When Innovations Converge
Now, those two innovations have merged into one with the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid, introduced to the automotive media at the New York International Auto Show in April. This no-compromise compact SUV, the eighth hybrid in Toyota’s product lineup, is expected to generate better fuel economy and more horsepower than its gasoline-powered siblings.
“This is a stunning SUV,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Motor Sales group vice president and Toyota Division general manager at the press conference. “Before today, owners turned to RAV4 looking for a compact vehicle that was versatile, had great utility and met the demands of their active lifestyles. Now customers can add to the list all of the great benefits of a hybrid.”
The RAV4 Hybrid will be offered in two grades (XLE and Limited) and six exterior colors (Super White, Blizzard Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl and Electric Storm Blue). All models will be equipped with an Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i). It’s powered by an electric motor that delivers instantaneous torque to the rear wheels whenever additional traction is needed.
And there’ll be no mistaking the RAV4 Hybrid’s unique identity, from 17-inch alloy wheels and distinctive badging on the outside to an instrument cluster equipped with a hybrid system monitor on the inside.
New SE Grade
Also new to the RAV4 line is a gas-powered SE grade that blends a sportier exterior with a more refined interior. Fay said this combination is aimed at young active couples looking for a compact SUV “with more attitude.” Key contributors to this persona include:
- Sport-tuned suspension for a more dynamic driving experience
- Unique bumper and lower grille design
- Honeycomb mesh grille
- 18-inch black alloy sport wheels
- LED headlights and taillights
- TFT multi-information display with unique meter cluster and red illumination
- Choice of black or black/tan interior
- Unique shifter
- Smart Key
It also promises to break new ground on the safety front. Building on the foundation of Toyota’s long-running Star Safety System, standard on all models, the 2016 RAV4 will introduce Toyota Safety Sense. This new multi-feature, integrated safety package is anchored by automated pre-collision braking. Technologies such as Pre-Collision System, Forward Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Pedestrian Pre-Collision System and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control will help address three key areas of accident protection:
- Preventing or mitigating rear collisions
- Helping keep the driver within their lane
- Improving road safety during nighttime driving
“Toyota Safety Sense aims to bring advanced safety technologies to the masses,” said Fay. “It will help protect people in the event of a crash. More importantly, it will help prevent some crashes from ever happening in the first place. Toyota is serious about safety.”