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First review Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid (2021): how Toyota does a Mercedes…

What is striking about the Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid?

At first glance: nothing at all. The Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid looks like any other current generation RAV4. For the plug variant, Toyota has not even bothered to add some striking or different details to the basic design, as it does with the Prius PHEV. Apart from the Plug-in Hybrid emblems on the front fenders, the second fuel filler flap on the right is the only other detail that identifies the plug-in version. Well, it is not a tank cover, because behind it is the charging port of the RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid.

The Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid couples a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to an electric motor between the rear wheels. Together they are good for a power of 306 hp and a torque of 270 Nm. That puts you out of 100 in 6.2 seconds. The electric motor derives its energy from a lithium-ion battery incorporated in the floor, which has a capacity of 18.1 kWh. When the battery is fully charged, you should be able to drive 75 kilometers on electricity.

But if the battery is almost empty … then fast charging is unfortunately not an option. At the charging station on alternating current, a charging capacity of 6.6 kW is the max. It takes 2.5 hours to recharge the battery. Incidentally, that is much faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid, which needs more than three and a half hours to charge its 10.4 kWh battery. If you put the RAV4 at the charging station at every opportunity, then according to Toyota an average fuel consumption of 1 in 100 is possible. In practice, as a rule, it is more unruly, because once you are on the road with the Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid, you would rather not get out.

What’s good about the Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid?

The Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid is a wonderful travel car. Even though you have 306 hp at your disposal, the car invites you above all to sit back and enjoy the silence and the spring comfort. As long as there is enough power in the battery, the petrol engine only interferes with propulsion when you press the accelerator very deeply. But that need rarely exists. Also purely on electricity, the RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid has no problem staying ahead of the traffic.

In the version as we drove the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid – the Business Plus – you will really not be short of anything. Standard equipment includes adaptive cruise control, emergency braking aid with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Warning, climate control with separate temperature zones, a multimedia system with 9-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, seat heating and ventilation, navigation, 19-inch alloys wheels… And that’s just the tip of the mountain of standard amenities.

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What could be done better with the Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid?

As said: the Toyota RAV4 will last three years in its current form. As far as we are concerned, the Japanese should have taken the opportunity to give the RAV4 its midlife facelift right away. It won’t be long before the plastic surgeon has to get involved. And let Toyota immediately schedule an update for the multimedia system. As a Business Plus, the RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid is almost as expensive as a Mercedes GLC 300e in basic trim. Even though the GLC does not yet have the beautiful digital MBUX instrumentation, it looks so much nicer than the dashboard of the RAV4.

No misunderstanding: it all works fine, but to our taste, the interior of the RAV4 could use a little polishing visually. The display itself and the buttons next to it are all a bit finicky. Whereby Toyota should not make the mistake of saying goodbye to the physical switches!

When will the Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid come and what will it cost?

It is now available, and the Dutch Toyota dealers are happy to demonstrate the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid to you. So that you can sign the purchase contract afterwards and transfer at least 55,895 euros for the already fully equipped Business version. For comparison: the almost identical Suzuki Across Plug-In Hybrid costs 5 euros more. Incidentally, Suzuki does offer a 6-year warranty (up to 150,000 kilometers), unlike Toyota. That means a 5-year warranty, but is willing to push the kilometer limit to 200,000 kilometers. The Business Plus version of the RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid is in the price list for 63,595 euros. That is only 1400 euros cheaper than the Mercedes GLC 300e.

What do I think of the Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid?

The Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid is a surprisingly comfortable car. The suspension is wonderfully smooth and the engine remains deafeningly quiet – as long as you drive on electricity. With 18.1 kWh as battery capacity, the power supply does not run out after a block around the church, you can actually cover a considerable distance without fuel consumption and CO2 emissions before you have to look for a charging station again.

The plug-in version of the Toyota RAV4 feels very late. Many competitors, such as the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Opel Grandland, have long been available as plug-in hybrids. Moreover, the RAV4 can now use a facelift – it is no longer the youngest product from Toyota’s range. However, that does not detract from the fact that the Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid is an attractive car. If you opt for the very complete Business Plus version, there is nothing left to be desired. The Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid may be just as expensive as a standard Mercedes GLC 300e 4Matic, but that model certainly does not offer as much luxury as the Toyota.

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