Displaying items by tag: Hybrid


The Mitsubishi Outlander is very much on trend. It's an SUV, and also a plug-in hybrid – but it actually arrived slightly ahead of its time. Here we're driving the current model, which is almost identical to the previous car aside from the lightest of facelifts and a few technological tweaks aimed at keeping ahead of emissions regulations. Why mess with success? It's an established big seller in Britain, although the rest of the range hasn't been doing so well, prompting plans for Mitsubishi to leave Europe. For now, though, this Outlander is a current model, available through the familiar dealer network. The question is, in a market that's now brimming with hybrid SUVs, does the 

 How can I spot a new Mitsubishi Outlander?
With difficulty. Mitsubishi’s goals for this version clearly didn’t include major styling changes. In fact, even sat next to a 2018-spec car, it takes a few moments to spot the newer LED headlights and the lightly tweaked front grille and bumpers. The new design for the wheels is the biggest giveaway.

Inside, there’s a tweaked instrument cluster, plus new air vents and a USB port for rear passengers.

The sunroof has been relegated to the options list in an attempt to fend off the extra car tax premium buyers have to pay when pricing creeps above £40,000.

While we were impressed by the quilted leather upholstery on the seats of our test car, these are limited to the top-spec models costing north of £40k.

Still, the range starts at below £36k for the Verve, and the big-selling Dynamic version still comes in below £40k, and includes heated leather seats and a lot of safety and convenience equipment.

What’s the Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid like to drive?

It’s not that far removed from the previous generation, which we drove back-to-back with this latest verion, but in a couple of important respects improvements have been made. The first is in cabin refinement, because the current car is quieter, rides better and feels more solid than ever.

There’s been extra adhesive applied to the body-in-white (before painting) to strengthen the shell using an approach similar to that used in aircraft manufacture, and this has the effect of enhancing torsional rigidity, so the car flexes less through bumps and bends. The difference is slight, but worthwhile.

The tyres have changed from Toyo to Yokohama, there’s a quicker steering rack and the suspension has been recalibrated.

Doesn't sound like much of a big deal? But in fact the handling and body control have improved. The quicker steering is the most notable change, making this Outlander easier to thread through narrow roads. Road-noise intrusion levels have turned down a notch too.

What has been sacrificed is the ride quality, which has become a bit busy on UK roads. It’s not uncomfortable by any stretch, but it feels far less settled than before. A fair trade-off for a bit more verve? Almost.

There’s a new Sport mode that offers a bit more punch, but this feels incongruous in light of the epic bodyroll that occurs when you hit a bend too quickly. An additional Snow mode prepares the capable chassis for slippery conditions.

You still get the paddles behind the steering wheel to adjust the brake regen’s effect, making one-pedal driving a possibility, and they’re still arguably backwards: the left one turns up the deceleration, whereas the opposite seems more intuitive.

 Isn’t a new engine the biggest news here?

It would be, except it's rather a stretch to call this a new engine. Instead it’s an adaption of the old 2.0-litre petrol, with the latest Mivec (remember that badge from FTOs and Evos of yore?) variable valve timing added. The 2.4-litre engine can switch between Otto and Atkinson cycles, meaning it can make more power and torque when required (133bhp and 156lb ft up from 119bhp and 140lb ft in the 2.0) thanks to the extra CCs using the former cycle, but burn less fuel under lighter loads with the latter.

Which sounds great. And it is, except not literally. Put your foot down and you’re greeted with a monotone moan very similar to that of the old car, in that uniquely disappointing CVT fashion – lots of noise and not much acceleration. Only now, the noise is just a bit more distant than it used to be.

Funnily enough this isn’t a CVT either. It’s a fixed-gear system that drives power to the wheels, with a hydraulic clutch to modulate the electric twist provided by the twin motors. It’s built by GKN – the firm responsible for the Focus RS’s lively rear axle assembly, among many other applications.

The transmission catches up eventually and meaningful movement occurs, but it’s still no thoroughbred. The 0-62mph time has dropped 0.5 seconds to 10.5.

 This engine revision plus work on the battery – which gets 10% more power output and total capacity of 13.8kWh thanks to new cells and better management – has allowed Mitsubishi to recalculate maximum electric range, fuel economy and CO2 emissions for the more realistic WLTP testing, and the results are more impressive for that reason. We’re talking 30 miles on electric power, 141mpg and 46g/km. You’re also able to drive faster on electric power – now 84 rather than 78mph.

