2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Gas Mileage Review Page 2

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2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016

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A few random notes from our time with the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid:

  • Toyota put a lot of effort into upgrading the interior, but The Better Half still felt the hard plastics and general design looked cheap
  • (We liked the white stitching on the soft-touch padded dash rail, but that wasn't quite enough)
  • The hybrid RAV4 will accelerate on electric power alone from 0 to 20 mph, but it requires a lighter foot on the pedal than did the Prius--and you won't make any friends among the cars behind you
  • It will frequently drop into "EV" mode under light loads between 20 and 40 mph
  • That led us to adopt the "pulse and glide" technique used by efficiency drivers: Accelerate with the gas engine to steady speed, then lift off and let the battery take over from there
  • We noted that the power display showed the rear wheels engaging frequently for acceleration and on hills, so the AWD isn't just a last resort
  • The RAV4 retains the usual numb Toyota electric power steering--something the new Prius considerably improves on
  • When the engine is under full throttle, the car can get noisy inside, but otherwise it's suitably muffled and pleasant to travel in
  • The low 24-inch liftover height for the cargo bay really counts when you're lifting heavy car parts in and out

WATCH THIS: 2016 Toyota Prius Vs 2016 Chevrolet Volt: Video Test (Dec 2015)

Our test car was a 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE, painted in a vivid color called "Electric Storm Blue"--perhaps the brightest blue car we've ever tested.

With a base price of $28,370, it came with only three options. Two were minor: roof-rack cross bars ($315) and mudguards ($129).

The big-ticket item was the so-called Convenience Package, at $2,060, which bundled a host of electronic active-safety options (blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sonar, pre-collision sensing with pedestrian detection, and radar-based adaptive cruise control among them).

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid - 2015 NY Auto Show

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid - 2015 NY Auto Show

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It also included the Entune premium audio system with navigation, the Entune Multimedia bundle with a 7-inch color touchscreen, split-screen display, and backup camera, and a host of other infotainment functions.

With a mandatory delivery fee of $900, the bottom line on our hybrid RAV4 as tested was $31,774.

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