As the electrified auto-market ever expands manufacturers are getting wise to the fact that customers now want more than simple eco-credentials, offering up some very finely equipped rides, and Toyota are no exception. One of their legendary SUV – America’s third bestseller by the way – has gone all green, spruced up and graced with its very first hybrid powertrain.
Unlike it’s all-gas powered siblings, there’s no base model. The all-wheel drive 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is available only on XLE and Limited trims also beating them in terms of mileage,, horsepower, torque and acceleration too. So under the hood theres a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine paired with an electric motor, which, when combined offers a thundering 194-hp and 206 lb-ft of torque delivering an admirable EPA rating of 34/31. There’s enough grunt for some gentle towing, it’s 1,750 lb capacity again outmaneuvering its gas-guzzling chums.
Peace of mind is afforded in spades thanks to a raft of safety features which include Pre-Collision Warning System, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams and Dynamic Cruise Control. The XLE comes complete with a high-res 6.1-inch touchscreen and an HD and SirusXM radio, while the Limited boasts a bigger touchscreen by nearly an inch with navigation and Entune App Suite, push button start and heated front seats. The cars come with a combination of LED headlamps, daytime running light and Hi-Lo Headlights, backed by LEDs at the tail.
Inside, the materials most certainly have a more premium feel about them. Everything finally matches, and there’s no unnecessary unsightly trim. Opt for the Limited and find seats, dash and door to be decked out in SofTex, a very convincing imitation leather. Across the range also has been added a superb sound-deadening material for added quiet on an already comfortable drive.
Because of the extra batteries, there is slightly less room than in the gas-powered RAV4s, but that’s not to say it’s stingy by any means. This fun-filled, family-friendly ride offers 70.6-feet if cargo volume with the second row folded and just over half that when it’s up. A lot of effort has clearly gone into the cargo space, with nice user-friendly touches such as a height-adjustable power liftgate, controlled without the need to leave the comfort of the front seat, as standard.