2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs BYD Sealion 6: Spec battle

Posted on June 18, 2024Comments Off on 2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs BYD Sealion 6: Spec battle

The Toyota RAV4 is the gold standard for affordable mid-sized SUVs, and has been for a while.

But the automotive world rarely stands still, and more than 20 manufacturers are now vying for supremacy in one of the most competitive segments going around.

One of those carmakers is BYD. It’s a Chinese challenger that first dipped its toe into the medium SUV battleground with the electric Atto 3, a model that topped 10,000 sales in 2023.

Keen to have a second bite of the cherry, BYD is now sending the bigger plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Sealion 6 Down Under to take up the fight against Toyota.

In top Premium specification, the Sealion 6 is aimed squarely at higher-end RAV4 variants. Let’s see how it matches up against the similarly priced Cruiser Hybrid.

Pricing

The range-topping BYD Sealion 6 Premium works out to be nearly $1500 cheaper than the Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid AWD, which also sits near the top of the RAV4 tree.

Only the RAV4 Edge Hybrid comes out more expensive, at $58,360 before on-road costs.

Model Price before on-roads
2024 BYD Sealion 6 Premium AWD $52,990
2024 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid AWD $54,410

Drivetrains and efficiency

Both cars send power to all four wheels and feature four-cylinder petrol engines, but that’s where the similarities end.

The Sealion 6 Premium is powered by the combination of a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and dual electric motors (front and rear), which differs from the RAV4 in a few ways.

Firstly, the BYD engine features forced induction in the form of a turbocharger.

The Sealion is also a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), meaning it has a much larger battery allowing the car to drive solely on electric power for 81km.

Conversely, the RAV4 is a conventional hybrid designed to switch between power sources without covering extended distances in EV mode.

Given the disparity in power source between the two models, it’s perhaps a surprise both feature CVT transmissions.

The option of EV driving gives BYD the advantage from a fuel economy standpoint, although the drive battery has to be regularly charged for the owner to reap those benefits.

BYD Sealion 6 Toyota RAV4
Engine 1.5L 4cyl turbo 2.5L 4cyl
Hybrid Dual e-motors: Front + rear Dual e-motors: Front + rear
Battery 18.3kWh (LFP) 1.6kWh (NiMH)
EV range 81km N/A
Power Petrol engine: 96kW
Electric motors: 150kW + 120kW
Combined: 238kW
Petrol engine: 131kW
Electric motors: 88kW
Combined: 163kW
Torque Petrol engine: 220Nm
Electric motors: 300Nm + 250Nm
Combined: 550Nm
Petrol engine: 221Nm
Electric motors: 202Nm
Combined: N/A
Transmission CVT CVT
Driven wheels All-wheel drive All-wheel drive
Fuel economy (claim) 1.4L/100km 4.8L/100km
Fuel tank capacity 60L 55L

Dimensions

The BYD Sealion 6 has a slightly larger footprint on the road, being both longer and wider compared to the RAV4.

However, there is a big discrepancy between the cars when it comes to weight. A larger, heavier drive battery contributes to a kerb weight of 2100kg for the BYD – 345kg more than the Toyota.

Despite its more compact dimensions the RAV4 also boasts 155L more boot space with the rear seats in place, which expands to 250L of bonus room with them folded down.

BYD Sealion 6 Toyota RAV4
Length 4775mm 4600mm
Width 1890mm 1855mm
Height 1670mm 1685mm
Wheelbase 2765mm 2690mm
Boot capacity 425L (min) – 1440L (max) 580L (min) – 1690L (max)
Kerb weight 2100kg 1755kg
Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) 2510kg 2230kg

Servicing and warranty

The Sealion 6 is backed by a six-year, 150,000 kilometre warranty and an eight-year, 160,000km battery warranty.

Neither BYD nor local distributor EVDirect have detailed a maintenance schedule for the Sealion 6, though the brand’s electric products require scheduled servicing every 12 months or 20,000 kilometres – whichever comes first.

We’ll update this article when service pricing information becomes available.

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Toyota hybrid models also get up to 10 years of warranty coverage “as long as you undertake your annual inspection as part of routine maintenance according to the vehicle logbook”.

Toyota Australia offers up to five years or 75,000km of capped-price servicing, with intervals of 12 months or 15,000 kilometres for the RAV4.

All RAV4 engine variants cost $260 per service for the first five visits under the capped-price servicing program.

