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Toyota unveils 2016 RAV4 Hybrid; 8th hybrid in Toyota line-up (towing corrected)

The RAV4 Hybrid makes its debut in New York. Click to enlarge.

Toyota unveiled the new RAV4 Hybrid at the New York International Auto Show, along with refreshed versions of the conventional RAV4. The eighth hybrid in the Toyota lineup, the RAV4 Hybrid offers more power as well as better fuel economy than the conventional RAV4, according to Toyota Group Vice President and General Manager Bill Fay. (Toyota has yet to release specific performance and fuel economy numbers.)

The hybrid system consists of a 4-cylinder, 2.5-liter gasoline engine and eCVT transmission along with an All-Wheel-Drive System with Intelligence (AWDi) featuring a rear motor that operates independently from the front motor. This additional electric motor delivers instant torque to the rear wheels only when additional traction is needed, thereby automatically helping prevent wheel spin.


AWDi adapts to the angle or condition of the road, with no driver input needed. The electronic AWD provides increased safety and stability on slippery surfaces and enables a maximum towing capacity of 1,750 lbs (794 kg). Easy and safe towing is ensured thanks to Trailer Sway Control system.

The Hybrid, which will be available in XLE and Limited grades, is part of a model upgrade that gives all 2016 RAV4 models more premium styling, improved technology, enhanced driving dynamics, and a quieter ride.


The conventional gasoline version RAV4 will come in four grades: LE, XLE, Limited and the new SE. Together with the new Hybrid XLE and Limited, all 2016 RAV4 models will feature refreshed exterior styling, providing a sleeker, more dynamic appearance.

Bird’s Eye View Monitor. Click to enlarge.

RAV4 will also offer a new Bird’s Eye View Monitor. This Toyota-first technology utilizes four cameras that are mounted on the front, side mirrors and rear of the vehicle to give the driver a panoramic view of their surroundings. The system offers drivers assistance when parallel parking, and when pulling in and out of parking spaces.

The Bird’s Eye View Monitor system also has an industry-first feature called Perimeter Scan, that gives drivers a live rotating 360-degree view of what is around the vehicle, helping them see objects that could be in the way.

The 2016 RAV4 will be among the first US models with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. (Earlier post.) TSS bundles safety technologies including:

  • Pre-Collision System
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Pedestrian Pre-Collision System
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

TSS will be standard on 2016 RAV4 Limited grades. The 2016 RAV4 models will arrive at dealers this fall.



Should we hold a giant media event to celebrate the TSS since it is pretty much as capable as Tesla's OTA Update of the foolishly named "Autopilot"?

Nahhh... it's just not as cool.


Where's the info on mpg?


Difficult to get good mpg, with a heavy box like vehicle on 4 wheels, designed to tow up to one ton.

The HEV version may do better if the battery capacity is large and light enough.

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