Toyota's venerable RAV4 small SUV, on the market since 1994, gains a hybrid gasoline-electric drivetrain for the 2016 model year.
Hybrid drivetrains capture kinetic energy from braking, storing it in a battery and using it to drive the wheels, eliminating an area of energy waste in typical gasoline drivetrains.
Toyota has long experience with hybrid drivetrains, most notably with its Prius model. However, Toyota has extended its hybrid technology to four of its other sedan and SUV models.
The new RAV4 Hybrid can also be had with energy-saving LED headlights.
The RAV4 Hybrid follows this new generation of RAV4, which shows off a lifted nose.
Cabin styling is more functional than aesthetic, and pretty typical for a small SUV.
The RAV4 Hybrid carries five passengers and offers 35.6 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats up, and 70.6 cubic feet with the rear seats down.
With its comfortable suspension tuning, the RAV4 Hybrid works as a daily driver.
Cargo and passenger capacity make the RAV4 Hybrid a good weekend recreation vehicle.
Impressively, all-wheel drive comes standard in the RAV4 Hybrid.
While the gasoline engine and an electric motor combine power to drive the front wheels, a single electric motor adds push from the rear wheels.
With its hybrid drivetrain, the RAV4 Hybrid earns EPA fuel economy of 34 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
Driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control and a not-very-aggressive lane keeping assist.
A blind-spot monitor system looks for cars to either side of the RAV4 Hybrid, warning when it is unsafe to change lanes.
Currently, the RAV4 Hybrid sits alone in the small SUV segment as the only one with a full hybrid drivetrain.