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2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Specs, News and First Drive Review: Everything Compact Hybrid SUV Must Have

By John Zayan , Jun 13, 2016 07:46 AM EDT
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A hybrid vehicle is only as good as the fuel it saves. The new 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid certainly fits the bill. It is listed in the top 10 best-selling cars in the US.

This hybrid SUV was made with all the power of the gas-powered RAV4 which combines Toyota's excellent reputation for value, reliability and quality. Toyota then took its successful hybrid platform and introduced the new 5-seat RAV4 Hybrid that is offered in two trims: XLE and Limited.

Toyota injected its Hybrid Synergy Drive to the new 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. This excellent hybrid system combines a 4-cylinder 2.5L engine displacement with electric motors powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery.

Connected via a responsive continuously variable transmission, the RAV4 Hybrid makes 194 horsepower combined system output. Offered with an All-wheel drive system (Toyota's AWD-i), the hybrid synergy system powers the electrically-driven rear wheels when required.

On driving impression, the Examiner said that the new RAV4 Hybrid has adequate power for everyday use. It has regenerative brakes that allow exceptional fuel efficiency rated at 33 MPG combined (34 city/31 highway). Unlike other known hybrids which are a somewhat overpriced, the efficient 2016 RAV4 Hybrid is affordable with its MSRP of $28,370.

According to Edmunds, "In the bargain it boosts refinement, since the transmission never has any shift shock. It's a smooth and torquey experience that splits the difference, performance-wise, between base four-cylinder crossovers and ones with upgraded V6 or turbocharged engines. "

The RAV4 Hybrid feels composed in daily driving and offers good ride quality. Edmunds also stated that the new RAV4 is commendably a refined and quiet vehicle once upgraded with sound insulation including other vehicle refinements.

Refreshed with a new front and rear design, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a higher hood line, more distinctive bumper and redesigned grill. Inside the functional interior are up-to-date amenities and clean and softer surfaces which are present on the door panels and dashboard.

For the RAV4 Hybrid XLE version, standard are rearview camera, 17-inch wheels, remote power liftgate, 6.1-inch touch-screen for the Entune system, dual-zone climate control, sunroof and keyless entry system.

The Limited RAV4 Hybrid gets leatherette upholstery, exterior chrome trim, 18-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, satellite radio, LED headlights, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, heated/power-adjustable front seats and smartphone app integration.

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