Types of Gas a Toyota RAV4 Can Take: All Generations

Types of Gas a Toyota RAV4 Can Take

The RAV4 is Toyota’s answer to the likes of other crossover SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, which we’ve recently made a gas-type guide for.

For this article, we’re doing the same thing for every single generation of the Toyota RAV4 so that you can avoid filling it up with the wrong type of gas after getting one yourself.

We’ll also be including a bunch of other useful figures like the gas mileage and the gas tank sizes of each Toyota RAV4 generation, so be sure to read until the end!

What kind of gas does a Toyota RAV4 take?

All gasoline models of the Toyota RAV4 can take regular 87-octane gasoline, otherwise known as 91 RON (Research Octane Number) in other areas.

The Toyota RAV4 should only be used with unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of at least 87 or higher.

What kind of gas does a Toyota RAV4 take

The majority of Toyota RAV4 models ever made are equipped with gasoline engines that require at least 87-octane gasoline.

However, the Toyota RAV4’s owner’s manual also mentions the use of 91 RON (Research Octane Number), which actually refers to the same thing as 87-octane but just measured differently in other countries.

To put it simply, the typical 87-octane label that’s displayed in North American gas pumps is in terms of AKI (Anti Knock Index), which is a combination of RON and MON (Motor Octane Number) divided by 2, or the (R+M)/2 Method.

All diesel variants of the Toyota RAV4 are only sold in select countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of Europe. These, of course, can only take diesel fuel.

Several model years of the RAV4 also offered both hybrid and plug-in hybrid (RAV4 Prime) options for a broader market.

The rarer RAV4 EV models were actually brought into North America via California dealerships, albeit sales being limited to just shy of 4,000 units in total for both the 1st and 2nd-gen models combined.

To get a better idea of how one Toyota RAV4 model differs from another in terms of fuel requirement and compatibility, we’ll be diving further into each RAV4 generation’s list of engine options below.

Toyota RAV4 Fuel Requirements by Generation and Engine Option

All generations of the gasoline-powered Toyota RAV4 require at least 87-octane gasoline, which is equivalent to 91 RON (Research Octane Number) in other areas. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid RAV4 models also follow this requirement.

1st-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA10) (1996 to 2000)

1st-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA10) (1996 to 2000)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
2.0L 3S-FE Inline-4 (I4)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E-10 Capable)
2.0L 3S-GE BEAMS Inline-4 (I4)(Japanese Market)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher
1st-Gen RAV4 EV(67-hp Electric Motor)(1997 to 2003)
Not Applicable (Electric Only)

The first-ever Toyota RAV4, with the code “XA10”, had its first model year in 1995. Though, it wasn’t until January of the following year that it arrived in US showrooms.

Opening the hood of a 1st-gen RAV4 gives you access to the 2-liter 3S-FE I4 powerplant, which has been specified to run on gasoline no lower than 87 octane.

According to the 2000 Toyota RAV4 owner’s manual, this 2-liter engine can also take gasoline with up to 10% ethanol content, or “E-10”.

A high-performance version of this engine that has also gained a cult following among Toyota enthusiasts is the 3S-GE BEAMS, which was only released in the Japanese market and is also capable of running on 87-octane gas.

The 1st-gen RAV4 also gave rise to the first-ever EV model of the compact crossover SUV. Simply called the “RAV4 EV”, it comes with a 67-hp electric motor that’s the farthest thing from your typical gas guzzler.

2nd-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA20) (2001 to 2005)

2nd-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA20) (2001 to 2005)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
2.0L 1AZ-FE Inline-4 (I4)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E-10 Capable)
2.4L 2AZ-FE Inline-4 (I4)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E-10 Capable)
2.0L 1CD-FTV Inline-4 (I4) Turbo Diesel(International Market)Diesel Fuel

The 2nd-gen Toyota RAV4 first hit the market in 2000 for the 2001 model year with a new batch of engine options.

Gone was the previous gen’s 3S-GE in favor of two new gasoline inline-4s in the form of the 2-liter 1AZ-FE and the 2.4-liter 2AZ-FE, both of which require a minimum of 87-octane gasoline.

