Toyota RAV4 gets hybrid treatment for 2016

2016 Toyota RAV4 hybrid
© Toyota

Toyota's eight hybrid model

One more new hybrid was announced at the New York Auto Show. Those of you looking for an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle - maybe because you live in an area with bad roads and lots of snow - that is also fuel efficient and has low emissions (the RAV4 hybrid is likely to be classified AT-PZEV) don't have tons of choices. This could be a good one.

2016 Toyota RAV4 hybrid© Toyota

The 2016 RAV4 hybrid will be powered by a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine running on the Atkinson cycle (for better efficiency and lower emissions) and an electric motor, and both set of wheels receive power thanks to the standard Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System. All we know is it'll have "more than the 176 horsepower" of the regular, gasoline-powered version.

The exterior of the 2016 will be refreshed a bit, as you can see in the photos.

And as always with the small crossover segment, the big selling point is this right here:

2016 Toyota RAV4 hybrid© Toyota

MPG still a mystery

Unfortunately, Toyota is playing it close to the vest with fuel economy numbers. It kinds of sucks to unveil a new hybrid and not give MPG numbers, but they're probably wanting to keep that info secret until we're closer to the fall launch. All that we know is that the 2015 RAV4 is getting 24 MPG in the city and 31 on the highway and the hybrid should do better than that. Hopefully much better. Something around 40-45 MPG would be a good start.

2016 Toyota RAV4 hybrid© Toyota

But once again, Toyota missed an opportunity by not making this a plug-in hybrid. By making the battery pack a bit bigger and including a plug, real-world fuel saving would have gone up a lot since most people take so many short trips that could be done mostly in electric mode. But that would have been a tradeoff because of the higher price... Hopefully they still release a plug-in in the near future, as well as more fully electric models.

One more new feature for the RAV4 is the use of multiple cameras to create an overhead view of the vehicle, showing obstacles, curbs, other vehicles, etc. Not a bad idea if it can help make the road safer for everyone:

Tags: Hybrid Cars

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