Toyota’s new plug-in hybrid RAV4 SUV is now on sale in the UK with prices starting at more than £47,000. The car uses a clever hybrid-in-a-hybrid powertrain, which melds Toyota’s conventional ‘full’, or ‘self-charging’, hybrid tech with plug-in electric power.
Plug the RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid into a domestic wallbox charging point for two-and-a-half hours, and you can feed the car’s electric motor enough juice for 46 miles of near-silent, zero-emission motoring. When the battery runs flat, however, the 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid powertrain will take over, operating just like the standard RAV4’s hybrid powertrain.
The result is a powertrain that emits just 22 g of carbon dioxide per kilometre on the official economy and emissions test. And if you mostly do short journeys using electric power, charging regularly and leaving the engine for the occasional longer drive, you could get 282.4 mpg from the plug-in RAV4.
As well as the plug-in hybrid powertrain, the new model of RAV4 differs from the more conventional hybrid variants with a dark grille mesh and frame. There are dark-finished front and rear under-runs, too, as well as a metallic lower front bumper moulding and model-specific alloy wheels.
RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid customers get a choice of two different trim levels, with prices starting at £47,395. That money pays for the ‘basic’ Dynamic model, with dual-zone air conditioning, a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system and smartphone integration via the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems. You get a powered tailgate, too, and a wireless phone charger, not to mention heated front and outer rear seats.
Moving up to the Dynamic Premium model takes the asking price to £50,895, but it does get extra equipment for the money. Leather upholstery is fitted as standard, while there’s a head-up display and an opening panoramic sunroof. You also get power-adjustable front seats and a nine-speaker JBL sound system.
In addition, both models come with Toyota’s Safety Sense driver assistance and safety systems, designed to help reduce driver workload and minimise the chances of an accident occurring. Both cars get 19-inch alloy wheels, too.
The RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid is available to order from Toyota dealers now, although the Japanese company says the first customer cars will not arrive on UK shores until April. The car will go on sale alongside the ‘full’ hybrid model, which is currently available with prices starting at just over £31,000.