The trade-off is it takes an extra 30 minutes to charge the car using a 16A/3.6kW charge point – this now takes four hours.


Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid: verdict
The latest Outlander PHEV doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but then it didn’t need to. It’s more relevant now than ever before as the push for plug-ins intensifies. And looking beyond the powertrain, the Outlander remains a decent if unexciting all-round package.

Published in Mitsubishi

We begin a 40,000-mile shakedown of Honda's first electrified crossover to see if the powertrain scales up into the brand's bestselling vehicle.


We invited a 2021 Honda CR-V to join our long-term fleet so we could spend some quality time (and 40,000 miles) with Honda's bestseller and the fifth-bestselling vehicle in the United States. We chose the hybrid because it's new to the lineup and because we liked the 212-hp fuel-sipping powertrain in the Accord. In the CR-V, the system boosts fuel economy and performance, making it the choice for buyers who want efficiency and power. Those customers will have to shell out for it, though, given the CR-V Hybrid sits at the top of the range. In addition to shaking down the powertrain and seeing if it can deliver the promised fuel economy, we're hoping this compact crossover—the brand's first with hybrid power to make it to the U.S.—will give us a glimpse at the future of Honda, which will soon phase out gas-only powertrains in Europe.

We ordered a top-of-the-line Touring model loaded with just about everything: leather seats (heated up front), navigation, wireless phone charging, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, a nine-speaker audio system, a liftgate that opens when you wave your foot under the bumper, proximity key entry, remote start, the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistance features, and more. Our $37,920 example has but one option: white paint for $395. Perhaps it's because all of southeast Michigan is currently covered in two feet of snow or because half the vehicles in the grocery-store parking lot are also painted in America's favorite automotive hue (and shaped like tall boxes), but the CR-V blends in a little too well with its surroundings. We wouldn't call the color choice regrettable but maybe a bit forgettable.

Inside, Honda's inoffensive design, easy-to-use 7.0-inch touchscreen, and highly adjustable center console should satisfy most shoppers in this class if not the nit-pickiest staffers on our masthead. Hybrid versions differ from regular CR-Vs in a few subtle ways. A unitless battery gauge replaces the tachometer in the digital instrument cluster and tells you vaguely how much juice you're using at any given moment. Honda also opted for a push-button transmission instead of the chunky gear lever used in the core model. Staff reaction to push-button shifters is mixed, but the setup at least makes for a tidy, unobtrusive center console. In the same way a light color creates the illusion that a room is larger than it is, the Ivory surfaces in our CR-V make the cabin appear adequately spacious, which, granted, it is, offering 103 cubic feet of passenger volume. Provided that light-beige leather can withstand the dye in our Levis, the simplicity of this interior all but ensures it will age well.

A couple of hybrid caveats to note: Choosing this powertrain nullifies the nonhybrid CR-V's 1500-pound tow rating, so technical editor David Beard will have to look elsewhere when he wants to tow his snowmobile. Which is just as well, considering the cargo hold probably wouldn't fit all of his gear. The gas-electric CR-V sacrifices six cubic feet of cargo space (and its spare tire) to the battery. The upside is that, compared with a regular all-wheel-drive CR-V, you gain 9 mpg in combined driving by the EPA's yardstick. That said, if you drive like we do, you can expect much worse results: We're currently averaging a mere 27 mpg.

The Honda's road manners are in line with the amiable-but-boring norm of the segment. Its smooth ride and secure handling are immediately apparent, but there's nothing here that'll make an enthusiast grin—unless of course you're reading its VIN, which by dumb luck contains a bit of bathroom humor. Floor the accelerator and the powertrain fills the cabin with 75 decibels of sound. That's quieter than the regular CR-V's 78-decibel moan at full throttle.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we haven't had as many butts in these seats as we'd like, but after soft-shoeing it through the break-in period, we sent the Honda to the test track. The hybrid's drive motor can contribute 232 pound-feet of torque from the get-go, which helps this ute reach 60 mph a tenth of a second quicker than the unelectrified model, but the latter catches up by 70 mph and pips the hybrid at the quarter-mile, 15.9 seconds to 16.1. Our long-termer also lagged behind the regular CR-V in braking (170 feet versus 165) and roadholding (0.80 g versus 0.85). Given both cars wear identical Continental CrossContact LX Sport tires, we suspect the hybrid's extra 190 pounds are primarily to blame. Fortunately, in the real world, this CR-V seems more athletic than the gas-only version, and its quicker 5-to-60-mph time bears that out. As we put more miles on the odometer, we hope to see some of these numbers improve—particularly the observed fuel economy.

