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            The Rav4 Hybrid is named as a finalist for 2020 Best Hybrid or Electric SUV
With the introduction of the fifth- generation RAV4 in
late 2018, Toyota was smart to not shake up
the formula of this SUV, but to keep
it competitive in key areas. It might
not be the first choice for a compact crossover, but it is easy to see why they sell so well. As far as a well-rounded vehicle goes, the RAV4 is solid.
The RAV4 was fully redesigned for 2019 and now it enters 2020 with only minor changes. The most significant update is the addition of a TRD Off-Road trim, that gets a retuned suspension, off-road tires and some styling tweaks. Otherwise, the RAV4 is the same we are now into 2020.
Toyota currently offers its compact SUV in RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid. At
the end of 2019, Toyota added a third, Plug-In Hybrid model to the RAV4 class, offering a larger battery for small amounts of All-Electric operation.
The standard RAV4 is powered by a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter I4 engine, which produces 203 horsepower and is mated to an eight-speed automatic
transmission. Some RAV4 trims come with stop-start engine tech, which helps to improve efficiency. Front-wheel-drive models are EPA- estimated to achieve up to 28 MPG city, 35 MPG highway and 30 MPG
Pair a 2.5-liter I4 with a nickel-metal hydride battery and electric motor, for 219 total system horsepower and use a continuously variable transmission
combined. All-wheel-drive RAV4s, meanwhile, top out at 27 MPG city, 34 MPG highway and 30 MPG combined.
The RAV4 Hybrid pairs the aforementioned 2.5-liter I4 with a nickel-metal hydride battery and electric motor, for 219 total system horsepower. All hybrid models use a continuously variable transmission
as well as an electronic “on-demand” all-wheel-drive system, which uses the electric motor to supplement four- wheel power. The EPA says RAV4 Hybrids are estimated to achieve
41 MPGe city, 38 MPGe highway and 40 MPGe combined, a decent increase over the gas-only variant.
We’ve found the RAV4’s engine to be a little on the loud side, but fuel-efficient. The RAV4 isn’t quite as pleasant to drive as a Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5, but it offers a smooth balance that most consumers will likely appreciate.
Though towing is certainly not the RAV4’s forte, owners can still hook up a small trailer if needed. The gas-only RAV4 is rated to tow 1,500 pounds, while the extra oomph of the RAV4 Hybrid ups that rating to 1,750 pounds.
All RAV4 models can accommodate five passengers, with a second-
row bench seat that folds flat for increased cargo capacity. Overall, the RAV4’s interior is about average for the class, the design is fine, and relatively straightforward, but some
of the materials are just a bit not up
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