Making Sense and Stepping Forward
When your brand mate is the most prolific hybrid vehicle in the world you know at some point the hybrid powertrain will make its way to your lineup. This is the case for the new Toyota RAV4 which enters its third generation on the market in 2016 with new updates and a hybrid powertrain for us to enjoy. This new system will be the gasoline electric Hybrid Synergy Drive system that has been developed by Toyota. This is a system that will primarily drive the front wheels and offer AWD as an on-demand feature that is standard for this powertrain which will engage an electric motor in the rear when the AWD is needed.
This means there won’t be a driveshaft or a center differential to clog up the space under the RAV4, just an electric motor that gives you AWD for the driving. This is a unique and forward-thinking method of driving to give us a system that is perfect for the ride. This system has been used in the Highlander before on the hybrid model with excellent results, which makes it a perfect match for the smaller SUV size of the RAV4.
Under the hood we get to enjoy a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine that adds an electric motor up front when driving in typical FWD fashion. This offers a peak output of 194 horsepower with the two systems working together. The weight of the hybrid model is about 320 pounds heavier than the standard model, but this one is quicker with the ability to reach sixty mph in only 8.1 seconds. This powertrain will also give you more fuel mileage, which you should expect, with a 34 city/31 hwy mpg which is much better than the 24 city/31 hwy on the typical RAV4 and 22 city/29 hwy mpg for the AWD version.
Step foot inside the RAV4 and the first thing you notice when the engine is on is the quiet cabin. The ride quality is soft and compliant to give you a vehicle that is easy to love on the road and take to some lighter trails. The only indication you have that the rear wheels are doing any work is a gauge that tells you what is happening under the vehicle. Of course you will also notice the regenerative braking system which helps to increase the hybrid distance and make it easier for you to enjoy the full power of this SUV.
With the upgraded styling and interior features this RAV4 looks much different from the previous versions. The interior upgrades include the Toyota Safety Sense system which employs automatic emergency braking and pedestrian recognition to help you as the driver. The seats are fresh and comfortable for you to enjoy the ride, giving you the right place to enjoy the drive.
With this vehicle added to the lineup from Toyota there are now eight hybrid models from this brand to give us some of our favorite vehicles with the added range of hybrid technology. If you are ready for a new SUV, the new RAV4 Hybrid makes a great choice for the driving, the impressive AWD system and the features offered for the drive.