Road Test: 2016 RAV4 Hybrid
ToyotaTEST has been a recognized leader in hybrid technology since it was first introduced, with more than seven hybrid models currently on offer under Toyota’s label, and another six with Lexus. For many of us, the Toyota Prius is synonymous with the term hybrid, with four variants of the popular vehicle on the market. Toyota has managed to achieve an equal amount of success with its Highlander and Camry models as well, continuing in their journey to bring hybrid technology into the mainstream.
This is why no one was surprised when Toyota announced the launch of a hybrid version of the popular RAV4 for 2016. This compact crossover is Toyota’s second-best selling vehicle, behind the Corolla, and is closing in on the top spot fast. As part of a mid-cycle update, the RAV4 Hybrid uses the same hybrid technology that powers the Lexus NX AWD, with a 2.5L four-cylinder Atkinson engine, a pair of electric motors and a continuously variable transmission.
With an EPA of 7.2L/100km combined city/highway, the RAV4 Hybrid has a towing capacity of 1,750 lb and is available in two trim levels. It drives well, with powerful acceleration and minimal steering feedback, and the regenerative braking is far less noticeable than in hybrids of years past.
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