In 1992, Toyota invented the compact SUV when it released the RAV4. Now, a new model joins the range: the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
It was launched at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show and will be on sale in the UK in 2016 and join the 8 million hybrid cars Toyota has sold worldwide since 1997.
The RAV4 Hybrid is available with two-wheel-drive, or clever E-four all-wheel-drive. E-four all-wheel-drive uses a second electric motor mounted directly between the rear wheels, saving weight compared with a traditional all-wheel drive. Thanks to the extra traction provided by E-four, the all-wheel-drive model can tow up to 1,650kg, one of the highest towing capacities of any hybrid vehicle. Electric motors in the RAV4 Hybrid act like generators when the car is braking or slowing down, recovering energy from the battery and saving fuel.
Speaking of fuel, the RAV4 Hybrid achieves a class-leading economy figure of 57.5mpg. Official CO2 emissions are 115g/km (subject to homologation). The RAV4 will also be available with an updated 2.0-litre petrol engine or a new 2.0-litre diesel.
Whichever version you opt for, the 2016 RAV4 has a refreshed interior. Most versions will be available with Toyota Safety Sense technology too. And like every RAV4, it has bags of storage space and comfortable seating for five people.
A new 4.2-inch colour multi-information display in the instrument binnacle offers the driver information including navigation instructions, energy usage, vehicle information and customisation options. It’s all coordinated with the central Toyota Touch 2 display.
2016 Toyota RAV4: Grades and equipment
Toyota is offering customers more choices and improved equipment specifications with a new five-grade line-up that introduces Business Edition Plus trim and changes the flagship designation from Invincible to Excel.
The entry-level Active grade features the new 2.0 D-4D diesel engine and comes equipped as standard with a wealth of extra equipment features. These include the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system with touchscreen, six-speaker audio system with DAB radio, rear-view camera, cruise control, sunglasses holder, shark fin antenna and leather steering wheel cover. This is an addition to current items including 17-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, rear privacy glass and electric door mirrors.
The RAV4 Business Edition – also powered by the 2.0-litre diesel engine – gains front and rear underruns. Elsewhere retains its high-value specification, with highlights including Toyota Touch 2 with Go navigation and on-board connectivity system, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, front fog lamps, retractable door mirrors, automatic headlights and wipers, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
The new Business Edition Plus is launched as a hybrid/front-wheel drive-only grade and comes with LED front and rear lights, a power tailgate, keyless entry and push-button start.
All three powertrains and front and all-wheel drive options are offered in Icon trim. Key additional features include 18-inch machined-finish alloy wheels, LED headlamps, combination leather and Alcantara upholstery, electrically adjustable driver’s seat (with power-adjustable lumbar support), heated front seats and an Alcantara dashboard finish. On these models, the Toyota Touch 2 system is provided with an optional upgrade to Touch 2 with Go with satellite navigation and connectivity functions.
The Excel models adopt the Toyota Touch 2 package (with Touch 2 with Go optionally available), plus leather upholstery, roof rails and front and rear parking sensors.
2016 Toyota RAV4: Toyota Safety Sense
Toyota Safety Sense is available as an option (£695) on all versions of the new RAV4, apart from Active grade. The package of integrated active safety and driver assistance includes a radar-controlled Pre-Collision System that can detect both vehicles and pedestrians on the road ahead. This works in conjunction with a Pre-Collision Brake and Brake Assist to alert the driver to the imminent risk of a collision, prepare the brakes to deliver extra stopping power and, if the driver fails to react, initiate braking autonomously.
The same radar unit also equips RAV4 with Adaptive Cruise Control, which helps the driver maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Other features include Road Sign Assist, which recognises principal motorway and major route signs and repeats on the TFT screen in the driver’s instrument binnacle.
Camera sensors monitor the white lines of motorways and major dual carriageways to provide a Lane Departure Alert, warning the driver if the vehicle strays out of its lane without the turn indicators being used. The same system also provides a new Sway Warning, detecting from irregular vehicle movements that the driver may be becoming drowsy. If it believes the driver’s attention is becoming potentially unsafe, it will flash up a Sway Warning alert on the TFT screen with a coffee cup image, recommending the driver take a break from the wheel.
Toyota Safety Sense is completed by Automatic High Beam, which maximises full beam headlight operation. The system detects oncoming traffic and vehicles ahead and automatically dips the lights, returning them to full beam as soon as the road ahead is clear. This function can be switched off if the driver prefers to operate the lights manually at any time.
|Active||2.0 D-4D diesel||6MT/FWD||£23,695|
|Business Edition||2.0 D-4D diesel||6MT/FWD||£24,595|
|Business Edition Plus||2.5 Hybrid||CVT/FWD||£26,195|
|Icon||2.0 D-4D diesel||6MT/FWD||£26,995|
|Icon||2.0 Valvematic petrol||CVT/AWD||£28,295|
|Excel||2.0 D-4D diesel||6MT/FWD||£27,995|
|Excel||2.0 Valvematic petrol||CVT/AWD||£29,295|
All information is correct at the time of publishing.