Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The new Toyota RAV4, the fifth, is a 2 or 4 wheel drive 5 door (segment D) SUV. Taller, wider and longer than a Volkswagen Tiguan and all but identical in size to the new Honda CRV.  Toyota are being brave with their design philosophy and producing cars that are less about curves and more around straight lines, initial reaction to the new car is that the looks are ‘Bold, but not sophisticated’. The RAV4 has a new GA-K platform which improves body stiffness by 57 per cent, making for a quieter, smoother drive, particularly beneficial on a longer drive. Inside the seats are comfortable and front and rear occupants are well looked after and the boot is an excellent 580 litres.

 

The RAV4 is only avaialble as a petrol hybrid, but this hybrid does not plug into the mains to charge the batteries as they are so small, 4.2kw, they are also (older and cheaper) nickel metal-hydride rather than lithium-ion by design, these batteries are charged by regenerative means solely, braking and coasting.  This might sound negative, but Toyota have been extremely clever, it may be badged as a self charging hybrid but should really be called an electric assisted hybrid – the nature of electric power attached to a drive means that all the power is available instantly and Toyota have harnessed this perfectly, the relatively small batteries simply boost the petrol engine, particularly at start off, there may be an electric drive button in the cab and Toyota claim that it can be driven on electric power alone for 1.2 miles under 40mph but in reality the petrol engine starts up after even a few yards. This is not an Electric car or even a Hybrid with the best of both worlds, this is a third way – an electric assisted hybrid and in turn requires a different approach to driving, when we all changed to diesel cars the complaint was there was no top end, all the power was low down in the rev range compared to a petrol car where the peak power was at high revs, in this electric assisted hybrid RAV4 you have to adapt your driving to make the most of it, slamming your foot to the floor will only result in the petrol engine instantly revving at a max 5700 revs and the CVT gearbox will adjust the gearing to shove you forward noisily and quickly, the total power output of the two wheel drive car is 215bhp and the four wheel drive car has an extra motor driving the rear wheels and output increases to 219bhp, this is too much for a CVT to cope with, CVT’s are designed for lower output engines. If you can stand the noise, acceleration is brisk, 0-62 is 8.1 seconds 2wd or 7.8 seconds in 4wd. Fuel economy is officially 51mpg and real life reports that mid 40’s are achievable, you will achieve an excellent return for short trips in comparison to a sole diesel/petrol powered car. The 4 wheel drive car can also tow a braked weight of 1650kg (800kg in 2wd)

 

The RAV4 is avaialble in 4 trim lines, Icon, Design, Excel and Dynamic. All cars have an 8″ touchscreen, sadly this has come in for great criticism as the display is low definition and there is no Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Toyota are promising a fix but at this stage we are unaware if it will be available to already purchased cars. Icon cars have tinted rear windows, LED headlights and rain-sensing wipers, Design adds 18-inch alloy wheels, an electric-opening bootlid, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, fabric upholstery and and satellite navigation. Sporty Dynamic cars have 18-inch black alloy wheels, two-tone metallic paint, black roof lining and upgraded front sports seats with electric adjustment, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning. Excel cars have upgraded LED headlights, heated steering wheel, heated leather seats with electric adjustment and memory functions.

 

The Toyota RAV4 is a complex choice, if you like the styling and can get past the infotainment system shortfalls you are still left with a screaming CVT gearbox to overcome and the lack of an electric only driving option. Having said all this would we seriously consider one – Yes. We urge you to watch the three videos below as together they really layout the RAV4 in full.

The Rav4 has been on and off the Scheme since launch, for Q4 2020 we are getting both the front and all wheel drive variants. Update: the RAV-4 is still showing as avaialble by Toyota but not on the Motability Search, so it is not available to order. The dealer will have more information.

Autumn Best Buy –  Toyota RAV4 2.5 petrol Hybrid Two wheel drive CVT Automatic  ‘Icon’  –  £2645 Advance Payment (£1531 wpms) or £2895 (£1781 wpms) in Design trim or £3495 (£2381 wpms) in Dynamic or Excel trim

Autumn Best Buy –  Toyota RAV4 2.5 petrol Hybrid All wheel drive CVT Automatic  ‘Design’  –  £3745 Advance Payment (£2631 wpms)

 

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