Finally the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid!

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG]Wonderful 2.5L Camry Hybrid drivetrain and all the utility you could ever want.

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Mar. 26, 2015

    2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – Just a peek... For now.

    This morning Toyota finally announced the RAV4 Hybrid that it will show at this years New York International Auto Show on April 2nd.

    It should have the same lineage as the very intriguing 2015 Lexus NX 300h. Meaning a modern interior and appointments and a little more edgy exterior design.

    I will assume an AWD variant will be available or will be soon after the launch of the FWD model?

    I also expect to see the Avalon/HiHy/NXh Qi built in charging pad although hopefully it is sized for today’s phablets and works better than its predecessors.

    2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid drivetrain

    What I am expecting is a duplicate of that in the NX 300h. Meaning the 2.5L Atkinson-cycle I4 mated to the company’s latest HSD iteration.

    Engine enhancements will include a water-to-oil cooler for the electric drive motor and a revised front drive reduction ratio, improving fuel economy and hill climbing.

    The new P314 transmission provides a kick-down function for greater acceleration performance. The transmission offers sequential shift which allows maximum power to be delivered on demand and increases engine braking when decelerating.

    The hybrid battery pack will weigh less than 100 pounds and like all Toyota hybrids, not impinge on passenger or cargo volume compared to the non-hybrid.

    A downsized Power Control Unit (PCU) with a double-sided inverter cooling system is sure to be included.

    On the AWD front, an electric motor to drive the rear axle like the 14/15 Toyota HiHy while the front axle is propelled by gasoline or electric power, or a mixture of both. Torque distribution to the rear wheels will be dependent on driving dynamics and road conditions, and should provide some rear-wheel torque at start-off to minimize chance of wheel-spin under acceleration and on slippery road surfaces.

    The rear motor just like the larger MG2 traction motor up front can regen power back to the pack during deceleration or downhill glides.

    Expect the NXs HV control software that minimizes engine flare during acceleration and increases the sensation of linear acceleration.

    Like all Toyota hybrids, expect to see the very familiar Eco, Normal and Sport mode.

    Similar to our first look at the Prius v back in 2011, the RAV4 will incorporate a damping control function to reduce pitching on uneven road surfaces and increase ride comfort and stability.

    I am hoping the RAV4 Hybrid will use the Corolla’s LED headlamps with LED accents. This remains to be seen but they are stylish, great in snow and use significantly less energy than the halogen’s most have grown up with.

    I am also expecting the RAV4 Hybrid to arrive with 60/40 split fold down rear seats with not only tilt but a slide mechanism, ala Prius v. The NX incorporates a lift mechanism that I doubt will make it into the RAV4 Hybrid however.

    2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

    A larger look at the teaser that Toyota sent out.​

    I will leave the interior/exterior detail, infotainment and safety attributes on hold until we see the final version from NY next week. I tend to get a little wordy and my guesstimates are just that. Flip a coin and you may or may not win a prize. ;)

    All in, I am going to try and hold Marian’s and my parents buying decision off until this vehicle reaches dealership showrooms probably sometime in early summer. Maybe you should too?
  2. 300kmileprius

    300kmileprius Well-Known Member

    I have heard rumors on the Facebook fusion energi and FEH forum that ford will bring back the escape hybrid. That would be nice.
  3. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the heads-up, Wayne. My sister will want to look at this as well because it checks all the boxes she was looking for. We'll have to see what they cost. I am curious about the drive layout for 4WD; why have a HSD front and then electric drive rear? It seems redundant and unnecessary. Why not ICE front drive and electric rear ala Volvo's hybrid?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  4. waltermlee

    waltermlee Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Wayne for the story.

    An affordable hybrid with higher ground clearance would be a welcomed option for those where road conditions are challenging and fuel cost are high. So far SUV hybrids have been on the expensive side with the exception of the FEH and the Saturn Vue - both are now discontinued - so the market for an affordable SUV hybrid is open. An affordable SUV hybrid would have no competition .

    Jay: The ICE and electric drives are connected in a HSD so the electric motor can recapture the ICE's kinetic energy when the brakes are applied. The trick to energy recapture is to make it simple and direct - each gear, each conversion reduces the efficiency of what is recaptured.

    My wish is that Toyota make a mini-diagnostic OBDII-like tool for its hybrid computer system that independent auto mechanics/shop could use fix the Toyota hybrid vehicles. I would like Toyota and Ford to support 3rd party hybrids diagnostic tool makers like Innova or Acton make hybrid diagnostic tools ...something under the $400 range maybe?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  5. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I looked over the specs of the current RAV4 and found the ground clearance is only 6.3"--same as the Mazda3! The Mazda3 has more front overhang, but still! In contrast, the CX-5 has 8.5" ground clearance. The hybrid RAV4 will weigh 1000+lbs more than the Mazda3. I suspect that the RAV4 will cost $10k more than the Mazda3 and maybe $10k more than the CX-5. We'll have to see the specs, but I doubt the math for the RAV4 will work over the non-hybrid cars we're looking at.
  6. waltermlee

    waltermlee Well-Known Member

    WRT to crossover SUVs with conventional power plants... Mazda crossover CX-5 sells well here in the Washington DC Metro Area - the CX-5 is very affordable, fast, and it is a great design. The Rav4 sells well partly due to Toyota's rep for reliability but also because of its extra cargo capacity but it is designed more like a Station wagon than a truck. When the snow gets a bit deep and when the road surface is littered with potholes - having few extra inches of ground clearance is very desirable. It is because some of the road surfaces around the Washington DC Metro Area can be really rough that cars like the Subaru Forester/Outback which have very high ground clearance(+8 inches) are very popular.

