Toyota may be hard at work on a new hybrid version of the RAV4. AutoExpress reports the automaker is keeping a close eye on the CUV segment to determine whether or not buyers would be receptive to the idea of a hybrid RAV4. Yoshikazu Saeki, deputy chief engineer with the automaker, said that a hybrid iteration wouldn't be difficult to do. Saeki spoke with AutoExpress during the LA Auto Show, and said that while Toyota has no interest in building either a seven-seat version of the RAV4 or a sportier model along the lines of the Nissan Juke, a hybrid isn't off the table.

"We are watching the market," Saeki said. "After introducing the new RAV4 we will see. There will be a possibility of introducing a hybrid RAV4 and we will respond to what the market wants."

Than again, we've heard these rumblings before. Back in 2009, Toyota said almost the exact same thing after the Shanghai Motor Show three years ago.


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  • 71 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Robert Fahey
      • 2 Years Ago
      You'd think the Hybrid Avlaon would be a tougher sell since there's a tech-averse demographic there, yet the vehicle exists. I say focus on a hybrid Tacoma that breaks 30 mpg. Who has a fuel-efficient pickup? NOBODY.
        dukeisduke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Robert Fahey
        As a Tacoma (V6) owner, I would agree. But, given the weight and packaging issues with a battery pack in a pickup, I think a hybrid Tacoma is a non-starter. I'd rather see a turbo diesel Tacoma. Toyota sells the Hilux with a turbo diesel in some markets, but no turbo diesel pickup in the US. Come on Toyota, how about a TD Tacoma?
          Robert Fahey
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dukeisduke
          Duke, hybrid packaging in a plain ol' CAR was a problem at first. Look at the EV-1 and Insight, cockroaches compared with current offerings. Someone will figure out a way to make a hybrid or electric pickup before we die. It might end up being a unibody like the Ridgeline, but it's bound to happen.
          jtav2002
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dukeisduke
          Come on Toyota? Come on anyone. I wouldn't expect Toyota to be in any rush whatsoever to offer a diesel here. There's no competition so it's not like they're losing sales to a competing vehicle. Hell that's why the Tacoma is soldiering on still even though it could use a new model. Plus I think the diesel small truck is a relatively niche market as is. I think we would already have diesel midsizers and diesel half ton trucks if that many people were knocking down manufacturers doors clamoring for them.
          Chris M
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dukeisduke
          Actually, hybrid packaging would be even easier in a pickup truck - plenty of room under the truck bed, even when you take the fuel tank, spare tire, drive shaft and rear axle into account. Weight wouldn't be a problem either, even if they used one double the size of a Prius hybrid battery, that would only add 200 pounds. Switch to a LiIon battery, and a plug-in hybrid is a distinct possibility. An additional potential benefit for a hybrid pickup would be plenty of electrical power available for powering other things, like tools at a construction site, or lighting and other things for camping.
      Yegor
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is long overdue. Toyota could easily sell at least 3,000 RAV4 hybrids per month.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota should be preparing hybrid versions of all of their cars, at least for internal testing -- especially non-performance models like the RAV4. They already have a proven hybrid drivetrain system they can adapt.
      banstaman
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would be a great idea. It wouldn't surprise me if they were to electrify their entire lineup of vehicles anyway, so in a way we could have seen this coming.
      gmsaucier
      • 2 Years Ago
      Build it and I will buy it. I am still driving my 2003 RAV4 with great success. Love to have better mileage.
      harmonie555
      • 2 Years Ago
      They need to do this. A hybrid small pickup truck would be great too.
      audisp0rta4
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really do think the new rav4 is a major improvement looks wise over its predecessor. But other than buying into Toyota's reputation for reliability and resale value, I can't see any reason to choose this car over a Cx5 or Escape, etc.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        The RAV4 is a smaller vehicle and sells for a substantially lower price. The same goes for the hybrid versions.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 2 Years Ago
      They've had a Highlander hybrid for a number of years now. Wake me up when they build a hybrid minivan.
      BRKF06
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wife bought a 7 passenger V6 RAV4 to replace her always broken down Audi. It's come in very handy. Sad Toyota abandoned this as that sucker is crazy fast and extremely convenient while remaining compact.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BRKF06
        [blocked]
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am suprised there has not been one yet. I expected Toyota to put the Prius system (1.8L) in the Rav4 with the new model.
        mapoftazifosho
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        The 2.5L hybrid setup in the Camry would be a better fit given the size of the vehicle. 200 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque would be perfect for this size baby CUV.
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