Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid: prices, specifications and release date

SUVs are hugely popular with plug-in hybrid options more and more in demand. The latest Toyota RAV4 combines both, so how does it stack up?

Ian Dickson
Jan 30, 2020

Few car makers are as experienced as Toyota when it comes to hybrids, but until now it hasn’t offered its popular RAV4 SUV as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model. That’s about to change, however, as the RAV4 plug-in hybrid is due to go on sale in the second half of 2020.

This new model will sit above the existing RAV4 hybrid and offer more performance, greater electric-only range and lower emissions. With the option to plug the car in to top up the batteries, it's a wiser option for those who want to minimise how much their car emits. Cover short journeys only and plug in religiously and you may never have to fill the petrol tank.

The RAV4 PHEV (standing for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) was announced in November 2019, and comes 18 months after Toyota launched the new RAV4, which is available with petrol or petrol-electric engines. The plug-in hybrid model will complete the range, offering improved fuel economy compared with the ordinary hybrid.

Details are pretty slim on the ground so far, but there are indications of the new Toyota RAV4 PHEV's performance figures - in short, it's fast. We'll bring news of pricing as and when it becomes available, so be sure to check back for details soon.

Toyota RAV4 PHEV performance and emissions

The PHEV features the same 2.5-litre petrol-electric engine and motor combination that powers the RAV4 Hybrid, though Toyota has enhanced the electrical kit in the PHEV version to give the electric motor more oomph. This results in a total power output of 305hp and a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds, which is faster than most of its rivals.

That larger battery pack also means the PHEV can travel further on electric power alone. Figures are yet to be verified, but Toyota has indicated that the RAV4 will be able to travel up to 37 miles in zero-emissions mode, which should be enough for many drivers' commutes. Run out of electric charge and the car reverts to petrol power, so you don't have to worry about being marooned if you do exceed this distance per charge, though the RAV4 PHEV will undoubtedly prove far less economical if you neglect to plug it in.

 

Add in an official CO2 figure of less than 30g/km - less than a third of the standard hybrid's figure - and the RAV4 PHEV makes a very compelling case for itself if you're after the least polluting RAV4. If you’re a company car driver you’ll particularly benefit from going for the PHEV with reduced company car tax bills.

Toyota hasn’t announced any pricing for the PHEV, but the current hybrid starts at £28,000 so expect a small premium for the plug-in version. The PHEV comes with AWD-i, Toyota’s electric all-wheel drive system, so it should offer added grip on slippery surfaces compared with two-wheel drive models and be more able to accelerate fast without spinning its wheels due to the significant power on tap.

Toyota RAV4 PHEV charging time

Toyota is yet to release details on charging specifics, though as this is a plug-in hybrid with a smaller battery pack than fully-electric model, you shouldn't have to wait all night for the RAV4 to charge.

Toyota hasn't stated how large the battery is or how long it will take to charge but looking at the Prius PHEV - which the RAV4 will be very similar to - its 9kWh battery charges in three hours from a wallbox home charger. So expect a charge time of three to four hours using a home charging point or significantly longer, if you plan to plug it into an ordinary socket.

Toyota RAV4 PHEV release date

The RAV4 PHEV is unlikely to arrive until the second half of 2020. If a six-month wait is too long for you, fear not; there are a number of other plug-in hybrid SUVs on offer now. Click to see the latest nearly-new and used hybrid SUVs available to purchase now on BuyaCar, with hundreds of models to choose from.

How about a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV? Prices start at around £20,000 or £300 per month. The Kia Niro PHEV is another top contender, yours from around £25,000, or £380 per month. For about the same price as the RAV4 PHEV, you could get behind the wheel of one of the most luxurious cars on sale, the large XC90 T8 Twin Engine - prices start at £35,000, or £450 per month, and it’s faster and has more advanced safety kit.

Toyota RAV4 PHEV specifications and models

The new RAV4 is available in four trim levels, Icon, Design, Excel and Dynamic. Icon is the entry-level car and all will come with an eight-inch touchscreen media systen, Bluetooth, a digital radio and a reversing camera, as well as a host of safety tech including lane departure with steering control, road sign assist and adaptive cruise control.

Next level Design trim adds sat-nav and front parking sensors, Excel gains a blind spot detection system and heated seats, while top-spec Dynamic gets a gloss black roof and fancier wheels.

Toyota RAV4 PHEV reivew

We'll wait for more details before reaching a verdict on the new Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid, but it's safe to say it faces a tough task to divert consumers away from already proven alternatives that have been on sale a whole lot longer. That's especially tue considering you'd have to wait until the middle of 2020 for a RAV4 PHEV, while other models are available to purchase now.

 

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