    The Prius's 5.5 inch ground clearance is one of its operational drawbacks - uneven road surfaces /curbs can damage the bottom engine shield and/or the front air dam. The Prius can also get stuck while driving over a road covered with snow when it does not have enough ground clearance to drive over it. The Prius is still an awesome car filled with great tech but it is at its best when in a well maintained driving environment. For a more challenging driving environment - imho- one needs to look else where . unless Toyota makes another version of a Prius that addresses those driving environment challenges.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  7. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Just hope the RAV Hybrid isn't a loaded one. But at least it's finally here. Another local hybrid option.
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show

    Bill Fay, Toyota Group VP and GM

    Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

    It's nice to be back home in the big apple to introduce the newest member of the Toyota family … the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid.


    As excited as I am to show it to you …there is one important topic that I want to address first … a topic that means the world to Toyota ... SAFETY.

    On Monday ... we announced the arrival of a new multi-feature, integrated safety package... anchored by automated pre-collision braking.

    We call it Toyota Safety Sense ... and it includes:

    • Pre-Collision System ...
    • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection ...
    • Lane Departure Alert ...
    • Automatic hi-beam ...
    • and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

    Toyota Safety Sense brings together advanced safety technologies ... for the masses.

    We are so serious about safety …that we will introduce Toyota Safety Sense across nearly all U.S. Toyota models and trim levels … from top-to-bottom … by the end of 2017.

    And we’ll offer it at a price point that is simply UNHEARD of for this array of technology … around just $500.

    This is thousands of dollars less than comparably equipped safety packages that are available today.


    That’s more affordable than a family day at Disneyland … and probably even your flight here to New York.

    Integrating Toyota Safety Sense into nearly our entire lineup ... will help protect people in the event of a crash … more importantly ... it will help prevent some crashes from ever happening in the first place.

    For those of you that want a deeper dive into Toyota Safety Sense ... I encourage you to go to the Toyota booth and try the Oculus Rift virtual experience. It’s really awesome.

    So now let’s talk about RAV4 ... which will be among the first Toyota models to feature Toyota Safety Sense.

    In 1994 ... RAV4 created the compact SUV segment.

    Owners love it for its comfortable size and massive utility … a perfect combination for their active lifestyles.

    20 years later ... it is still making news … as its sales are among the fastest growing in the segment … and I’m not just talking about any segment …but the fastest growing segment in the industry.

    There is no doubt that the RAV4 is hot right now.

    And you know what? ...we’re going to make sure it stays hot ... by giving customers an additional reason to love it ... the RAV4 Hybrid.

    Toyota has dominated the hybrid market ... selling more than 7 million gas-electric vehicles across the globe ... resulting in a positive impact in both our environment …and our owner’s wallets.

    To date ... Toyota Hybrid vehicles have resulted in nearly 50 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions … equivalent to about 170 Empire state buildings … and have saved hybrid owners over 4.75 BILLION gallons of gasoline.

    And our hybrid story isn’t stopping there.

    Our customers have been asking us for a hybrid compact SUV … and we listened.

    Ladies and gentlemen ... the 8th vehicle to join the Toyota Hybrid family…the only hybrid in its segment … the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid!

    Now THIS … is a stunning SUV.

    Our new hybrid will continue to broaden the RAV4’s appeal ... attracting customers who want the advantages of a compact SUV … but are craving the benefits of a hybrid.

    It features a Hybrid System that consists of a 2.5-liter ... 4-cylinder and eCVT transmission.


    All Hybrids will be equipped with an All-Wheel-Drive System with Intelligence ... featuring a rear motor that operates completely independent from the front motor.

    This additional electric motor delivers instant torque to the rear wheels ... ONLY when additional traction is needed ... automatically helping prevent wheel spin.

    AWDi is so innovative that it adapts to the angle or condition of the road … no driver input is needed.

    While we don’t yet have power and MPG figures for you today …we can tell you that this is a no compromise SUV … delivering MORE POWER … with MORE fuel efficiency ... than the standard gas model.

    Mark my words … the RAV4 Hybrid will have segment-leading fuel economy … by FAR.

    The Hybrid ... which will be available in XLE and Limited grades... is the centerpiece of a model upgrade that gives ALL 2016 models ...
    more premium styling,
    innovative technology,
    enhanced driving dynamics,
    and a quieter ride.
    Starting with the outside ... a new front end truly alters the character.

    The sleek styling of the bumper ... incorporates new headlights that feature LED hi and low-beams … as well as daytime running lights.

    The new styling extends along the lower rocker panel to the rear bumper for a flowing visual appeal.

