The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is actually all the car you need
We live in a time where petrol has become extremely expensive but thankfully automotive manufacturers have been fast tracking their alternative energy development. We have seen a flurry of all-electric cars enter our market in recent years however could the good old hybrid be our one true saving grace? Toyota has been a believer in hybrid technology for years. Could the latest RAV4 hybrid be the answer that we need?
In terms of character, the GX-R delivers a stylish yet rugged exterior with prominent black cladding, black over-fenders and a silver bumper protector. A large trapezoidal grille, with two parallel cross-bars, and wide-set fog lamps frame the blue-hued Toyota insignia - a hybrid exclusive. The interior on the GX-R features leather trim, as well as striking orange detailing on the stitching, seatback and console surround areas - adding a dash of flair to the cabin.
The GX-R features LED headlamps and daytime running lights, aforementioned fog lamps, roof rails, rear spoiler and new smoked 18" alloy wheels. Convenience specification is ample with auto air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, smart entry, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, five USB ports, a wireless charger, reverse camera, rear park distance control (PDC) and cruise control. Both seat heating and ventilation are on offer, as well as power seat adjustment for the driver.
All RAV4 Hybrid models employ Toyota's 4th-generation hybrid system which in RAV4 E-FOUR execution combines a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor - on the front axle while adding a rear-mounted electric motor. The petrol engine offers 131kW and 221Nm of torque while the total system output is around 163kW.
The duel-motor setup not only provides the vehicle with new energy credentials, but adds on-demand AWD to the powertrain matrix. The electric E-Four system automatically optimises the torque distribution ratio according to driving conditions, which can vary between 100% in the front, to a 20/80 front-rear split.
Fuel efficiency remains one of the key hybrid credentials, with the RAV4 E-FOUR Hybrid being no exception. A combined cycle figure of 4.8 l/100 kilometres certainly validates this statement. The RAV4 also offers a decent driving experience in terms of comfort. It feels solid and as mentioned, is relatively spacious.
Sure, the RAV4 is not without its faults. The CVT gearbox tends to get a bit noisy when you demand everything it has to give but then again, this car is not intended to be driven like a performance car. It has been designed to offer comfort, safety and fuel economy which it does extremely well. Would we like to see a more modern infotainment system? Absolutely but other than that, there is not much to fault about this vehicle. In a time where the cost of living is increasing, this should be on your list as a long term vehicle purchase.