Months in Fleet: 2 months Current Mileage: 5131 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 27 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 14.0 gal Observed Fuel Range: 370 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0


Published in Honda
Tagged under
Saturday, 27 February 2021 06:48

New Skoda Octavia e-TEC 2021 review

The mild-hybrid Skoda Octavia e-TEC offers a cheaper way to electrification

The Octavia e-TEC is a fine first effort at mild-hybrid propulsion from Skoda. It drives smoothly, while the ride, refinement and practicality make a strong supporting case to the impressive efficiency on offer given the price. In SE Tech trim the Octavia Estate e-TEC is a versatile and affordable choice for those looking to explore what electrification can offer.

If you’re dead against diesel and still find the price of a plug-in hybrid hard to swallow, then mild-hybrid tech can be a more affordable way into an impressively efficient model – and the Skoda Octavia 1.0 TSI e-TEC proves this fact resolutely.

The e-TEC tag highlights that the Octavia, tested here in Estate form, is powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with a belt-driven starter-generator as part of the car’s 48-volt electrical system.

It charges a small 0.6kWh lithium-ion battery when slowing down or lifting off the throttle, allowing engine-off coasting, which it’s surprisingly keen to do. It can also provide a boost of torque (up to 50Nm) to help performance when pulling away.

You simply don’t notice it working though, such is the system’s impressive calibration. Given that this is Skoda’s first mild-hybrid model, it’s a great effort. Total output is 108bhp and 200Nm of torque, enough for a 0-62mph time of 10.6 seconds. But that’s not important. It never feels quick, but it also never feels slow or particularly underpowered, despite the Estate’s weight.

Performance is adequate because the combustion engine’s torque is delivered low down, helped by the turbo’s variable-vane geometry, plus the small electric boost.

Refinement is excellent because the three-cylinder unit is so quiet under light loads when cruising that you rarely notice the engine cutting out. The needle on the digital rev counter falling to zero is the main hint.

Touch the throttle and the petrol engine fires back up quickly and smoothly (a benefit of the mild-hybrid technology and its starter-generator system), while the DSG dual-clutch gearbox handles changes with similar finesse, even if it is a little jerkier at low speed, losing some drivability compared with the best automatics.

The beauty of this set-up is claimed efficiency of 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 118g/km, yet in fleet-focused SE Technology trim the newcomer costs from just £24,505 – that’s £7,680 less than an Octavia Estate iV plug-in hybrid in the same specification.

You get the same level of equipment, but due to the need to package the iV’s bigger battery there’s 150 litres more room in the e-TEC’s boot (its battery is located under the front passenger seat), at a total of 640 litres. This has long been an Octavia Estate strong point, and it’s no different here, with a simply cavernous load bay that opens out to 1,700 litres, while a pair of levers in the boot means you can flip the seat backs down at the touch of a button.

SE Technology is a solid blend of kit and cost, with LED headlights, Skoda’s Front Assist system with collision warning and autonomous braking, a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment set-up with sat-nav, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, a 10.25-inch digital dash panel, all-round parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, and 16-inch alloy wheels all fitted as standard.

Those rims help deliver a nice level of comfort and the Estate rides with composure but plenty of compliance. Combined with the quiet powertrain, it’s a very refined car.

It’s a bit bland and boring inside, despite the new fourth-generation Octavia’s smarter cabin design, while the lack of personality isn’t helped by our car’s metallic grey paint, but then this is a pragmatic choice and it fulfils that brief completely.

Remember that while it’s more affordable, despite the ‘hybrid’ tag associated with the e-TEC name, as a mild-hybrid it can’t run solely on electric power; its battery isn’t big enough for that and the belt starter-generator isn’t strong enough to support it. It means that if you’re after a heavily electrified model to lower your running costs (especially if you mostly travel short distances that could be covered on electricity alone) then the Octavia iV will be a better choice, with fuel efficiency claims of up to 282.5mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 23g/km.

As with any PHEV, take these figures with a pinch of salt, because if you don’t plug in at every opportunity when the battery is depleted, you’ll be carrying around that extra weight but not reaping the benefit.

If as a result your circumstances still don’t work with a plug-in though, this mild-hybrid model is yet another great Skoda.

