Toyota RAV4 PHEV lineup expanded with new entry-level Design model

The Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid combines hot hatch performance and 46 miles of electric range

  • Best-in-class electric range
  • 0-62mph in six seconds
  • New entry-level Design model starts from £46,495

The Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid range has been bolstered by the arrival of a new entry-level ‘Design’ trim level. It’s available to order now, with prices starting from £46,495.

Top 10 best hybrid SUVs 2021

The new Design trim sits beneath the Dynamic and Dynamic Premium models in the RAV4 PHEV lineup, reducing starting price of the car by around £900. The arrival of this new base-model brings the RAV4 PHEV slightly closer to a number of plug-in rivals, including the Ford Kuga PHEV and the Volvo XC60 Recharge hybrid.

2021 Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid: specifications and prices

The RAV4 plug-in hybrid was unveiled in early 2021 and the new Design model becomes the entry point to the range. Starting from £46,495, It comes with a long list of standard equipment including 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. Inside, a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system is fitted, and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An electrically operated tailgate is also standard, alongside safety features like rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring.

Above this is the Dynamic trim, which gets 19-inch alloys, connected services, heated front and rear seats, plus a fast-charging cable and wireless smartphone charging. Prices for the Dynamic model start from £47,395.

Opting for Dynamic Premium adds extras such as black leather upholstery, ventilated front seats with memory function, a head-up display and a panoramic roof and a nine-speaker premium JBL stereo system. It starts at £50,895.

Like the regular RAV4 hybrid, the plug-in model uses the same 2.5-litre petrol engine, but with a more powerful electric motor and a bigger battery. Toyota has revealed the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid will offer 46 miles of range, 282mpg and official CO2 emissions of just 22g/km, making it eligible for exemption from London Congestion Charge zone charging.

Engines, performance and economy

Combining the electric motor and petrol engine results in a total output of 302bhp, which is roughly the same amount of power as the performance-focused Volkswagen T-Roc R. As a result, acceleration is similarly impressive, with the RAV4 PHEV reaching 62mph in 6.2 seconds. Aside from the Toyota Supra, no other car in Toyota’s current UK line-up is as fast off the line.

The RAV4 plug-in hybrid gets Toyota’s electric four-wheel-drive system, which places a motor on each axle to power both sets of wheels. Regenerative braking is fitted to scoop up the energy lost in braking, and you can control the level of harvesting using two paddles behind the steering wheel. You won’t be able to drive using just the accelerator like you can in some fully electric cars, but the car’s electric range can be topped up while you’re driving.

Design, interior and practicality

To complement its powerful performance, the Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid comes with sportier styling elements, including 18-inch alloy wheels, black trim, a new grille mesh design and a subtly tweaked bodykit.

The sportiness continues inside, with contrasting red stitching on the seats (trimmed in black leather in the range-topping model). The dashboard is carried over from the regular RAV4 but every model gets a new nine-inch infotainment touchscreen.

Despite the batteries being stored underneath the floor, the reduction in boot space is minimal. You’ll have 520 litres to fill with the seats in place, compared to 580 litres for the standard hybrid version.

Read our review of the Toyota RAV4 for more information, or see where it features on our list of best medium-size and family SUVs.

Recommended

Kia e-Niro review
Kia e-Niro
Kia e-Niro
16 Sep 2021

Kia e-Niro review

2022 Mazda CX-5 revealed with a range of updates
2022 Mazda CX-5 Newground
Mazda CX-5
15 Sep 2021

2022 Mazda CX-5 revealed with a range of updates

Dacia Duster SUV review
2021 Dacia Duster SUV
Dacia Duster
15 Sep 2021

Dacia Duster SUV review

Kia XCeed hatchback review
Kia XCeed crossover
Kia XCeed
15 Sep 2021

Kia XCeed hatchback review

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2021
Hyundai Tucson SUV front 3/4 tracking
Deals
10 Sep 2021

Best new car deals 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

PCP deals explained – what is PCP finance?
Car dealer and customer talking
Car finance
8 Sep 2021

PCP deals explained – what is PCP finance?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks