating capacity: 5
  • EPA interior volume: 136.4 cubic feet
  • EPA passenger volume: 98.9 cubic feet
  • Headroom with moonroof: 37.7”/39.5”
  • Legroom: 41.0”/37.8”
  • Shoulder room: 57.8”/56.4”
  • Hip room: 54.3”/47.7”
  • Total cargo space: 37.5/69.8 cubic feet
  • Cargo length behind rear seat: 40.0”
  • Cargo minimum/maximum width: 39.4”/59.0”
  • Cargo minimum/maximum height: 34.5”/36.6”

The next comparison is between the RAV4 Hybrid SE interior colors vs. the XSE interior colors. The SE comes in Black Fabric, while the XSE is filled with Black Mixed Media, creating a combination between fabric and SofTex. 

I also want to show you the various comfort features. Here are some that are available in both trim levels.

  • Rear liftgate window defogger
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • 4-way front passenger seat 
  • Height-adjustable rear cargo area deck board
  • Cargo area deckside-mounted storage net
  • 4 cup holders
  • Four bottle holders
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power windows
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever
  • 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat

Yet, the Hybrid XSE does have a couple of extra standard features, including the following:

  • Heated front seating
  • Blue ambient illumination

Additionally, the Hybrid SE includes a day/night rearview mirror, while the XSE has an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink® universal transceiver.


Safety and Technology

Starting with the high-tech features, there’s a lot to love about both RAV4 models. Either trim is going to include these features. 

  • One 12V/120W auxiliary power outlet
  • Digital speedometer
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay®
  • Android Auto™
  • Five USB ports
  • 6-speaker stereo system
  • 7” digital Multi-Information

The biggest difference is that the Hybrid SE includes an 8” Audio Multimedia display, while the XSE comes standard with a 10.5” display. 

You can count on similar safety features with both of these hybrid RAV4 trims. These include the following standard equipment. 

  • Eight airbags
  • Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) 
  • Trailer-Sway Control (TSC) 
  • Backup camera, including dynamic gridlines
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)

Either RAV4 also includes the Star Safety System™. With this system, you gain these features:

  • Brake Assist (BA)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
  • Smart Stop Technology® (SST) 
  • Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Traction Control (TRAC)

What makes the RAV4 so reliable and safe? It has a lot to do with the standard Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.5 (TSS 2.5) system. With this package, you gain these high-tech features:

  • Road Sign Assist (RSA)
  • Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
  • Automatic High Beams (AHB)
  • Pre-Collision System w/Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)


Price and Value

With recent 2023 RAV4 price increases, you may be concerned about affording these hybrid SUVs. Yet, the prices are still remarkably reasonable. Here’s how the two trims compare. 

  • Hybrid SE: $32,920
  • Hybrid XSE: $35,885

That’s only a difference of $2,965 between the two models. The increased cost of the XSE could be attributed to these added features:

  • 8” vs. 10.5” Audio Multimedia display
  • Heated front seating
  • Blue ambient illumination
  • Height-adjustable power liftgate with jam protection
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof with one-touch open/close
  • Blue-painted shock absorber
  • Vertical LED accent lights

All of the small differences beyond these don’t play a significant role in the increased price. 

Should You Buy the RAV4 Hybrid SE or XSE?

There are a lot of differences between the two hybrid trim levels, even though they are both capable and exciting models. Frankly, less than $3,000 seems like a deal to get all of the upgraded features. 

That said, not everyone feels the need to have a larger display or a moonroof. You may not also need the heated front seating and see it as an unnecessary expense. That’s why it’s important to judge based on your needs and wants. 

If you plan to add any of the extra features, consider choosing the upgraded trim and receiving the other benefits. Or, you could look at some of the other trim levels to see if any of them are a better fit.

Ideally, you should see all of the trim levels in person before you decide. At your local dealership, you can compare models side-by-side and test drive the ones you are interested in. This small step will make decision-making much easier. 

What Hybrid SUV is Best for You?

Choosing a new SUV is a challenging task. You have to think about the powertrain, comfort features, and technology to ensure you get everything that you pay for. Yet, with the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid models, you can’t go wrong with whatever trim you choose.

These hybrid SUVs have every base covered, whether you want a moonroof for added visibility or you desire high-tech features for a connected ride. All that’s left to do is choose the model you want and hit the open road.

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