Model: Skoda Octavia Estate 1.0 TSI e-TEC DSG SE Technology
Price: £24,505
Engine: 1.0-litre 3cyl mild-hybrid petrol
Power/torque: 108bhp/200Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, front-wheel drive 
0-62mph: 10.6 seconds
Top speed: 124mph
Economy/CO2: 54.3mpg/118g/km
On sale Now


Published in Skoda
Sunday, 21 February 2021 07:58

Toyota Rav4 2023 Hybrid Reviews

The Toyota Rav4 is one of the legendary cars of Toyota. First launched in 1994, the Toyota Rav4 is still being developed today. Recently Toyota has released its latest generation new Toyota Rav4 2023, After sliding first in Japan and the United States, the latest generation Toyota RAV4 began to be marketed in Southeast Asian countries.

Updates occurred on each side of the 2023 Toyota Rav4, ranging from engines to safety features. In general, whatever is in the latest Generation Toyota Rav4 cars is the latest innovation in the automotive industry today. For example, the Hill Assist Control safety feature, this feature will be very useful in the brake system that holds the vehicle for a few seconds so as not to move backward when moving the foot from the brake pedal to the gas pedal, with an HSA, helping the driver not to panic when the vehicle moves backward when on the ramp.

Toyota Rav4 2023 Interior Design

This feature can also be activated or manually disabled by the driver. Generally, there is a button with an image icon of the car that is tilted, and underneath there is a diagonal line that represents the climb. and many others.

Changes can also be felt in the Cabin section of the New Toyota RAV4 2023, the interior design is built very well and equipped with a variety of interesting features that are in it, in terms of interior design looks the latest generation Toyota Rav4 prefers practicality over style. The cabin space is more spacious for storing small cargo, and all the buttons and controls are easy to find and operate. The latest generation 2023 Toyota Rav4 provides many conveniences at the basic level, such as dual-zone automatic climate control, tilt steering wheel, and telescope.

Toyota Rav4 2023 Interior Design

Toyota Rav4 2023 Infotainment

Not much change in the Infotainment section that we get, the latest generation of Toyota Rav4 still comes with a 9.0-inch infotainment screen that emerges from its dashboard and is equipped with multimedia features that Integration Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as onboard Wi-Fi hotspots, are all standard. JBL 11-speaker navigation and stereo systems are available.

Toyota Rav4 2023 Safety Features

currently, we have not obtained the results of safety tests on the latest generation of New Toyota Rav4 2023, but if we refer to the previous generation that has been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given good value to the RAV4 for accident feasibility. Toyota has been an aggressive adopter of driver assistance features and offers many of those features standard throughout the RAV4 range. we hope for the latest model of the rav4 can get better value than previous generations.

Toyota Rav4 2023 Engine Performance

For its own engine, 2023 All New Toyota Rav4 is equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine aided by two electric motors for a combined output of 219 horsepower, this stops a time of 7.4 seconds 60-mph. This model has also been equipped with the best safety system to reduce the risk of collision.


Published in Toyota

Honda has unveiled a new generation of its compact crossover HR-V. In addition to the new design, this model will be offered as a hybrid electric vehicle, and it will arrive in Europe at the end of 2021.

The introduced HR-V is the latest model in Honda's range that bears the emblem e: HEV (hybrid electric vehicle). In addition, now this compact crossover comes for the first time with a rather accentuated coupe line.

It also has a new integrated radiator grille, a long, lower hood and sharper, more vertical lines that have allowed this model to retain a spacious interior for four passengers, as offered by its predecessor.

The new HR-V also retains the familiar seats, which can provide a flat boot floor after folding down the backrest or folding up. Capacity data has not yet been disclosed.

The cabin is now modern and minimalist with a horizontal instrument setup.

A new crossover, in line with Honda's goals of electrifying all major models by 2022, is expected on the European market later this year.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under

The third generation no longer has diesel engines, which as an alternative come with hybrid versions of the existing turbo gasoline

Three million copies sold in Europe and a total of five million worldwide. A nice number for both previous generations of Nissan Qashqai, a mega-popular SUV of the compact class, well accepted among Croatian buyers of this class. Great numbers and history, but which set a high bar of expectations from the newly introduced new model.

