2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
Hybrid instead of diesel? Can that go well with an SUV like the Toyota RAV4? It can, as our driving report with the model of the Japanese shows.
What has long been Toyota's Achilles heel in Germany has now turned into an advantage in the face of the diesel crisis. The alternative drive has long since arrived in the compact SUV RAV4 and cuts a fine figure - if you get involved with its peculiarities.
Even if the current generation of the RAV4 shows more corners and edges, it remains a classic crossover: more inflated car than domesticated off-road vehicle. The target group is clearly the family. There is extra space at the rear, the trunk is large and well-designed, the ambience is cozy and comfortable. This also applies to the driver's workplace.
Toyota RAV4 with 218 hp
Those who like to relax their extremities on the cockpit furniture will find almost every possible surface softly padded. Switches and buttons appear stable and lock firmly into place, radiate robust durability.
It doesn't really matter that the well-made interior materials don't always have the highest quality and the design of the center console and instruments is a bit too confusing and cluttered, at least for European tastes.
Speaking of European taste: especially in Germany, many like their SUVs as sporty as possible. The RAV4 is definitely the wrong choice for you - even if its drive power of up to 218 hp currently marks the top end of the Toyota range (at least until the Supra sports car comes onto the market in August).
Six liters possible in city traffic
The ample power is generated by a full hybrid drive consisting of an electric motor (two in the all-wheel drive version) and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine. Its primary task, however, is not massive propulsion, but rather restraint at the gas station. And it does justice to this requirement: the standard consumption of around 4.5 liters per 100 kilometers should only be met by cautious drivers under ideal conditions, but a five to the decimal point or a small six in city traffic are possible without great ambition.
A diesel can't do better either, which is why Toyota doesn't even offer it in the RAV4. However, the hybrid cannot keep up with the draft of a diesel. Compared to earlier systems, the unpleasant rubber band effect when accelerating is much more subtle. In addition to the good insulation and the high-torque electric drive, the relatively large and powerful gasoline engine (177 hp), which can cope with many tightening of the pace without excessive effort, helps. Only when he is really challenged does he acknowledge it with angry yelp - so that from now on you refrain from doing this in your own interest.
However, the rather relaxed drive does not prevent you from confident progress and brisk overtaking. The chassis is designed to be comfortable, but does not seem to be non-binding or overwhelmed by higher speeds. The RAV4 is so solid and solid on the road outside of town that neither steering corrections nor physical balance movements over a long distance tug at nerves or concentration.
In the typical European city, however, the Toyota reaches its limits, where it is simply too big and confusing. After all, the braking force recovery of the hybrid drive pays off particularly well there. Curvy, not too narrow country roads still suit him better, but should be approached relaxed, not least because of the drive.
At least 33,000 euros expensive
As convincing as the hybrid drive of the RAV4 is - it has to be bought at a high price. The inexpensive variant with front-wheel drive already costs at least 33,000 euros. That is around 7,000 euros more than was due for the diesel variant of the previous generation.
If you want all-wheel drive, because you sometimes want to hook a larger trailer, you have to transfer at least 38,000 euros. Although the new one has more power and better equipment, many interested parties could still be deterred and prefer to look for a cheap diesel model from the competition. Mainly because the only alternative at Toyota, a pure gasoline engine with 175 hp, is thirsty and therefore not very attractive.
However, if you are not afraid of the investment, you will get a high-quality and spacious travel and family car with low consumption and a green conscience. It's harder to invest your mobility budget these days. (SP-X)
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