One thing that did stick with the newer engines fuel compatibility-wise was that they were also capable of using gasoline with up to 10% ethanol (E-10).

A turbocharged 2-liter “1CD-FTV” I4 diesel engine was also available for the 2nd-gen RAV4, though it was not brought to North American shores and instead found its place in the engine bays of internationally-released models.   

3rd-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA30) (2006 to 2012)

3rd-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA30) (2006 to 2012)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
2.4L 2AZ-FE Inline-4 (I4)(2006 to 2008)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E-10 Capable)
2.5L 2AR-FE Inline-4 (I4)(2009 to 2012)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E-10 Capable)
3.5L 2GR-FE V687-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E-10 Capable)
2nd-Gen RAV4 EV(154-hp Electric Motor)(2012 to 2014)
Not Applicable (Electric Only)
2.2L 2AD-FTV Inline-4 (I4) Turbo Diesel(International Market)Diesel Fuel
2.2L 2AD-FHV Inline-4 (I4) Turbo Diesel(International Market)Diesel Fuel

The 3rd-gen “XA30” Toyota RAV4, to this day, still had the longest model year run (7 model years) out of any RAV4 generation, and it did so with a few updates to the engine lineup every now and then.

The XA30 RAV4 initially debuted with the same 2.4-liter 2AZE-FE I4 from the last gen as the base engine, meaning it also keeps the same 87-octane gasoline requirement.

A 3.5-liter 2GR-FE V6 was also offered for the first time for the Toyota RAV4, though you need not worry about spending extra on premium fuel, as it can also run on regular 87-octane gas just fine.

Eventually, the aging 2.4-liter 2AZ-FE was replaced by the newer 2.5-liter 2AR-FE, another I4 engine with slightly more power that came just in time for the RAV4’s facelift in 2009.

Just like the engines of the previous generations, these three gasoline engines are also capable of using E-10 blends (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline).

The 3rd-gen RAV4 also marks the beginning of the 2nd-gen RAV4 EV model in 2012, which as its name suggests, is only powered by a 154-hp electric motor that doesn’t concern itself with fuel used by combustion engines.

Turbocharged diesel engines were also offered for the 3rd-gen Toyota RAV4, but yet again, North American models remain diesel-less for this generation of the vehicle.

4th-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA40) (2013 to 2018)

4th-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA40) (2013 to 2018)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
2.5L 2AR-FE Inline-4 (I4)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E-15 Capable for 2014 and Newer Models)
2.5L 2AR-FXE Inline-4 (I4) Hybrid87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E-15 Capable for 2014 and Newer Models)
2.0L 2WW Inline-4 (I4) Turbo Diesel(Australian/European Market)Diesel Fuel
2.2L 2AD-FTV Inline-4 (I4) Turbo Diesel)(European Market)Diesel Fuel
2.2L 2AD-FHV Inline-4 (I4) Turbo Diesel)(European Market)Diesel Fuel

Toyota RAV4 models made between 2013 and 2018 are part of the 4th generation of the RAV4 nameplate.

The same base 2.5-liter 2AR-FE of the previous gen can also be found under the hood of the 4th-gen RAV4, but now a hybrid version called the “2AR-FXE” is added into the mix for more fuel efficiency.

Despite one of them being a hybrid, both of these 2.5-liter engines share the same 87-octane gasoline requirement as the earlier models.

Starting in 2014, these engine options have been given the go-signal to use gasoline with as much as 15% ethanol (E-15), contrary to 2013 and older models that could only take up to 10% ethanol (E-10).

The 4th-gen Toyota RAV4 is also the last generation to offer diesel options for the vehicle. But unless you live down under (Australia) or in Europe, then it’s to be expected that the RAV4s around your area only take gasoline.

5th-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA50) (2019 to 2023/Present)

5th-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA50) (2019 to 2023/Present)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
2.5L A25A-FKS Inline-4 (I4)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E15 Capable)
2.5L A25A-FXS Inline-4 (I4) Hybrid87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E15 Capable)
2.5L A25A-FXS Inline-4 (I4) PHEV(RAV4 Prime)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher(E15 Capable)

The 5th and latest generation of the Toyota RAV4 goes by the code “XA50” and is primarily powered by a new 2.5-liter A25A-FKS inline-4 engine.

