The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid takes the ground-breaking RAV4 compact crossover formula to the next level by adding a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. Introduced for the 2016 model year, Toyota launched the RAV4 Hybrid as the eighth vehicle in its hybrid lineup.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Overview
The RAV4 Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors. The combined system equates to 194 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. The RAV4 Hybrid is an all-wheel drive vehicle, with one of the electric motors dedicated to powering the rear wheels. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard and the all-wheel drive system can send power to the front or all four wheels, depending on the driving conditions.
The RAV4 Hybrid offers well-mannered driving dynamics, with steering that is precise and a regenerative braking system that is quite capable at stopping the vehicle. However, what really sets the RAV4 Hybrid apart is its fuel economy, which is an EPA-estimated 34/31 mpg city/highway.
The RAV4 Hybrid offers seating for five and 35.6 cubic feet of cargo space when all the seats are in place. Cargo space expands to an impressive 70.6 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. The nicely equipped RAV4 Hybrid is only available in XLE and Limited trims, which are higher trims on the gas-only model. The higher trim levels assure an abundance of soft-touch surfaces and nicely appointed finishes. Thanks to the packaging, the RAV4 Hybrid offers a higher level of luxury than is typically expected in the segment, especially in the technology-laden Limited model with leatherette (Softex) trim.
The base XLE trim includes an audio system with navigation and a touch-screen display. An auxiliary audio jack, USB port, voice recognition and Bluetooth join with a large assortment of driving apps and an integrated backup camera.
The Limited model features an abundance of active safety technology, including blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. An available safety package brings in forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with lane keep assist, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control.
The Hybrid compact crossover market is a relatively small segment with few choices. Still, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, and the upscale Lexus NX 300h (which shares quite a bit with the RAV4 Hybrid) are worth investigating for close comparisons. Other non-hybrid competitors include the fuel-efficient Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee and Ford Escape, as well as the gas-only Toyota RAV4.