Nissan Qashqai, photo: Nissan

There is not much to say about design, the first step in appearing in front of customers. Qashqai retains the recognizable idea and lines of the previous model, but with cleaner lines, some details performed as a variation on the theme of Juke and Nissan's signature with a mask in the characteristic V-shape. A dose of modernism is given to it by details such as self-regulating, smart LED Matrix lights, 11 body colors, five two-tone combinations and rims that reach up to 20 inches as standard. The first photos create the impression of growing size and - that's right.

Nissan Qashqai, photo: Nissan

It is 3.5 centimeters larger (4,425 m), 3.2 centimeters wide (1,838 m), one centimeter high (1,635 m), and the larger corporate Renault-Nissan CMF-C platform, two centimeters larger axle, gives the impression of size. spacing (2666 mm). The result?

Nissan Qashqai, photo: Nissan

Round three centimeters more space for the passenger's knees in the rear seat (maximum 61 centimeters), a centimeter and a half more headroom and significantly more space in the front seats, where two-meter-tall people will also have a comfortable position. The rear pair of doors opens up to 85 degrees, which greatly facilitates access to the rear seat, and especially the placement of children in the seat.

Nissan Qashqai, photo: Nissan

On top of all that, the trunk grows, by 50 liters, in this class more suitable 480 liters. It will be easier to access because the entry threshold is lowered by two inches. Aluminum alloys are also used more in the construction of the body, so let's say four side doors, fenders and a roof bring total savings of 21 kilograms. The fifth door is now made of composite materials and is 2.6 kilograms lighter, and the platform itself on the scales shows 60 kilograms less than the previous one. Niisan engineers swear that it is almost half as strong, or 41 percent.

The interior also boasts noticeably better materials, including nappa leather, a generally more expensive visual and sensory atmosphere, but also hedonistic elements of equipment such as massage seats or a concert Bose Premium hifi system with 10 speakers.

Nissan Qashqai, photo: Nissan

Digitization has also knocked hard on Qashqai’s doors. Large digitized 12.3-inch instruments, advanced multimedia with a 9-inch 3D screen, innovative and largest-in-class head-up 10.8-inch screen, interesting animations and wireless mobile charging are part of the new ambience accompanied by a smartphone app which will be able to control the secondary functions. Furthermore, the ProPilot safety system gets a connection to the navigation and detects real and potentially dangerous events in front of and around the car faster and more accurately. The system comes in versions with automatic transmission.

Nissan Qashqai, photo: Nissan

One of the significant innovations will be the electrification of the drive, in terms of a 12-volt mild hybrid version of the famous 1.3 turbo gasoline known designation DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline-Turbo), upgraded to 50 components. Mild hybridization does not affect the change in rated power, which is maintained at 140 and 158 hp with torques of 240 and 260 Nm, but will have positive effects on reducing consumption and have the function of giving additional momentum of power and torque when accelerating. The base engine has front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission, more powerful as well, but it comes with four-wheel drive 4x4 and a new-generation X-tronic automatic transmission (CVT) as options. With automatic torque increases to 270 Nm.

Nissan Qashqai, photo: Nissan

The hybrid system carries 22 pounds of weight. An interesting hybrid version of the e-Power unusual operating principle has also been announced, in which the 1.5 turbo petrol engine has a secondary function in relation to the electric motor. The total power output is 190 hp, but the story is somewhat reversed compared to classic hybrids. The petrol is basically not used for propulsion, but primarily for charging a powerful battery and transmitting power to an electric motor that drives the wheels itself, so the ride is very reminiscent of driving an electric car.

The Qashqai also gets a single-pedal e-Pedal braking and acceleration system, known from the electric Leaf. With the new platform, the basis of a more complete driving experience will be thorough refinements on more precise and flexible steering wheel operation, but also filigree polished suspension, which remains semi-rigid in the standard versions, while 4x4 and top models with standard 20-inch wheels go multilink.


Published in Nissan
Tuesday, 26 January 2021 07:33

New Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid 2021 review

The ever-popular Toyota RAV4 SUV gets plug-in hybrid power for first time

From a technological point of view, the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid is an impressive achievement. This is a comfortable and refined plug-in hybrid SUV – as long as you keep charging it from the plug instead of via the engine. There’s acres of space in the well stocked and well finished cabin, and the boot is still huge. The price tag is big, too, but the ultra-low Benefit-in-Kind taxation rates mean that Toyota could be on to a winner with company car buyers. The Suzuki Across – which is almost identical – is cheaper still, though.

