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

Are you looking for an efficient and stylish SUV that fits your every need? The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid hits those marks, but there are multiple trim levels to choose from. To illustrate the differences, I want to show you two popular trims, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SE vs. XLE.

I dive deeper into the exterior and interior differences. I also outline the prices, technology, and safety differences. By the end, you should have a better idea if either of these models suits you.

2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SE


The measurements of the two hybrid SUVs are exactly the same. Here are the ratings.

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

You want a RAV4 that suits your personality. That’s why it’s important to consider the available Toyota RAV4 colors. With these two trims, there are four colors available with both. 

  • Blueprint
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic 
  • Silver Sky Metallic

Aside from those, you also have these select options.

  • Ice Cap (XLE)
  • Lunar Rock (XLE)
  • Ruby Flare Pearl (XLE)
  • Calvary Blue (SE)
  • Wind Chill Pearl (SE)

Exterior features are also quite similar between the two models. Here’s what you can find on both the SE and XLE.

  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • Active grille shutters
  • Privacy glass
  • Low-profile black roof rails
  • Dual chrome-tipped exhaust
  • Intermittent rear window wiper
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • LED taillights
  • Color-keyed heated power outside mirrors (integrated turn signal and blind spot warning indicators)
  • Integrated LED fog lights 

There are two major exterior differences between the two RAV4 Hybrid models. First, the XLE comes with 17” 5-spoke Light Gray alloy wheels, while the Hybrid SE includes 18” multi-spoke Black sport alloy wheels.

The other difference has to do with the headlights. The Hybrid XLE includes LED projector headlights with chrome bezels, while the Hybrid SE has Bi-LED projector low- and high-beam headlights. However, both incorporate Automatic High Beams (AHB).



The inner dimensions of the two are also exactly the same. Here are the ratings:

  • Seating capacity: 5
  • 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”
  • 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”

You also want to know what interior colors you can choose from. Both models have the option to use Black Fabric. However, the XLE also has Ash Fabric as an option. 

As I list the comfort features, you will see more similarities between the two, including the following:

  • 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
  • Power windows
  • 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat
  • Day/night rearview mirror

The Hybrid SE has a blue stitched interior that sets it apart from Hybrid XLE. Additionally, the Hybrid XLE comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, while the SE also comes with front-center vent flow controls. 


Safety and Technology

Everything about these RAV4 Hybrid models is high-tech and advanced. For the most part, the tech features are the same. They both include the following:

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

With both Toyota RAV4 trims, you also get the same safety features. These include the following:

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

Both models have the Star Safety System™ included. The features of this system are as follows:

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

You know the RAV4 is a safe and reliable vehicle. One reason drivers continue coming back to the RAV4 Hybrid is because of the standard Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.5 (TSS 2.5) system. This advanced package includes the following features:

  • 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)
  • Road Sign Assist (RSA)
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)


Price and Value

The 2023 RAV4 price increases are nothing to be alarmed about. As you can see by the MSRPs listed below, the prices are still reasonable.

  • Hybrid XLE: $31,735
  • Hybrid SE: $32,920

That’s only a difference of $1,185 between the two models. The cost factors in the differences between the two, including what’s listed below.

  • 17” 5-spoke Light Gray alloy wheels vs. 18” multi-spoke Black sport alloy wheels
  • LED projector headlights with chrome bezels vs. Bi-LED projector low- and high-beam headlights
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control vs. Dual-zone automatic climate control with front center vent flow controls

Plus, the Hybrid SE comes with a leather-trimmed shift lever and steering wheel. 

Anything beyond these features isn’t playing a major role in the price.

Should You Buy the RAV4 Hybrid SE or XLE?

With such a small price difference between the two models, you may prefer to upgrade. If you want any of the added features that come with the SE, it’s best just to upgrade. If you break the extra cost into car payments it shouldn’t add much more to your monthly expenses. However, if you can do without those extras, you might as well save the money.

My recommendation, if you are on the fence, is to test drive both hybrid SUVs. After getting inside the cabin and seeing the differences, you may get a better idea of which one is best for you. 

Experiencing the Most From Your Hybrid

You will experience the utmost efficiency and style whether you choose the RAV4 Hybrid SE or XLE. Both of these hybrid SUVs are among the most popular on the road, and for good reasons.

I believe you will be impressed with all of the latest RAV4 models. With other trims to choose from, you don’t need to stick with one of these. Explore your other options until you find the one that fits your budget and lifestyle the best.

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