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What to Expect from the 2021 RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid

Posted at Fri, Nov 15, 2019 1:00 PM

Toyota has just announced something very exciting for its best-selling compact SUV, the RAV4: 2021 is the year of the brand new RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). According to Toyota, this will be the most powerful version of the RAV 4 yet, and it made its debut appearance at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. While all the details about this third RAV4 variant are as of yet unreleased, we here at Westbury Toyota are happy to share what we do know here with you.

Performance Focused

We’re largely used to PHEV vehicles being built with a focus on economy and efficiency rather than performance, but with the new RAV 4 hybrid, Toyota’s decided to hone in on all three. As Antuan Goodwin of Road Show points out, Toyota has concentrated on the performance aspect of this new RAV4 as it’s a little bit faster, has more power, and provides a more pleasurable drive than the non-hybrid version. That’s a pretty impressive claim when you consider that the existing RAV4 is well-known for all of those aspects.

As we said, the finer details about the new RAV4 have yet to be released to the public, but we feel it’s safe to assume that, in typical PHEV fashion, Toyota will be adding a bigger battery pack in addition to charging port, both of which will grant the SUV considerable electric-only range. What’s more, it may even give the vehicle enough oomph to surpass the best EPA fuel estimates for the current hybrid RAV4: 41 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 40 mpg combined. The existing RAV4 hybrid gives drivers 219 horsepower (hp) and with the addition of a power reserve in the new PHEV RAV4 variant, there could be an increase in that area as well.

Exterior Styling and New Color

The 2021 RAV4 PHEV will share much the same styling as the current RAV4, including a neat, smooth silhouette complimented by a floating roofline, distinct geometric wheel wells, and an eye-catching grille. There’s a new exterior shade to look forward to as well, explains Drew Dorian of Car and Driver, and that’s the bold Supersonic Red. As for what to expect in the interior, as well as extras for both inside and outside, we have to wait until Toyota decides to share more information.

Other Expectations

While we’re running off of limited data right now in regard to the RAV4 PHEV, there are other assumptions we feel are safe to make, as well as some speculations. If, for example, Toyota were to use the powertrain from the Prius Prime in the RAV4 PHEV, we would see the gasoline engine alongside two electric motors. This setup would give this PHEV a driving range (electric) of between 20 to 25 miles. Another safe assumption is that the RAV4 PHEV will come standard with all-wheel drive (AWD), which the current RAV4 hybrid already has. If so, it will mean the electric motor drives with the rear-wheels rather than the front. If the PHEV maintains the same fuel tank as its hybrid predecessor, says Bengt Halvorson of Green Car Reports, we are looking at total range capabilities of almost 600 miles.

Eagerly Awaiting More Details

While the RAV4 Hybrid as it exists today is an impressive blend of economy and performance, the 2021 RAV4 PHEV is promising to be even more so. There are so many reasons this SUV is one of the top in its class and it looks like the PHEV stands poised to exceed in all those areas. If you’re interested in learning more about this upcoming plug-in hybrid SUV, please don’t hesitate to call or pay Westbury Toyota a visit!

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