Toyota’s hybrid expertise takes a new turn in 2021 with the introduction of this: the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid. It’s a bit of a missing link for this popular large SUV. Toyota made a fully electric RAV4 for its first two generations, but for the US market only, while the last version of the car to be replaced had a conventional hybrid powertrain to bring an electrified RAV4 to the masses.

Now, with CO2 targets ever harder to hit, Toyota sees plug-in hybrid power as a catch-all, delivering mass market appeal combined with ultra-low emissions and running costs.

The new car has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 182bhp and linked to a CVT transmission, but the battery and dual-electric motor set-up take centre stage. A large 18.1kWh battery is located beneath the rear seats, while the front motor is rated at 134kW (176bhp) and the rear at 40kW (53bhp). The engine and electric motors don’t produce maximum output at the same time, so peak power is rated at 302bhp.

With two electrified axles, the RAV4 drives through its electric motors nearly all the time. The engine is there mainly for generating charge, and only occasionally sends drive directly to the front wheels. The driver can flick through four modes – EV for pure electric running, EV/HV, which shuffles between fully electric and hybrid power automatically, HV for solely hybrid running, and a charging mode, which sees the engine top up the battery on the move.

From start-up, the RAV4 defaults to EV mode if there is enough charge in the battery. Keep the cell topped up – it can be recharged in 7.5 hours from a household plug or as little as 2.5 hours from a 7kW wallbox – and there’s plenty of all-electric range to lean on.

EV mode really means just that, and little will provoke the engine into action. Toyota claims up to 46 miles of pure-electric running is possible, and we managed 35 silent miles with no real effort. The car is extremely smooth, and on electric power alone it’s certainly fast enough for day-to-day life. Its acceleration is comparable with that of the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol RAV4. The top speed on electric power is 84mph.

When the battery is drained, the RAV4 automatically switches into EV/HV mode, but you’ll still wonder if the engine is involved. The transition between the two power sources is seamless, and even having a CVT transmission doesn’t seem to be a problem. The engine drops in and out, contributing when it needs to and quietly leaving when not required. It’s a very impressive piece of engineering.

You’ll also discover Eco and Sport modes on top of the drivetrain options. They alter the state of performance, with Eco mode dulling throttle responses in the pursuit of efficiency, and Sport mode giving you maximum power in one hit.

Although 0-62mph takes just six seconds, the RAV4 is not a car you’ll want to hurry in. Instead it’s a solid cross-country cruiser, with good ride quality at speed. The weight and firm springing mean it’s slightly fussy at low speed around town, though, and not quite as comfortable as the other RAV4 variants. It’s got nice steering, great visibility and loads of space for adults front and rear. But Toyota’s newcomer is heavy and it feels it, so while 302bhp sounds like a recipe for fun, it’s best to sit back and enjoy the impressive levels of refinement.

The only flaw in this otherwise spookily smooth and silent package is exposed when you tap into the recharge mode. Asking the engine to constantly top up the battery introduces trademark CVT wailing. Up hills the revs are intrusive and coarse, but it’s a small trade-off to pay when you consider the rest of the package.

Toyota claims fuel economy of 282.5mpg. That’s a rather fanciful figure, but you can expect around 55-60mpg in the real world, or more if you do as you should, and plug in on a daily basis. CO2 emissions of just 22g/km mean company car users profit the most from the RAV4’s tiny Benefit-in-Kind tax rate of just seven per cent for the 21/22 tax year. Those in the 40 per cent bracket can expect a tax bill next year of around £1,424, so compared with standout rivals, the Toyota’s financials make strong sense.

The only problem nipping at its heels is the near-identical Suzuki Across PHEV, which, thanks to its slightly smaller price tag, has a slightly smaller tax bill, too – £1,275 for 21/22 for higher-rate taxpayers. However, we found the Suzuki wasn’t quite as comfortable on the road as the Toyota.

Prices for the RAV4 PHEV start from £47,395 in Dynamic trim, rising to £50,895 for this Dynamic Premium car. That’s quite a chunk, and compared with rivals such as the Peugeot 3008 HYBRID4, the RAV4 is a pricey option with its large battery.

But this trim does bring a panoramic roof, black leather upholstery, and heated and cooled electrically adjustable seats. Even heated rear seats are standard. It feels plush and very well made, if lacking a little sparkle in its design. The only real weak point is the nine-inch infotainment, with its cheap-feeling buttons and dated graphics. Yet standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to bypass this using a smartphone.

Source: autoexpress.co.uk

Published in Toyota
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