Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The 2020 RAV4

This RAV4 has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (131kW and 221Nm), an electric motor on the front axle (88kW/202Nm) and an electric motor on the rear axle (40kW/121Nm). Total combined power is listed as 163kW

So how does it work

The petrol engine drives the front wheels, the front electric motor helps out with overall efficiency and the electric motor at the back kicks in on that rear axle to give the RAV4 an extra boost when needed.

The hybrid’s battery is a 6.5 Amp-hour nickel-metal hydride system, and it re-charges through the vehicle’s forward motion – basically when you’re free-wheeling and not braking – so instead of wasting energy as heat through the brakes, it uses it to top up the battery.

This RAV4 has several driving modes including Eco, Normal and Sport, all geared at producing ride and handling via optimised engine performance and tuning, steering and throttle response, best suited to the selected mode and the terrain and conditions.

There’s also an EV mode – for driving only on battery power at low speed and for short distances – and that’s to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. EV mode will not engage if it deems there is not enough battery power – seems to be any level below half – and it will not engage if you’re driving faster than 60km/h.

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