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Old 04-27-2009, 02:02 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Toyota planning a hybrid RAV4




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Amidst the burgeoning sales of hybrid mobility in the US market, which alone has already reached beyond the million mark, Toyota is in quite a comfortable position as leader of the gasoline-electric vehicles segment in the world, and the latest 2010 Prius is quite ready to strengthen that position even more. It is widespread knowledge that the Japanese carmaker has its sights on creating a hybrid variant for every model that it produces.

It isnít quite unusual therefore to hear that the carmaker is in the process of creating a hybrid RAV4, which the company has said it will make available in the Chinese market soon with a high likelihood of it appearing in American markets also.

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Old 04-27-2009, 02:05 PM   #2
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Seems like they could pretty much just use parts bin stuff from the Highlander/RX400H.

There have been several all electric RAV4's running around downtown San Jose for at least 10 years.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:58 PM   #3
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We've already been thinking about a RAV4 as a potential replacement for the Prius, this would certainly seal the deal.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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Default hybrid mini Suv

Wife liked the RAV4 but to tell you the truth only reason we would buy one would be if it could tow 2700lbs and do the road trips we do with our larger SUV. The hybrid part doesn't solve that issue for us.

Our next vehicle purchase will be a vehicle that pulls road trip duty to visit family - haul our small sailboat to regattas and serve as a snow tripper ie AWD needed etc. Only solution I can see working is the new clean diesels. Which Toyota has way to much wrapped up in their "Hybrids" and will never have diesel power in their line up.

We live in SF - drive very little in SF - wife goes 6 miles and often takes the bus. I've been moved to the "home office" so my current ride an old landcruiser moves maybe 50-60 miles aweek now. Though it ends up getting used for road trips now given we are selling our road trip / my commute car the subaru. So next car will have enough space to seat 5+ in a pinch - or post good milege when just hauling the basics - and able to tow the boat ie around 2700lbs during the summer camping and regatta trips. A healthy 4 cyclinder turbo diesel would do the job very nicely. Guessing 2012 before we see them - diesel Jetta isn't rated to tow - bummer as it probably tows nicer than my 2.5L subaru.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:36 PM   #5
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Another hybrid Toyota stop screwing around and bring us a diesel......
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SubaruFan View Post
Wife liked the RAV4 but to tell you the truth only reason we would buy one would be if it could tow 2700lbs and do the road trips we do with our larger SUV. The hybrid part doesn't solve that issue for us.
The current RAV4 can tow 3500lbs? Hell my EVO could probably tow 2700lbs, that's not much.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JC View Post
The current RAV4 can tow 3500lbs? Hell my EVO could probably tow 2700lbs, that's not much.
true - though all the hybrids on the market tend to have zero or half the tow rating of their standard model.

Not to mention hybrid setup as they are now are pretty much useless on road trips - might as well get the gasser for less. As for towing there is towing 2700lbs with an empty car then there is towing 2700lbs with a full car in 100degree heat. Two different things of which you learn when you tow quite a bit.

3500lbs with the rav 4 is with an empty RAV 4 - not two kids - two adults - a dog and associated gear bikes - tents ice chest etc. The Evo would tow my boat as would the Subaru WRX but both get no where near what even the basic gasser RAV 4 gets.

My 2.5L 5spd legacy sedan posts 19-20mpg towing the boat with just me in the car. Pack people and gear - it will tow fine till outside temps hit 80+ and we have anything less than flat roads. The current outback in a gutzy diesel format would make for an ideal road tripper and tow wagon though we'd be stuck with seating 4 or 5 in a pinch vs seating for 5 or 5+ in a pinch. Guessing the WRX would post 16mpg towing the boat with less space than an outback or SUV that gets almost the same milege.

