In 2021, over 11,400 new hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) were sold here, 50 per cent more than in 2020. Toyota sold two-thirds of these, and intends to offer an electrified version of every model it has within three years.
With increasing hybrid popularity, Toyota has seen a reduction in overall fleet CO2 levels from 162g/km in 2020 to 158g/km in 2021, and there has been a 14 per cent reduction in the past five years. The introduction of Toyota’s first pure EV, the RAV-like bZ4X SUV, should enhance this trend.
A hybrid is not the best selling Toyota of 2021 – that would be Hilux – but it is the second most popular, the RAV4 total being 6215 units, of which almost 4600 units were hybrids. Toyota has moved roughly 17,000 RAVs since the launch of the latest generation three years ago, two-thirds being hybrids. They’d probably have sold even more had there been a PHEV available to compete with the likes of Outlander. It has a potential EV range of 63km, an overall fuel use figure of 2.8L/100km and is quick too, scampering to 100 in a claimed 5.8sec.
In 2020 Toyota accounted for seven in every 10 new electrified vehicle sales. That’s primarily because its hybrids don’t cost an arm and a leg more than ICE power equivalents, only a few thousand extra, so why would you not?
Okay, so you’re not emissions free, far from it, and your EV range is pitiful compared with a PHEV or a pure EV but there’s no regular petrol equivalent medium SUV that will give you potentially the fuel economy that this will.
When we picked this one up, the long term average fuel use was 5.4L/100km, almost exactly what Toyota claims it will do. Onto SH1 and we saw instantaneous fuel use of 4.0L/100km. That’s good going even for a supermini. Moreover, it runs on 91 unleaded fuel. Yet under the hood is a 2.5 four-cylinder engine and an electric motor integrated in the rear axle, with an electronic CVT as the arbiter of revs and speed. With 163kW of system power, it can get to 100 from standstill in under 8sec, better than most in the class. An overtake requires a little over five sec, brisk enough for safe passing.
So what exactly is this particular RAV4 model? The Adventure arrived here as a range-topping petrol-only variant initially in 2019 but now there’s this hybrid or HV addition that has gone on sale for $56,990 (driveaway pricing). That compares with $52,290 for the petrol-only model. There’s also another new AWD hybrid RAV4, the XSE, and that sits between the GXL and Limited variants, costing $52,990. This gets lots of desirable stuff like adaptive cruise, full LED lighting, heated seats with faux leather cladding, a powered fifth door with 580L-1690L of luggage space, and all the expected modern safety gadgets. There are now five hybrid RAV4 models in total.
The Adventure HV builds on the Limited’s spec with power folding door mirrors, powered heated and vented front seats covered in artificial leather, a digital rear view mirror, a different interior and exterior treatment, unique 19-inch alloy wheels, torque vectoring, AWD and a hill descent control system.
At the Central NI launch in 2019, we were most impressed by the newcomer’s dynamics. That’s on account of the then new TNGA underpinnings, said to be stiffer by 60 per cent than before, enhanced also by a lower C of G, and new wishbone set-up at the rear.
And that’s still the case now. Along a bumpy rural highway, this was a picture of composure, the steering even a bit interesting, unusual in this sector. It rides calmly too, with little tyre roar, absorbing most all before it and the cabin SPLs averaged under 70dB.
Adventure HV is also practical, with 200mm of ground clearance, generous seating for five, and space in the rear, after split folding, for a standing work station, a big swivel chair, a printer, a set of golf clubs and an espresso machine. In other words, we moved our temporary office back home. The golf clubs I threw in just in case. It can also tow up to 1500kg braked and has four USB outlets for charging devices.
And the final rather excellent aspect? It’s eligible for a rebate from the government of $2335.69 because of its claimed overall WLTP-rated fuel efficiency of 5.3L/100km (CO2 of 122g/km). That’s a nice fillip for something that is so eminently practical and also better for local smog levels. Good luck securing one, however.
|Toyota RAV4 Adventure Hybrid
|Clean Car Discount
|2487cc, IL4, hybrid motor
|Total System Output