69.8 ft3 Cargo
The Toyota RAV4 was the first compact sport utility vehicle introduced in the United States. It debuted in 1996 with its acronym meaning “Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive.” Sales of the RAV4 have increased every year. 2017 was its best-selling edition ever, with 407,594 units sold, including more than 50,000 hybrid models.
Cumulative sales for Toyota’s ground-breaking 5-seat SUV, the RAV4, reached the 10 million sales mark in 2020. The hybridized RAV4 debuted in the 2016 model year and continues to be a huge success with eco-minded drivers who crave above average fuel efficiency. MPG for all 5 2021 RAV4 Hybrids is 41/38/40 City/Highway/Combined.
Two huge pluses for the RAV4 Hybrid: It gets an EPA-Estimated 580 miles of total range, and you’ll save $3,000 in fuel costs over a 5-year driving period using this hybrid rather than a comparable ICE car.
The U.S. News & World Report's #1 ranking for the RAV4 Hybrid is based on its score within the Hybrid and Electric SUVs category. It is the winner of U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Best Hybrid and Electric SUV for the Money Award and is a finalist for the 2021 Best Hybrid and Electric SUV for Families Award.
Says USN&WR reviewer Ben Kosas: “the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has across-the-board appeal, from its lively powertrain and smooth ride to its large cargo capacity and richly outfitted infotainment system. It also gets great mpg estimates, even when compared to other vehicles in our hybrid and electric SUV rankings. This Toyota has an outstanding combination of quality and value in its class. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has just about everything you could want in a small SUV. It’s roomy, fuel-efficient, powerful, and well-equipped.”
The 2021 hybrid sits on a chassis created by Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform technology. In 2015, when the world’s largest automaker decided to completely reinvent itself for the next generation of auto making, it devised a program of structural innovation to modernize and simplify the basic architecture and powertrains of its vehicles. Making them more cost-effective to produce, the new designs improve performance, enhance product appeal and create major cost-savings which are passed on to customers.
The massive improvement is part of Toyota’s philosophy called “aisha” – “making cars that will be loved by Toyota’s customers.” The TNGA-K technology in the Rav 4 Hybrid is shared with the eighth generation Camry, fifth generation Avalon and seventh generation; three other highly successful Toyota vehicles.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid comes in 5 trims: LE Hybrid (MSRP: $28,900), XLE Hybrid (MSRP: $30,195), XLE Premium Hybrid (MSRP: $32,900), XSE Hybrid ($34,850), and Limited Hybrid (MSRP: $37,430).
All trims come with a 2.5-Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder gas/electric hybrid engine; Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD); 5 driving modes designed for city, highway and off-road terrain: SPORT, ECO, NORMAL, TRAIL, and EV; and All-Season Mud-and-Snow-rated radial tires.
Also standard: an Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT), and an Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) system with integrated regenerative braking, which sends power to the car’s batteries every time braking occurs.
Offering 37.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a total of 69.8 cubic feet behind the front seats, the RAV4 Hybrid’s cargo space eclipses that of most other hybrid and electric SUVs. A power liftgate and a hands-free liftgate are available.
The hybrid’s multimedia system provides Apple CarPlay integration for your iPhone, Android Auto for compatible Android devices, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and SiriusXM (includes 3-month All Access trial subscription).
Safety-wise, the car’s a winner. The NHTSA gave the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid an overall safety rating of 5 out of 5 stars, with 4 stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests and 5 stars in the side crash test. The IIHS gave the 2021 RAV4 the highest rating of Good in all 6 crash tests performed, and models with adaptive headlights were awarded a Top Safety Pick designation.
Standard advanced safety features include:
• Lane trace assist (reads lane markers and detects other vehicles)
• Lane keep assist
• Lane departure warning
• Forward collision warning
• Automatic emergency braking
• Pedestrian detection
• Rearview camera
• Automatic high-beam headlights
• Adaptive cruise control
• Road sign recognition
Discussing the Rav 4 Hybrid’s redesigned interior, Kelley Blue Book reviewers offer this praise: “The interior has gone above and far beyond what the previous RAV4 offered. It now has arguably the nicest-looking interiors in its class.”
The car’s Hybrid System is warrantied for 96 months / 100,000 miles.
Anyone looking for an SUV with electrifying good looks, a comfortable, refined new interior highly touted by reviewers, excellent performance, a long list of safety features and major fuel efficiency should check out the Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid. Its high marks in all categories make it a hard choice to beat.
WRITTEN DECEMBER 2022
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