Toyota and Honda moving on

2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid cropped for webThe Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a spacious compact crossover that offers fuel-sipping rush hour commutes. COURTESY PHOTO  When the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid hit the market as a 2016 model, it was a remarkably multitalented vehicle. The gas-electric version of Toyota's popular compact crossover, the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid combined a spacious, comfortable interior with outstanding fuel efficiency.
One of the few drawbacks was that you couldn't get a gas-saving hybrid version of the base LE model, meaning that buyers had to step up to the XLE or Limited even if they didn't want the extra features. But now, even that complaint has been resolved. For just $1,350 more than the base LE with its optional all-wheel-drive, Toyota will sell you the hybrid that's not only rated for an extra seven mpg over the gas-only version but is also more powerful.
The hybrid's advantage grows stronger still in lower-speed driving. Normal gasoline-powered vehicles are least efficient in the stop-and-go drag that is I-270 during rush hour or stoplight-clogged Rockville Pike during much of the day. But that's when the RAV4 Hybrid can make the best use of its electric motor. The driver can select EV Mode (standing for "electric vehicle") to lock in moderately peppy all-electric acceleration at speeds up to about 27 mph. After that point, gentle use of the throttle can keep the RAV4's gasoline engine off up to about 47 mph.
EPA ratings for the RAV4 are a whopping 34 miles per gallon in the city, along with a more middling 30 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg overall. A recent weeklong test returned 35.1 mpg, consistent with a 2016 model tested last year.


Reviews of the 2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid and Kia K900



Toyota adds fuel-efficiency to RAV4 crossover with hybrid model


2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. COURTESY PHOTO  

Although gas-electric hybrid cars have found many happy owners, there are various downsides that have kept them from taking over the entire marketplace. They're typically quite a bit more expensive to buy than their gas-only counterparts, and are often either slow or show minimal mileage benefit.

The new 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid compact crossover throws out all of those drawbacks. It's just $700 more than a comparably equipped non-hybrid RAV4, even as its EPA fuel economy ratings rise from 25 miles per gallon in mixed driving up to 33 mpg. And the hybrid actually has more power, not less, than the standard model.

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