2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Still a pleasant surprise after all these years

6 Oct 2017 | 793 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds Tried, true, familiar--and fun. Pretty much sums up the Toyota RAV4 compact utility vehicle, don't you think?   We do.  We just finished a test drive of the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited with all wheel drive, and we could not have been more pleased. The RAV4, in our view, is one of the top contenders in the CUV end of the market, but it especially shines when it comes to sporty, lively driving--especially this Hybrid version.  It's faster than the conventional model, which surprised us, and despite being a design that has some years on it, it looks pretty sporty and aggressive.  And it looks especially classy and rugged in darker colors like the shade used for our test example, which listed for $35,304. Power comes fron a Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive System that consists of a 2./5 liter four cylinder engine combined with a power pack that together bring you 194 net horsepower.   The only fly in the ointment is  that when you have to accelerate strongly on the highway the hybrid system does get louder and sounds rather annoyed, to be honest. Other than that, though--smooth sailing! Strong but stable handling and braking that is responsive without being overly sensitive. Another high point for the RAV4 Hybrid is the gasoline mileage.   Rating is 32 miles per gallon combined with 34 city and 30 highway. And RAV4 saves you quite a pretty penny during ownership when it comes to gas mileage.   You can save a whopping $1,250 in fuel costs over five years with this RAV4 Hybrid compared to the average new vehicle.  And it only uses 3.1 gallons of gas per 100 miles. ratings.  Annual fuel costs is $1,150 based on 15,000 miles of driving on gasoline costing $2.45 a gallon. The RAV4 in its current design cycle has been around for awhile, but frankly it looks pretty cool and sport, and even aggressive in terms of the impression it makes. It certainly stays with the competition on this score and even beats some newer products when it comes to looks. By the way, if you think that a hybrid RAV4 will mean a significant loss in cargo space, you can stop worrying now. The space only drops  from 38.4 cubic feet to 35.6 cubic feet. For 2017, The main new feature is Toyota Safety Sense. It includes a forward collision warning system, lane departure warning and intervention, automatic high-beam control and adaptive cruise control.   The RAV4 Hybrid comes in XLE, SE and Limited trims. The XLE gets you  17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights with auto high-beam control, foglights, heated mirrors, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seat, a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface (Entune), keyless entry and ignition, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio. Several advanced safety systems are standard this year, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning and intervention.
SE brings you  LED lighting (including headlights), 18-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, simulated-leather upholstery (SofTex), a power driver seat, heated front seats and a power liftgate. The loaded Limited is just that:  Loaded. The Limited adds to the other trim levels such goodies as front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver-seat memory settings, and a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation and smartphone app integration. Standard safety features include Toyota Safety Sense, dynamic radar cruise control, the star Safety System with enhanced stability control, traction control, antilock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and Smart Stop, Blind Spot monitor , rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sonar and other items. Since we told you how much we like the exterior, we will now concentrate on the interior. The interior is resolutely contemporary, with interesting two toned door treatments, and an instrument [panel filled with angles, curves and very substantial, luxurious trims and materials.  Seating is well done, and the RAV4 has plenty of room for all of its occupants. The warranty package includes a 8 year, 100,o00 mile warranty for the hybrid powertrain components, 3 year/36,000 mile basic coverage warranty, and five year, 60,000 mile powertrain coverage.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

aj on twitter aj on facebook