2013 Toyota RAV4 Could Go Hybrid


As the undisputed king of hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius and its family of Prii dominate hybrid vehicle sales. Why Toyota even bothers building hybrid versions of its other cars like the Camry is beyond me. Yet it appears hybridization is contagious, as Toyota is saying that a hybrid version of the new 2013 Toyota RAV4 is a “possibility”.

Like many other automakers, Toyota is downsizing its engine offerings in the RAV4 to just four-cylinder options in the quest for greater fuel efficiency. While Toyota already has the Prius V aimed at those who need a hybrid vehicle with a bit more room and versatility, the 2013 RAV4 offers a bit more cargo space than the Prius (maximum of 67 cubic-feet vs 73 cubic-feet respectively).

With optional all-wheel drive, the RAV4 hybrid might be better suited for snowy climates than the Prius V. Also, some people just don’t want to be associated with the Prius brand, but still want a car with Toyota’s legacy for reliability. I can see why Toyota is sitting on the fence with the RAV4 hybrid though; Ford ditched the hybrid version of the new Escape, a RAV4 rival. It would also likely cannibalize sales from the Prius V. Oh, and also, there’s the whole Toyota RAV4 EV thing too…

Whatever choice Toyota makes, it will probably be the right one. That would mean nearly every vehicle in Toyota’s lineup would have a hybrid version, and including potentially the Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S. Do you think there’s demand for a small hybrid SUV? Or should Toyota focus its efforts elsewhere?

Source: AutoExpress

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Naren

    Definitely RAV4 Hybrid will be a success when its price is accessible to low audience like me!

  • RAV4 Hybrid would be a good choice for buyers but take a look at some of these facts. Camry 2012 (L version) has an MSRP of about $22,850 and gives approx. 31 mpg vs. Hybrid version MSRP of $26,785 and 40 mpg (numbers based on Edmunds.com on 12/5/12). With an average $3.6 per gallon of gas, that is a 10.76 year payback period for the hybrid, considering 14,000 miles per year. Granted that one would use up 100 less gallons of fuel per year but that is still a pretty long pay back period for most buyers. From a technical standpoint, as both gasoline version are based on the same 2.5 L, 179 HP engine (2012 Camry and 2012 RAV4), and RAV4 is about 250 lbs. heavier than the Camry, the same hybrid powerplant would be helpful and could boost the average mpg significantly, but not quite as high as the Camry. The decision really falls back to the customer’s willingness to drop an extra $3K – $4K in order to make an impact on the carbon footprint.

  • Yes we are on our 2nd Prius and are looking to get a bit higher off the road (my wife especially). And we’ll be quite willing to pony up a bit more to be green. We are leasing anyway! 🙂

  • When I see news like this, I wonder if the hybrid developments in our cars is just a marketing ploy. Small cars like the Prius have worked well, but not every car is setup to be a Hybrid. Plus, automakers can also say the MPG for a Hybrid is anything they want without much repercussions from the EPA. For example, Ford’s hybrids are routinely under performing according to owners and there doesn’t seem to be much those owners can do.

    The real question is a Hybrid Rav 4 a smart idea or just a lure for customers. I wrote about this idea around the notion that Hybrid trucks are not much more than a fantasy for a truck blog. http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/2012/12/05/ford-hybrids-fail-47-mpg-claims/

    I would love to think that the premium for the hybrid Rav 4 would not be so much that return on investment isn’t a 10-year proposal. Sadly, I just don’t see it happening.


  • Allen

    Would like to see a hybrid RAV.
    Toyota is the hybrid leader and I have
    confidence in Toyotas reliability.

  • Northidaho

    We would buy one immediately if the had a hybrid.