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2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review: Mass Hybrid Transit

Ben Chia
25/03/2022

The Toyota RAV4 joins the growing range of Toyota hybrid models in Singapore, proving that hybrids are now firmly entrenched in the mainstream


Photos: Ben Chia and Kimberley Ng

SINGAPORE

About ten years ago, the only Toyota hybrid models you could officially buy in Singapore were the Prius and the Camry Hybrid, both of which were not exactly priced and targeted at the regular mainstream buyer. Today however, official Toyota distributor Borneo Motors offers no less than seven different hybrid cars in its lineup, ranging from small crossovers to large luxury SUVs and everything in between.

The latest one to join the range is the RAV4 Hybrid, which is just about as mainstream an SUV as you can get in Toyota’s lineup. While the Yaris Cross is ostensibly aimed at the youthful end of the market, and the Harrier appeals to those wanting a near Lexus-like experience with all the high-end trimmings, the RAV4 is very much the middle-of-the-road family SUV. The introduction of the hybrid version then should definitely bolster its appeal further, given that fuel efficiency would probably rank pretty high up on a typical RAV4 customer’s list of priorities.

Like pretty much all of Toyota’s hybrid models these days, save for the Prius, the RAV4 doesn’t look any different from its internal combustion engine (ICE) counterpart externally. The Toyota logo up front contains the same blue tinge within that distinguishes all of the brand’s non-ICE models, and there are a handful of ‘Hybrid’ badges adoring the car, but aside from that, it looks essentially the same as the regular RAV4 that was launched a couple of years ago.

It’s the same story inside too, with the cabin remaining mostly unchanged from the non-hybrid version aside from a different driver’s instrument panel that reflects the car’s hybrid status. There’s also an additional button right beside the gear selector stick that says ‘EV Mode’, which is somewhat self-explanatory, and essentially allows you to drive the car in pure electric mode when activated.

Borneo Motors has also decided to fit an aftermarket 9.0-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity for the RAV4 Hybrid, which is a step up over the ICE car’s somewhat rudimentary non-touchscreen audio system that came as standard fitment, and also resulted in the omission of a reverse camera (both were offered as cost options). It’s a minor issue for some perhaps, but it’s small things like these that could potentially make or break a sale in a highly competitive market like Singapore.



It does come fairly well-equipped in terms of driver assistance features though, with the RAV4 Hybrid coming with items such as pre-collision alert and braking, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assistance, and automatic high beam assist as standard. It also gets a wireless smartphone charger, electric tailgate, and driver’s memory seat.

The rest of the car is standard RAV4, which means plenty of space and practicality all round. Boot capacity stands at 542 litres, which is a mere 5-litre drop over the non-hybrid car, and is testament to Toyota’s packaging prowess that the inclusion of the hybrid drivetrain has not resulted in a massive reduction in boot space.

Page 2: How does the RAV4 Hybrid drive? And is the hybrid drivetrain truly efficient?

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Tags:

Hybrid rav4 SUV Toyota

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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