This 2.5-liter engine also comes in a hybrid option dubbed the “A25A-FXS” and a plug-in hybrid option (PHEV) with the same engine code as the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime.

As with the older-gen engines, this new 2.5-liter mill also requires at least 87-octane gasoline. E-15 capability is also to be expected of this engine, as it continues the ethanol trend that the last-gen 2014 model year has started.

Types of Gasoline/Fuel That Can Be Used in a Toyota RAV4

Toyota recommends using TOP TIER detergent gasoline for the RAV4 for its engine-cleaning benefits. Other compatible fuel types include reformulated gasoline, E-10 (2013 and older models), and E-15 (2014 and newer models).

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline (Toyota’s Recommendation)

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline (Toyota’s Recommendation)

Toyota’s owner’s manual for the RAV4 states that the manufacturer “strongly” recommends the use of TOP TIER detergent gasoline for the vehicle, and it’s not hard to understand why.

TOP TIER gasoline contains a higher concentration of engine-cleaning detergent additives that are known to be both effective and safe in reducing the buildup of any sort of debris inside the engine.

As a result of such additives, optimal engine performance is maintained, which is another strong selling point of TOP TIER gasoline.

With that said, many major automakers and over 60 fuel brands give two thumbs up to the TOP TIER formulation, which signifies that the Toyota RAV4 is only one of possibly thousands of other vehicle models that benefit from this fuel.

Thus, whether you end up getting a Toyota RAV4 or any other similar vehicle, your best choice of fuel would be one that’s stamped with the “TOP TIER” logo.

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline (Toyota’s Recommendation)

Reformulated Gasoline (RFG)

If you’re unable to find any TOP TIER gasoline brands in your area, then Toyota also has a second recommendation for the RAV4, which is reformulated gasoline.

Compared to conventional gasoline, reformulated gasoline (RFG) is a more modern type of fuel that’s formulated to burn cleaner, thus reducing the emission of air toxins like ozone in the process.

This makes reformulated gasoline well-suited and highly recommended in areas that have a higher concentration of air pollution and smog.

Also, the EPA states that about 30% of all gasoline sold in the US is reformulated gasoline, making it a fairly common type of fuel.

Up to 10 or 15% Ethanol (E-10/E-15)

Up to 10 or 15% Ethanol (E-10/E-15)

The Toyota RAV4 can take ethanol-gasoline blends to a certain degree, and the percentage that it can take varies depending on the specific model year.

2013 and older Toyota RAV4 models can only take gasoline with up to 10% ethanol content (E-10).
2014 and newer Toyota RAV4 models, on the other hand, can take gasoline with up to 15% ethanol content (E-15).

Avoid going past these ethanol percentages for the Toyota RAV4, as doing so may corrode and damage various engine and fuel system components.

Vehicles that can take up to E-10 or E-15 fuel will usually be equipped with a black gas cap, indicating that anything higher, including E-85/Flex-Fuel, should be completely off-limits for them.

Up to 10 or 15% Ethanol (E-10/E-15)

Types of Gasoline/Fuel to Avoid for the Toyota RAV4

Avoid filling up the Toyota RAV4 with gasoline containing MMT, E-85/Flex-Fuel, methanol, and diesel or biodiesel (for gas variants).

Gasoline Containing MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl)

Gasoline Containing MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl)

Toyota does not recommend the use of gasoline that contains MMT, which is a manganese-based additive that’s been primarily used as an octane booster.

The main reasons to avoid MMT itself is because of its damaging effects on your vehicle’s spark plugs and other emissions system components, and its production of more toxic emissions out of the exhaust.

In this instance, the pros of MMT do not outweigh the cons, leading to many gasoline brands and automakers not recommending it for everyday automobiles and transportation.

E-85/Flex-Fuel and Methanol

E-85/Flex-Fuel and Methanol

Toyota has never released an FFV (Flex Fuel Vehicle) version of the RAV4, which simply means that not a single model of the Toyota RAV4 should ever be filled up with E-85/Flex-Fuel.