    Significant changes to the rear include ...
    a new bumper,
    lift gate enhancement,
    and these sexy new taillights.

    An all-new wheel lineup and three new paint colors... including this vibrant Electric Storm Blue ... round out the exterior updates.

    Improvements to the RAV4 are beyond skin deep.

    We added 55% more noise reducing material to the floor ... and enhanced seals to make this the quietest RAV4 ever.

    The interior ... goes up-market with premium features like ...more soft-touch materials on the dash and the door panels, a new sunglasses holder ... and a cup holder that is sized to fit your favorite coffee tumbler … even if it has a handle.

    We’re so excited about this new feature that we had some special mugs made so that you can give it a try.


    To get one ...just snap a picture of the new RAV4 …post it to Twitter or Instagram …and use the "RAV4" hashtag.

    We also added available top-flight electronics ... a large multi-information display, larger 7-inch touchscreen audio systems, the Toyota Safety Sense, and my personal favorite feature ... the new Bird’s Eye View Camera.

    This Toyota-first technology utilizes four cameras to give the driver a panoramic view of their surroundings ... offering assistance when parallel parking ... and when pulling in …and out of parking spaces.

    The system has an industry-first feature called Perimeter Scan ... that gives drivers a live rotating ...360 degree view of what is around the vehicle ... helping them see objects that could be in the way.

    For those looking for a compact SUV with more attitude ... the RAV4 will also be available in a new SE grade.

    The SE comes equipped with paddle shifters ... sport-tuned shock absorbers and springs ... that offer a more dynamic drive for a youthful buyer seeking a more engaging driving experience.

    You’ll recognize the SE by its unique black 18-inch wheels ... LED headlights and taillights... honeycomb mesh grille ...and piano black accents on its exterior.

    Inside ... gun-metal accents and SofTex seats with unique stitching set it apart from the rest of the lineup.

    We gave you a ton of information today …so please allow me to quickly recap: we told you about Toyota Safety Sense ... a robust suite of advanced safety technologies that will be in nearly all Toyotas by 2017.

    We showed you an all-new RAV4 Hybrid with no compromises ... delivering a thrilling driving experience with more power … AND MPG ... than its gas version.

    We gave you a peek at a sportier SE grade that will attract even more buyers ...that are seeking a bit more driving dynamics ...topped off with sportier styling.

    We told you about the significant improvements to ALL 2016 RAV4 models like ...

    • new exterior styling,
    • a quieter interior …
    • better driving dynamics …
    • and more advanced technology.

    When it arrives in dealerships in the fall ... we expect it to continue to win the hearts of our customers … and set the tone for the hottest segment in the industry.

    I will be up here to answer any questions that you might have.


    Thank you so much for joining us today.
    BillLin likes this.
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Some of the safety functions and AWD features explained from the Toyota test track at the Chicago Auto Show.

    BillLin likes this.
  10. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Wow! Impressive presentation!
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  11. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    It just seem to me that Toyota is arriving late at the party as far as engines go. Why no gasoline direct injection high compression engines that will obtain a few more mpg and be more
    efficient? Look at the other companies, they are using that technology.
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  12. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    GDI would be a trick up Toyota's "sleeve"... Toyota got to 40% thermal efficiency in the gen 4 Prius engine without GDI. Good for a future upgrade, no doubt. (some?) Manufacturers have worked out the issues around carbon buildup. I don't really care about the displacement vs. horsepower of the engine as long as it hits the price/efficiency point. Besides, I rarely have to use the full acceleration capabilities and the engine's off an awful lot. Maybe it would make a difference on long highway and mountainous drives?
    xcel likes this.
  13. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Toyota took a cautious approach towards direct injection with the 2.0 boxer engine in the Scion/Subaru twins. That engine used a combination or port and direct injection. I imagine this is supposed to eliminate or reduce carbon deposits. I also imagine this is a costly way to do it.
    xcel likes this.
  14. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    Toyota has always been cautious about changing up a winning combination. They tend to want to make sure they have perfected the tech before they put it out on the street, so to speak.
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  15. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    I have a friend with the Highlander Hybrid who absolutely loves it except for the price that he paid. This brings something back to us mere mortals. It's a real nice looking package that should prove to be a great running/efficient vehicle for a long time.
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I accepted an invite to a local dealership: an evening open-house to see the new Rav4 AWD Hybrid, including a test drive. It's a long shot for us, we're really happy to sit tight with our Prius, but just out of interest, have a look. Happening March 03, I'll try to post a few pics and comments.

    Addendum: Today (March 03) is a grandkid's B'Day, so giving the Rav4 open-house a pass.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  17. Airbalancer

    Airbalancer Well-Known Member

    If I could we would trade up ( if it is comfortable to drive , the last Rav gen was not ) because of higher seating position after the hip replacement
    But with retirement max 6 years away need to save money
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  18. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    An extra incentive to trade up possibly before financially prudent is for the new safety tech if your present vehicle does not have it, especially the next vehicle will be "it" for a long time. Get into the best, safest and most reliable and most useful vehicle for the long run.

    Good luck.

    (I'm good at rationalizing my wants... heh heh)
    xcel likes this.

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