Toyota’s latest-generation RAV4, which is due in our market sometime in the first-half of next year after it made its global debut back in March, has been confirmed to be arriving in our market in petrol-electric hybrid guise. The confirmation was rather sneakily obscured in a relatively-unrelated press release, but it was impossible to ignore once noticed.
The Japanese carmaker has yet to release specific details of the hybrid powertrain for our market, though the RAV4 is available abroad with a 2.5-litre petrol 4-cylinder paired to an electric motor, with a CVT automatic doing transmission duties (though even that powertrain remains unspecified in terms of outputs, etc).
However, given that the new RAV4 is built off of the Toyota New Global Architecture, which is shared with cars like the Toyota Camry and Lexus ES, it’s possible that the RAV4 will utilise an existing hybrid powertrain. The most likely candidate for our market is the hybrid powertrain from the new Camry saloon, which puts out a respectable 160kW from its 2.5-litre-and-electric-motor combination.
The RAV4 hybrid will be the very first of its kind around the world, as previous iterations of the popular SUV opted to offer a turbodiesel mill in selected markets for those keeping an eye on the fuel bills. But thanks to the fallout that diesel mills have suffered over the last few years (thanks for that, Volkswagen), it seems that the petrol-electric hybrid is the only solution.
That said, we’re at least glad that the RAV4 hybrid won’t be using a comically-downsized petrol mill as older Japanese hybrids have done in the past, as we can only imagine that such a setup would inevitably result in increased fuel consumption during long-distance cruises (where the electric motor chimes in less, if at all). But what we’re excited to see is how frugal it’ll be around town, where most RAV4s will live anyway.