It seems kind of surprising to me that I can finally say this, but Toyota has finally released the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, unveiled at the New York International Auto Show.
It’s about time, I say, and for a number of good reasons. With the Toyota RAV4 and hybrid vehicle technology, Toyota practically invented two segments of the automobile market. First, with the 1994 Toyota RAV4, Toyota created a whole new class of automobile, the crossover sport utility vehicle. As such, it left other automakers back on the drawing boards, and remains a leader in one of the biggest automobile segments. Then, in 1996, with the release of the Toyota Prius, Toyota brought hybrid vehicle technology to the world, and is still a world leader in hybrid vehicle sales, over seven million globally and capturing 69% of the US hybrid market.
Why, then, did it take so long to put these two things together? After all, Toyota had already released hybrid versions of sedans, SUVs, sports cars, even luxury cars, so why not the crossover? With the unveiling of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, we finally have exceptionally-reduced emissions in one of the most-popular vehicles on the road. According to Toyota Group Vice President and General Manager Bill Fay, Toyota hybrid vehicles have saved nearly fifty million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or about 4.75 billion gallons of gasoline. Adding hybrid technology to one of the most popular segments in the automotive industry makes it that much more effective!
Regarding actual performance and fuel economy of the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Fay didn’t have exact figures, but he did say that it would lead the pack, not only with better fuel economy, but with better power and acceleration than the conventional models. Considering that the best you can find today barely top 30 mpg, this has to be something special!