E-85 can contain up to 85% ethanol, and just like we’ve discussed earlier, this is completely out of the question for the Toyota RAV4, which was designed to take up to 10 or 15% ethanol only.

Flex-Fuel vehicles will come equipped with a yellow fuel cap and “E-85” printed on it, something that the Toyota RAV4 does not have.

E-85/Flex-Fuel and Methanol

Additionally, the Toyota owner’s manual also states that “methanol” should not be used for the RAV4, as the engine and fuel system are not designed to take it.

Diesel/Biodiesel (Avoid for Gasoline Variants)

Diesel/Biodiesel (Avoid for Gasoline Variants)

The majority of Toyota RAV4 models all around the world are gasoline variants, so as you would expect, diesel or biodiesel fuel would not work with their engines by any stretch of the imagination.

The exception is, of course, if you live in Australia, New Zealand, or Europe, as these are the only places where diesel variants of the RAV4 have actually been sold.

Otherwise, diesel in a gasoline engine is just bad news since the thicker and denser diesel fuel will clog up the fuel system and eventually cause your engine to seize up if not drained right away.

What happens if I use the wrong gas type?

Using the wrong gas type, such as gas with too low of an octane rating than what’s recommended for your vehicle, can cause engine knock, reduce engine performance, and potentially damage the engine internals.

Why do I hear a knocking noise from the engine after refueling?

A knocking noise from the engine after refueling may indicate that you’ve put in the wrong type of fuel or the fuel is contaminated.

Other issues like incorrect ignition timing or air-fuel ratio can also cause engine knock, so it’s best to have it checked by a mechanic for a proper diagnosis.

Does the Toyota RAV4 get good gas mileage?

The Toyota RAV4 can achieve 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, which are very similar figures to what other competitors with good gas mileage, like the Honda CR-V, are capable of achieving. 

Toyota RAV4 Gas Mileage Per Generation

Gasoline-powered Toyota RAV4 models can get 19 to 28 mpg (city) and 23 to 35 mpg (highway) depending on the generation and engine option.

The RAV4 hybrid can get 34 to 41 mpg (city) and 30 to 38 mpg (highway), while the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid can get 38 mpg (gas only) and 94 MPGe (gas+electric).

1st-Generation Toyota RAV4 Gas Mileage (XA10) (1996 to 2000)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)
2.0L 3S-FE Inline-4 (I4) (2WD)21 mpg26 to 27 mpg
2.0L 3S-FE Inline-4 (I4) (4WD)19 to 20 mpg23 to 24 mpg
1st-Gen RAV4 EV(67-hp Electric Motor)(1997 to 2000 Models)
81 MPGe

64 MPGe

2nd-Generation Toyota RAV4 Gas Mileage (XA20) (2001 to 2005)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)
2.0L 1AZ-FE Inline-4 (I4) (2WD)21 to 22 mpg26 to 28 mpg
2.0L 1AZ-FE Inline-4 (I4) (4WD)20 mpg25 mpg
2.4L 2AZ-FE Inline-4 (I4) (2WD)21 mpg27 mpg
2.4L 2AZ-FE Inline-4 (I4) (4WD)19 to 20 mpg24 to 25 mpg
1st-Gen RAV4 EV(67-hp Electric Motor)(2001 to 2003 Models)81 MPGe (2001)87 MPGe (2002/2003)64 MPGe (2001)69 MPGe (2002/2003)

3rd-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA30) Gas Mileage (2006 to 2012)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)
2.4L 2AZ-FE Inline-4 (I4) (2WD)(2006 to 2008)21 mpg27 mpg
2.4L 2AZ-FE Inline-4 (I4) (4WD)(2006 to 2008)20 mpg25 mpg
2.5L 2AR-FE Inline-4 (I4) (2WD)(2009 to 2012)21 to 22 mpg28 mpg
2.5L 2AR-FE Inline-4 (I4) (4WD)(2009 to 2012)21 mpg27 mpg
3.5L 2GR-FE V6 (2WD)19 mpg26 to 27 mpg
3.5L 2GR-FE V6 (4WD)19 mpg25 to 26 mpg
2nd-Gen RAV4 EV(154-hp Electric Motor)(2012 Models)
78 MPGe

