Imagine a Toyota that accelerates to a terrifying speed? That is for fuel economy which is rare to know there. This equation is found in America’s best-selling passenger car of 2021. Camry, Corolla? That’s nothing. Its name is RAV4.
The model is available in Brazil in a hybrid version for regeneration (the same system as the Corolla), and it has very modest sales. However, the one we tested in the U.S. is still unheard of here, and it offers a ride that the RAV4 offered in the domestic market lacks.
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This is the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid Prime, which has two electric motors as well as a 2.5 combustion engine. To power them, a battery of more than 18 kWh, the same capacity as that which has recently been launched in the 2023 line of Volvo XC60 and XC90.
If the RAV4 sold in Brazil has 220 hp, the Plug-in Hybrid Prime offers 302 hp. In the United States, it costs US$ 44,000, equivalent to R$ 220,000. But don’t even think about such a price here. If it does, it will be more expensive. Its direct rival, the Jeep Compass 4xe, costs BRL 350,000.
Maybe the RAV4 plug-in won’t go that far, but for less than R$300,000 it won’t get there. But, after all, this version is coming to Brazil? Toyota promises to bring a Plug-in Hybrid, but doesn’t reveal if it’s a Prius or a RAV4.
If you look at the configuration of the Brazilian market, the RAV4 makes more sense. Its part is one of the most popular. It includes models like Compass and Taos, for example. If it does, it will continue as it is today: placed above the Corolla Cross.
I tested the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid for about 2,800 miles, mostly on fast-moving roads in the southern United States. The test went through seven states in the country: Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
How is the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid doing?
Performance is what the RAV4 plug-in rechargeable is all about. When pressing hard on the accelerator pedal, the response is surprising. After all, Toyota and acceleration are two things we are not used to seeing together.
According to information from the automaker, the RAV4 Plug-in accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 5.8 seconds. There is a sports driving mode, which interacts with the response of the set and leaves the steering more stable.
Still, overall the RAV4 is a fun car, like all good Toyotas – especially those aimed at the American market, where the public likes comfort.
A combined power of 302 hp is provided by a 177 hp gasoline engine and two electric motors, one with 179 hp and the other with 53 hp. As with Compass 4xe, torque is revealed separately.
2.5 gives 22.5 mkgf. For the electric ones, it is 27.5 mkgf and 12.3 mkgf. The model’s transmission is of the CVT type, with infinite gear ratios.
Despite the declared capacity of 520 liters, the trunk is not for show. It had two medium (23 kg) and two small (15 kg) boxes without leaving any space. So it’s similar to the Compass, but it’s behind the Taos room.
The interior space stands out, mainly because the central tunnel is not very high. The seats are comfortable and ergonomic, and the tested version had a nice panoramic sunroof.
The finish is very well done, with well-placed parts and rubberized plastic throughout the cabin. However, it does not catch the eye. As is the rule with Toyota cars, the interior is very conservative.
The panel combines analog and digital components. And you know the TV-style media center that the Corolla has? The RAV4 plug-in also offers. It is touch sensitive but has physical buttons. Its operation is a little slow.
This model has a smartphone charger (wireless) and four USB Type-C ports (two for front occupants and two for rear passengers).
Use and freedom
But what kind of plug-in is the RAV4 in electric-only mode? It depends on the cycle used to make this measurement, which varies from country to country. In the United States, according to information from Toyota, it can reach 67 kilometers per recharge.
However, the car was tested many times on high-speed highways (maximum speed of 113 km / h). In this case, the average was 16.5 km / l.
But, after all, is it better than the Compass 4xe? The RAV4 plug-in is faster than the Jeep. The finish, although not the best, is better done. The list of devices is the same, and the right to run support systems.
The two models are very similar in nature, but the Jeep is more exciting in terms of handling. Therefore, the price position will define whether Toyota is better or not, if it comes to Brazil.
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