Toyota’s 2017 RAV4 Is Celebrating 20+ Years in America with a Hybrid

Toyota first debuted its RAV4 over 20 years ago, when it practically invented the compact crossover SUV. Since then, the car has undergone changes that make it nearly unrecognizable from early models. This year, Toyota takes the RAV4 into hybrid territory. Come down to Royal Palm Toyota to check out all the great features the RAV4 below has to offer.

Engine and Performance

The RAV4 Hybrid comes with all-wheel drive and an intelligent coupling of a 150-hp, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 141-hp, permanent-magnet electric motor that uses the traditional Toyota continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatically. That’s just the power plant for the front wheels; the rear wheels have no mechanical connection to the front and are powered by a 67-hp electric motor.

This is Toyota’s innovative way of managing the front-to-rear power split, which entails everything from wheel spin to steering wheel position, all so the RAV4 can make lightning-fast adjustments to how much power the car is using and where it’s using it.

The new all-wheel drive system allows for regenerative braking, a process by which the car uses stored energy from the brakes and feeds it back to the onboard motors, saving gas and electricity.

The Interior

On the inside, Toyota made a few key changes to the RAV4 that drivers are sure to love. There’s a new instrument panel with a 4.2-inch display alongside the speedometer, and the entire dash has a softer appearance thanks to some new styling and two new colors: Cinnamon and nutmeg.

A Renewed Appearance

The all-new RAV4 has an improved front end with a raised hood, a sleek and slim grille, and pseudo-skid plates. Compared to previous models, the 2017 RAV4 has a more truck-like appearance, thanks to its higher, wider profile.

Despite the slight addition of bulk, purists will find the car conventionally attractive. The bumper is subtle, and the car doesn’t step out of line in the design department. It looks quiet, capable, and able to handle whatever you throw at it.