Toyota announces 2016 RAV4 Hybrid model
Toyota has announced that the refreshed 2016 RAV4 crossover will include a hybrid gasoline-electric model, making it the eighth hybrid in Toyota’s lineup. The company says the hybrid is the most powerful and fuel efficient of the RAV4 options.
New exterior styling points include updated bumpers, skid plate garnishes and new wheel options. Three new colors, including Silver Sky Metallic, Black Currant Metallic, and Electric Storm Blue have been added as well.
Inside, the 2016 RAV4 will be among the first US models to have Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), an advanced safety package that includes pre-collision braking. Other features include forward collision warning, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, a pedestrian pre-collision system, and adaptive cruise control. These will be available on certain trim levels, starting with the RAV4 Limited model.
New for 2016 is a hybrid model of the RAV4 crossover. This gasoline-electric version of the RAV4 has on-demand all-wheel drive as standard and utilizes the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive that powers the Prius and other hybrid models in Toyota’s model line. The RAV4 Hybrid’s system includes a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor/generator in the transaxle. A second electric motor is located on the rear axle, allowing all-wheel drive without the need of a secondary drive shaft. The transmission is continuously variable (CVT).
The system outputs a total of 194 horsepower (145 kW) and 206 pound-feet (279 Nm) of torque, combined, with power delivery from gas and electric varying according to need. The extra power and torque means that the RAV4 Hybrid has a 0-60 mph (97 kmh) time that is one second faster than the gasoline-only option (8.1 seconds vs 9.1).
A small nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack stores power generated from the engine and regenerative braking, allowing the RAV4 Hybrid to drive in electric-only mode for about 0.6 miles (1 km) at speeds under 25 mph (40 km/h).
The standard gasoline models of the 2016 Toyota RAV4 will continue to utilize the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine carried over from the previous model year. These output 176 horsepower (131 kW) and 172 lb-ft (233 Nm) of torque in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive through a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2016 RAV4 Hybrid will enter showrooms in November with two trim choices. The XLE grade begins at $28,370, delivery included, and the Limited grade begins at $33,610 with delivery. EPA-rated fuel efficiency numbers have not yet been released.
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I still think EV is a better option than hydrogen but I'm sure toyota has their own reasons. Batteries might still be a little expensive for pure EV vehicles in the RAV4's price range. I'm looking forward to seeing what Toyota does with the 2016 Prius line because I think they are converting a lot of it over to Lithium Ion this year.