• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Car freaks, families prefer hybrids as choice SUVs

Toyota RAV 4

Despite the world looking for ways to deal with the imminent threat of catastrophic climate change, more and more buyers are choosing SUVs as their family cars. These models emit more CO2 and use more fuel than a smaller hatchback equivalent, because they’re generally larger and heavier.

While some high-end manufacturers are launching pure-electric SUV models, those cars will be out of most buyers’ price range. There are new models that are much more affordable, and yet both offer the benefits of electrification with hybrid powertrains. Such vehicles are the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid which runs on combustion engine. It has been around since 1994.

In terms of design and engineering, Toyota RAV 4 powertrains measures a total output of 215bhp with combustion engine that develops 176bhp and its motor produces 118bhp, with a quoted total output of 215bhp.

It uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with its electric motor and, like all other Toyota hybrids; it sends power to the wheels via a CVT automatic transmission.

The RAV4 sits on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, a set-up designed to integrate electrification at its core, alongside improvements to body rigidity and lightness.

It is also used to build the Japanese firm’s C-HR, Corolla and Prius models, and here it features MacPherson struts at the front and double wishbones at the rear.

Interior build quality is good, and leather seats come as standard laced with other nice materials around the cabin which is quite similar to its competitors in terms of build and material quality.

With the model very well equipped, too, with the RAV4 features adaptive cruise control, heated leather seats, LED lights, a powered tailgate and satellite navigation among its list of standard kit.

In times of driving experience, it follows a similar recipe to the marque’s other hybrid models, so it is no surprise that it drives similarly to other models based on the TNGA platform.

The electric motor means that driving around town is relaxing, because the car relies on battery power at low speed. It’s almost silent in traffic, and the engine only kicks in when you pick up the pace.

In terms of running cost, Hybrids are great for company car drivers due to their low CO2 emissions, which translate to lower expenditures on maintenance bills.

Inside, there is more than enough leg and headroom in the back for even tall adults to sit comfortably, because the Toyota’s rear seatbacks are quite reclined. Few people will complain about the space inside, though, and while the cubbies in the RAV4 are a little smaller, there is still plenty of space to store anything and everything a family might need.

The RAV4 is exceptionally well equipped for safety kit, with AEB, lane-keep assist, blind-spot warning, reversing cameras, adaptive cruise control and parking sensors fitted as standard.

The Toyota has one extra airbag, which helped it to score slightly higher in its Euro NCAP crash test. Toyota’s five-year, 100,000-mile warranty is among the best of any car manufacturer and beats the three-year cover on its rivals’’.

When it comes to ride comfort and handling, because the Toyota pretty evenly matched in this area, the RAV4 is slightly more settled at speed and the main reason to choose it over competition is that, the driving position is more comfortable.

 

MIKE OCHONMA