Think hybrid cars compromise on performance? Think again – Toyota’s new 2016 Rav4 Hybrid is better than its non-hybrid counterpart in every way. It’s faster, more powerful, and it has the best fuel economy in its class. And here’s the real kicker: the 2016 Rav4 Limited Hybrid only costs $700 more than the non-hybrid model.
The new 2016 Rav4 Hybrid is the eighth hybrid in Toyota‘s lineup, and it’s one of the first compact SUVs to sport an electrified powertrain. It pairs a 154 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a two-motor Hybrid Synergy Drive for a total of 194 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque. Compared to its counterpart, the hybrid has 18 more horsepower, 34 additional lb-ft of torque, and a faster 0-60 speed of 8.1 seconds.
The Rav4 Hybrid’s 244-volt nickel-metal hydride battery is just a slight bump in the floor of the trunk, so you only lose about 3 cubic feet of space. If you ask us, that’s well worth huge improvement in performance and fuel efficiency – the non-hybrid Rav4 gets 24 city / 31 highway / 26 combined, while the hybrid gets 34 city / 31 highway / 33 combined.
We took the 2016 Rav4 Limited Hybrid for a test drive and we were pleasantly surprised by the ride. It’s fun to drive, it corners well, and the pickup is pretty great when you stand on the pedal. The interior is comfortable and very quiet, and we loved the advanced features like Toyota Safety Sense and the Bird’s Eye View Camera.
The RAV4 Limited Hybrid weighs in at $33,610, while the non-hybrid Rav4 Limited costs $32,910 – so if you’re deciding between the two, it’s well worth it to pony up for the hybrid. Toyota is also offering a more basic Rav4 XLE hybrid for $29,270, and the cheapest Rav4 is the non-hybrid 2-wheel drive LE at $24,350.