2016 Toyota RAV4 Refreshed, Adds Hybrid Model

As America’s second most popular crossover, the Toyota RAV4 wasn’t at risk of falling out of favor with customers, but the arrival of a refreshed model for the 2016 model year should further cement its popularity. In addition to a fresh design and more equipment, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 adds its first hybrid model.
2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Rear Side View

The visual freshening is mild, and gives the 2016 Toyota RAV4 new front and rear fascias, available LED lighting, new rocker panels, and trim pieces like chrome skid plates. Toyota says that the quality of interior parts has been improved, with new soft-touch materials. The size of the cupholder has been increased, the window and door-lock switches restyled, and the shifter redesigned. New technologies include an extra USB port, a “Bird’s Eye” 360-degree camera system, and an optional 4.2-inch color display in the instrument cluster.

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 will also be the first U.S.-market Toyota to receive the company’s Toyota Safety Sense suite of technologies, which includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control. TSS will be standard on the RAV4 Limited.

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Interior

In addition to the LE, XLE, and Limited trims of the outgoing model, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 has a “sporty” SE trim level. Eighteen-inch wheels and new suspension tuning is said to give the crossover a “more dynamic” driving experience. Visual flair comes in the form of LED head- and taillights, a unique front fascia and grille, red instrument illumination, a black headliner, and shift paddles for the automatic transmissions.

Mysterious powertrains

Despite emphasizing the launch of a hybrid variant, Toyota has yet to offer any details as to the RAV4’s powertrains. The gasoline model will likely continue to use its 2.5-liter inline-four engine and six-speed automatic transmission, potentially with more than its current 176 hp.

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Teaser

As to the hybrid model, Toyota said only that the model will provide “high MPG at an affordable price.” The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid will be offered with unique 17-inch wheels, and a version of the hybrid powertrain used in the Lexus NX crossover. While Toyota has yet to confirm any specifications, the Lexus NX300h uses a 2.5-liter inline-four gas engine and three electric motor-generators, one of which drives the rear axle to provide all-wheel drive.

Expect more information on the 2016 Toyota RAV4 later this year.

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Front Side View Wide

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