BYD Sealion 6 Toyota RAV4
Warranty 6 years, 150,000km 5 year, unlimited kilometres
Service intervals N/A 12 months or 15,000km
Avg. annual service price first 5 years N/A $260

Safety

The Sealion 6 doesn’t arrive with an ANCAP safety rating, though BYD says a five-star result is “expected”.

The electric BYD Seal U – as the Sealion 6 is known elsewhere – achieved a five-star Euro NCAP result in 2023.

It earned a 90 per cent score for adult occupant protection, 86 per cent for child occupant protection, 83 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 77 per cent for safety assist.

Standard safety equipment on the BYD Sealion 6 includes:

  • 7 airbags
    • Dual front
    • Dual side
    • Dual curtain
    • Front-centre
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Child Presence Detection
  • Door Open Warning
  • Front collision warning
  • Front cross-traffic assist
  • High beam assist
  • Intelligent speed limit information, control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Rear collision warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Traffic sign recognition

The Toyota RAV4 wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on tests conducted by Euro NCAP in 2019.

It scored of 93 per cent for adult occupant protection, 89 per cent for child occupant protection, 85 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 83 per cent for safety assist.

Standard safety equipment on the Toyota RAV4 includes:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian/daytime cyclist detection
    • Intersection Turn Assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane Tracing Assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Reversing camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Trailer sway control
  • Emergency Steering Assist
  • Hill-start Assist Control
  • Seven airbags incl. front, front side, full length curtain and driver’s knee airbag. 

A 360-degree camera is available on Cruiser models.

Standard features

The BYD Sealion 6 Premium comes standard with the following features:

Exterior

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • 235/50 R19 Giti tyres
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Matte roof rails
  • One-touch tailgate
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Electrically adjustable, heated mirrors
  • Auto-dimming interior mirror
  • Soundproof glass – front
  • Privacy glass – rear

Interior

  • Synthetic leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 12.3-inch LCD digital instrument cluster
  • Sunglasses holder
  • Synthetic leather-wrapped seats
  • 8-way power driver’s seat
  • 4-way power passenger seat
  • Heated, ventilated front seats
  • Manually adjustable rear seat backrests
  • Front dual cup holders
  • Rear centre armrest incl. 2 x cup holders
  • Metal door sill protectors
  • Front sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Head-up display
  • Blue + Grey upholstery ($NCO)

Entertainment

  • 15.6-inch rotating infotainment touchscreen
  • AM/FM/DAB radio
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Bluetooth phone, audio streaming
  • Music streaming apps
  • Satellite navigation
  • Voice assistant
  • 10-speaker Infinity audio
  • BYD app store
  • 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A – front
  • 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A – rear
  • Over-the-air updates

Light

  • LED headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED tail lights
  • Sequential rear indicators
  • RGB dynamic ambient lighting
  • LED front reading light
  • LED rear side reading lights

Comfort and convenience

  • Keyless entry and start
  • NFC card key
  • 2 x wireless phone chargers – 15W
  • 12V accessory socket
  • PM2.5 filtration system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Rear central air vents
  • Tyre repair kit

MORE: Everything BYD Sealion 6

The Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid AWD comes standard with the following features:

Exterior

  • ‘Premium’ grille and bumper combo
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Black exterior accents
  • Black two-tone roof finish
  • Front mudflaps
  • Roof rails
  • Rear mudflaps
  • Resin rear spoiler
  • Power sunroof

Interior

  • 10-way power driver’s seat with memory
  • 8-way power passenger seat
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Leatherette-wrapped steering wheel
  • Front/rear carpet mats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Nine-speaker JBL sound system
  • Surround-view camera
  • Digital rear-view mirror 
  • Leatherette-wrapped shifter
  • Leather-accented door trims
  • Black headliner and pillar garnish
  • 2x front and 2x rear cup holders
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Navigation with Toyota Connected Services subscription

Entertainment

  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 10.5-inch infotainment display
  • DAB+ radio
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Wired Android Auto
  • 3x front and 2x rear USB ports

Light

  • Projector LED headlights
  • Front LED fog lights
  • Automatic high-beam
  • Automatic headlights
  • LED interior lighting 
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Illuminated interior door switches
  • Ambient lighting

Comfort and convenience

  • Proximity entry
  • Wireless phone charging
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Rear passenger air vents
  • Space saver spare tyre
  • Keyless start
  • Power tailgate
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Auto power-folding mirrors
  • Two-level boot floor
  • 60/40 split-fold rear seats and centre armrest

MORE: Everything Toyota RAV4