Toyota practically invented the SUV genre with the original RAV4 in 1994. 25 years later, the compact high-rider is in the fifth generation, and with emissions rules getting tougher in most western markets, it's also being offered with a hybrid.
The 2019 RAV4 Hybrid uses an electrified 2.4-liter, four-cylinder powertrain with a combined system output of 219 HP that’s channeled to both axles via a CVT. It returns 41/38/40 mpg (5.7/6.2/5.9 l/100 km / 49/45.6/48 mpg UK) in city/highway/combined, so it’s an interesting alternative to the regular petrol-powered versions that have a fuel economy of 26/35/30 mpg (9/6.7/7.8 l/100 km / 31.2/42/36 mpg US).
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CVTs are a bit hit-and-miss, but due to the instant torque by the electric motor, this one does the job better than most, as verified by KBB in their video review. Furthermore, the RAV4 Hybrid becomes quite lively with the Sport mode engaged, yet those who want to achieve the best possible fuel economy should stick to Eco. Four-wheel drive is standard and helps improve traction and minimize understeer, and also provides extra peace of mind to drivers who think they need it at all times and on all road surfaces.
The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite is found in all grades and includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Road Sign Assist and automatic high beams.
The base LE Hybrid starts at $27,850, or $2,200 more than the entry-level, non-hybrid LE. The electrified XLE and XSE cost $29,650 and $33,850, while the Limited comes at $35,850.