74 MPGe

4th-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA40) Gas Mileage (2013 to 2018)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)
2.5L 2AR-FE Inline-4 (I4)22 to 23 mpg28 to 30 mpg
2.5L 2AR-FXE Inline-4 (I4) Hybrid34 mpg30 mpg
2nd-Gen RAV4 EV(154-hp Electric Motor)(2013/2014 Models)
78 MPGe

74 MPGe

5th-Generation Toyota RAV4 (XA50) Gas Mileage (2019 to 2023/Present)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)
2.5L A25A-FKS Inline-4 (I4)26 to 28 mpg34 to 35 mpg
2.5L A25A-FKS Inline-4 (I4) (AWD)25 to 27 mpg33 to 34 mpg
2.5L A25A-FKS Inline-4 (I4) (AWD LE)27 mpg34 mpg
2.5L A25A-FKS Inline-4 (I4)(AWD TRD Off-Road)25 mpg32 mpg
2.5L A25A-FXS Inline-4 (I4) Hybrid (AWD)41 mpg38 mpg
2.5L A25A-FXS Inline-4 (I4) Hybrid(AWD Woodland Edition)38 mpg35 mpg
2.5L A25A-FXS Inline-4 (I4) PHEV(RAV4 Prime) (Gasoline Only)38 MPG (Combined)
2.5L A25A-FXS Inline-4 (I4) PHEV(RAV4 Prime) (Gas + Electric)94 MPGe (Combined)

What is the gas tank size/capacity of the Toyota RAV4?

The Toyota RAV4’s gas tank size ranges from 14.5 to 15.9 gallons (55 to 60.2 liters) depending on the specific generation.

Toyota RAV4Generation/Model Years
Engine/Trim
Gas Tank Size/Capacity (US Gallon/Liter)


1st Generation(1996 to 2000)(XA10)
2.0L I4 FWD 15.3 gal (58 l)
2.0L I4 AWD 15.3 gal (58 l)
2.0L I4 AWD (Special Edition) 15.3 gal (58 l)
2.0L I4 FWD/AWD(L Special Edition)15.3 gal (58 l)


2nd Generation(2001 to 2005)(XA20)
2.0L I4 2WD (2001 to 2003)14.7 gal (55.6 l)
2.0L I4 4WD (2001 to 2003)14.7 gal (55.6 l)
2.4L I4 2WD/4WD (2004)14.7 gal (55.6 l)
2.4L I4 2WD/4WD (2005)14.8 gal (56 l)



3rd Generation(2006 to 2012)(XA30)
2.4L I4(Base/Sport/Limited)(2006 to 2008)
15.9 gal (60.2 l)
2.5L I4(Base/Sport/Limited)(2009 to 2012)
15.9 gal (60.2 l)
3.5L V6(Base/Sport/Limited)15.9 gal (60.2 l)


4th Generation(2013 to 2018)(XA40)

2.5L I4 (SE/LE/XLE/Limited)

15.9 gal (60.2 l)
2.5L I4 (Platinum/Adventure)15.9 gal (60.2 l)
2.5L I4 Hybrid (SE/LE/XLE/Limited)(2016 to 2018)
15.9 gal (60.2 l)






5th Generation(2019 to 2023/Present)(XA50)





2.5L I4 (LE/XLE/XLE Premium)
14.5 gal (55 l)
2.5L I4 (Limited/Adventure)14.5 gal (55 l)
2.5L I4 (TRD Off-Road)14.5 gal (55 l)
2.5L I4 Hybrid (SE/LE/XLE/XSE)14.5 gal (55 l)
2.5L I4 Hybrid (Limited)14.5 gal (55 l)
2.5L I4 Hybrid(Woodland Edition)14.5 gal (55 l)
2.5L I4 PHEV (RAV4 Prime)(SE/SXE)(2021 to 2023/Present)
14.5 gal (55 l)

How much does it cost to fill up a Toyota RAV4?

It will cost between $50.4 and $55.2 to fill up a Toyota RAV4 with a gas tank size of 14.5 to 15.9 gallons (55 to 60.2 liters) at the current US average regular gas price of $3.474/gallon.