There's clearly quite an appetite for hybrid power amongst buyers shopping in the mid-sized SUV segment. Back in 2016 then, it made sense then for Toyota, the brand that invented this form of propulsion, to weigh in with its own offering, this car, the RAV4 Hybrid.
In many ways, it's puzzling that it took until the Autumn of 2015 for this model to be made available for the 2016 model year. Prior to that time, Toyota had, after all, been developing petrol/electric power ever since it launched the very first version of this RAV4 back in 1994, and in the early years of the 21 century, hybrid engines became a signature item for the brand.
Toyota though, wanted to make sure it had understood the market correctly before wading in. Could it use the kind of conventional nickel metal-hydride petrol electric technology familiar from its Yaris, Auris and Prius ranges - and indeed from sister brand Lexus's similarly-sized NX SUV model? Or, should it push up-market with the kind of lithium-ion Plug-in hybrid engine championed in this segment by Mitsubishi with its rival Outlander model?
In the event, Toyota stayed with proven non-Plug-in hybrid power, seeking to keep this car accessible and affordable in its target market. Plenty of sophistication was still promised though to RAV4 Hybrid buyers. Indeed, with a combined system power output of 195hp, this model was the most powerful hybrid Toyota ever. It also benefited from a round of improvements that substantially enhanced the RAV4 ownership proposition - things like smarter looks, a re-designed interior, extra safety and more up-to-date infotainment. This car sold until the hybrid-only fifth generation RAV4 was launched in early 2019.