The Current RAV4 tows our boat great - fellow racer has one tows great hauls all the butts and gear pretty well in high temp summer heat etc - towing milege is around 18mpg. Non towing clean configuration he said 24mpg can be had on the freeway. Which is pretty nice but damn it I'm holding out for a diesel option that pushes 25+ mpg clean config and gets low to mid 20 range towing a low profile rig behind it.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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Not to mention hybrid setup as they are now are pretty much useless on road trips - might as well get the gasser for less.
This isn't exactly true. We actually get much better mileage in our Prius on the highway than we get in town. That isn't true for everyone - it really depends on the routes you drive, the weather you drive in, your style of driving, etc. We average about 50MPG on the highway between our place and my parents in Asheville (about 4 hours away), which is much better than or Yaris got over similar terrain (max I ever got was 41MPG), with the Prius being a much larger and more comfortable car.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:10 PM   #9
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buy the forester diesel hopefully coming to us
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SubaruFan View Post
3500lbs with the rav 4 is with an empty RAV 4 - not two kids - two adults - a dog and associated gear bikes - tents ice chest etc. The Evo would tow my boat as would the Subaru WRX but both get no where near what even the basic gasser RAV 4 gets.
In no way was I implying that you should buy an EVO to tow your boat, just pointing out that 2700lbs isn't that much weight. Your post made it seem like you weren't buying the current RAV4 because it can't tow your boat and it's a bad roadtrip car. Neither of which are really true. Who knows about the hybrid. Why not just buy a Highlander? You might be able to fit all that crap in a smaller car but it certainly won't be fun.
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:31 PM   #11
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My dad bought a RAV4 new back in '98 and it was a quite capable and reliable rig around town. On the highway though...lets just say he was outta luck if he had to get somewhere in a hurry. He ended up selling it because it was too small. Personally I'd rather see a clean diesel version.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:41 AM   #12
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This isn't exactly true. We actually get much better mileage in our Prius on the highway than we get in town. That isn't true for everyone - it really depends on the routes you drive, the weather you drive in, your style of driving, etc. We average about 50MPG on the highway between our place and my parents in Asheville (about 4 hours away), which is much better than or Yaris got over similar terrain (max I ever got was 41MPG), with the Prius being a much larger and more comfortable car.
First off your comparing a FWD passenger car to an AWD SUV - no your right it isn't true milege in the SUV hybrids are marginal at best and thats with electric use in town not a road trip. This subject has been beat to death on the hybrid threads many times over. If your getting better milege with your prius on the highway vs around town your doing something wrong and should have just bought a Toyota Corrolla. The nature of the current hybrid is to make the vehicle as efficient as possible in stop and go around town use - Toyota spent millions developing a system to do just that and it does a good job around town.

The inproved areodynamics of the prius enable you to get decent milege on the highway not the hybrid portion of the car. Areodynamics with a RAV4 type SUV with a trailer behind it ruin your theory of great milege on the highway.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:00 PM   #13
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In no way was I implying that you should buy an EVO to tow your boat, just pointing out that 2700lbs isn't that much weight. Your post made it seem like you weren't buying the current RAV4 because it can't tow your boat and it's a bad roadtrip car. Neither of which are really true. Who knows about the hybrid. Why not just buy a Highlander? You might be able to fit all that crap in a smaller car but it certainly won't be fun.
I hear ya - yes I was implying that a RAV 4 SUV hybrid would not function as a true SUV should ie towing crap - hauling people via distances. So going hybrid for the RAV4 says to me that Toyota has no plans on building a competitive SUV for the US market ment to haul people and stuff say from CA to Colorado for a Mountain bike trip - or say a racing sailboat and crew from Utah to San Diego for a regatta. But they are planning on building SUV like vehicles for people to drive around town.

Another fellow sailor who has a lighter smaller boat than mine tows his boat to about 5 away regatta's a year with his hybrid Highlander - he said if he ever fries something expensive its on his dime Toyota will not touch it knowing he was towing his boat with it. He said that he gets 20mpg towing the boat and the rest of the time he gets 27-30mpg - which is the same as what my Aunt gets with her standard Highlander also the same milege I got during a two week rental of the same Highlander. When it comes to the larger boxy body shapes of SUV's or minivan type vehicles ie the Highlander the only time hybrid pays is in slow around town use where the electric motor is heavily used. As for towing all he did was increase his towing cost by paying more for a hybrid and void any possible equipment failure via his warrenty by towing. That and he said it doesn't tow all that great. Now if his boat were smaller it probably wouldn't matter if it were a highlander or prius he was towing with.

The current hybrid technology is only good for around town use or very slow stop and go commuting. For those of us who do little of that but have long distance trips via open road and even tow things such as boats - ATV's etc which don't always weigh 6000 lbs or more and need a F250 diesel to tow there are little to no sensible vehicles worth buying right now.

Every auto maker wants us to buy new cars - a good family AWD car capable of towing upwards of 3000lbs with a full car is going to set you back 25K for a new vehicle. Till those new vehicles start posting milege that justifies getting rid of the old gas hog thats paid for and dropping 25K on a new ride - people like my self are simply going to keep driving our proven - paid for gas hogs that get the job done. I can buy a whole lot of gas for $25,000.

Toyota for the past few years has been very clear they plan on doing hybrid versions of all their trucks. Thats great if you think people in the US only use their trucks for around town stop and go travel. Next time you hit the road for Memorial Day weekend or July 4th etc look around at what people are driving on their long distance trips. Lots of cars yes but a whole lot of SUV's packed full of kids and family too. That is why American's like their SUV's even if they only get 12-16-18mpg. Those same SUV's with no change in driving behavior could easily get close to 24mpg if US consumers saw the value in the new diesels. Sure GM has a hybrid Suburban that gets close to the same milege as the MB 320CDI SUV - but how many of you would pay $45K for a very complicated hybrid SUV built by GM? Clearly not many or GM would be cashing checks like mad right now.
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:25 PM   #14
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Enter Ford Edge hybrid to compete with Highlander.
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