New AWD Petrol-Electric RAV4 Brings Sophistication, Expands Range

Take everything we told you about Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid last year and throw it out the window. That’s history, because the company has just reinvented that basic pumped-up font wheel drive Prius with this all-new all-wheel drive petrol-electric E-Four Hybrid. And not only does this new model replace that short-lived GX, but it brings newfound hybrid sophistication while also broadening Toyota’s fast-growing Hybrid range in South Africa. Its the first time buyers can now choose between variants of a Toyota Hybrid model.


Now available in two GX-R and VX models alongside three petrol only variants, the RAV4 E-Four Hybrid combines its proven TNGA platform with a punchy fourth generation 2.5-litre petrol-electric powertrain. Its Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder petrol engine works in tandem with two electric motors. One via a CVT transmission on the front axle, and a rear-mounted motor to add on-demand AWD to the powertrain matrix through a two-stage gear reduction transaxle.

E-Four responsively and automatically optimises torque distribution between the front and rear axles according to driving conditions. The split varies between 100% front, to a 20/80 front-rear. Distribution is rear-oriented on cornering to inspire driver confidence and enhance steering feel. An Auto LSD Trail Assist mode will improve traction in slippery driving or on the dirt. The driver can tailor vehicle dynamics o suit his or her wan via Drive Mode Select.

E-Four’s A25A-FXS engine delivers 131 kW and 221 Nm in pure ICE trim. The front e-motor makes 88 kW and 202 Nm, while the rear unit produces 40 electric kW and 121 Nm. The system is rated at a combined 163 kW maximum output. Fuel efficiency remains a key hybrid credential and RAV4 E-Four Hybrid delivers a 4.8 l/100 km combined cycle. Driven frugally you should have no trouble in beating 1,000 km on the 55 litre petrol tank. E-Four models can also now tow up to a 1000 kg braked trailer.


We took a tour around Jozi suburbia and into the hills and dales aboard an E-Four GX-R and found it to be a pleasing experience. Take time to exploit this E-Four Hybrid system’s potentiasl and you soon start approaching its consumption potential. Its super smooth on the freeway, but the new Toyota RAV4 E-Four Hybrid is clearly at its best in and around town. Expect to use about 6 litres per hundred everyday. Quite impressive in this neck of the woods.

The bargain RAV4 E-Four GX-R has a rugged, black clad, silver trimmed appeal. Its large trapezoidal grille and wide-set fog lamps frame Hybrid blue-hued Toyota insignia. GX-R gets leather trim all the way to the steering wheel and gear knob. Striking orange detailing on the stitching, seat back and console surround areas, adds a dash of cabin flair. The VX gets a unique grille, a deeper apron and vertically fog lamp bezels, while its leather interior is lit in blue by night. Its a pleassant and quite luxurious place to drive.

GX-R packs LED daytime running headlights, fog lamps, roof rails, rear spoiler and smoked new 18″ alloys. Also expect climate control, rain-sensing wipers, smart entry, CarPlay and Auto touchscreen infotainment. It has five USB and two 12-volt ports, a wireless charger, reverse camera, rear park distance and cruise control. Digital dials have a multifunction display and a dedicated Hybrid Drive window. There’s seat heating and ventilation and power seat adjustment for the driver in the a choice of Black ot Orchid Brown trim.


VX adds passenger power-seat adjustment and driver memory function to the black or beige trimmed pews, front park distance, auto high-beam and auto-fold power wing mirrors. A digital rear-view mirror. The digital rear-view mirror uses rear-facing cameras to project a wide angle image onto the mirror surface, so the driver to toggle between traditional and camera views for a clear view even when the load bay is packed full.

GX-R models come with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability, Trailer Sway, Hill Start and Downhill Assist Controls. VX adds Toyota Safety Sense with Pre-Crash, radar cruise control, lane trace, blind-spot and rear cross traffic alerts. A full complement of airbags includes side and curtain variants, as well as an anti-theft system. GX-R models come in five exterior colours; Graphite Grey, Cinnabar Red, Urban Khaki, new Tidal Blue and Attitude Black. VX adds Pearl White, Chromium Silver and Moonlight Ocean metallic.

RAV4 comes with Toyota’s six-service or 90,000 km service plan at 15,000 km or annual intervals and a standard 3-year/100,000 km warranty. Hybrid customers get an 8-year / 195,000 km Hybrid battery warranty, while service and warranty plan extensions can be purchased from any of Toyota’s 220 dealer outlets in South Africa.


Slowly but surly, Toyota will hybridise all its cars, and soon start offering EVs too. And if the RAV4 E-Four is anything to go by, there’s nothing to worry about — hybrid is very much a part of our driving future – Michele Lupini

Toyota RAV4 Pricing
2.0 GX-R CVT AWD            R606K
2.5 GX-R CVT Hybrid E-Four  R644K
2.0 VX CVT 2WD              R617K
2.5 VX AT AWD               R702K
2.5 VX CVT Hybrid E-Four    R723K
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