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2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid electrifies with updated styling, more tech

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Since the launch of the Prius, Toyota has been closely identified with hybrids and electrification. However outside of the rather niche RAV4 EV, the company hasn't brought the efficient tech to the smallest crossover in its US range. That all changes with the debut of the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid at the 2015 New York Auto Show, and the crossover launches alongside a thoroughly refreshed RAV4 lineup.

Similar to the Lexus NX 300h, the RAV4 Hybrid combines a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine running on the Atkinson cycle and an electric motor, and both axles get power thanks to the standard Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System. Toyota is keeping the exact technical specs about the CUV a secret until closer to the fall launch but admits the hybrid setup offers more than the 176 horsepower in the internal combustion model. The electric assistance means quicker acceleration and better fuel economy, as well.

Beyond just the availability of the hybrid powertrain, the 2016 RAV4 gets sharper, more aggressive styling. The changes start at the nose where the foglights are recessed in the front bumper, and the design draws the eye across the lower grille. There are also reshaped lights at the rear and a redesigned lower bumper with silver skid plate trim. Inside, the improvements include niceties like better material quality, an added USB port up front and cupholders for tall mugs.

While the styling looks great, Toyota is also seriously upgrading the available tech for its strong-selling CUV. Buyers can spec a full array of LED lighting, including the headlights, running lights and taillights. There's also the new Toyota Safety Sense suite that adds pre-collision braking, lane departure warning radar cruise control and more. For help with parking, the company has the four-camera Bird's Eye View Monitor, as well.

The RAV4's trims carry over and get a new addition called the SE. Its biggest features are a retuned sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, contrasting exterior trim and a black headliner. It also comes fairly loaded with features with the aforementioned LED lights.

With all of these changes, Toyota is continuing to take the crossover market seriously. Look forward to live images of the upgraded RAV4 from the Big Apple in the near future.
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- New 2016 RAV4 to Offer Eighth Hybrid in Toyota Lineup

- More Horsepower, Higher MPG Than Conventional RAV4

- Refreshed Exterior Styling and Updated Interior Across the RAV4 Lineup

- New SE Grade Provides Sport-Tuned Suspension, Premium and Sportier Styling

NEW YORK, April 2, 2015 - - There's a new hybrid in town, and it's called RAV4. Toyota has been the overwhelming gas-electric hybrid sales leader in the U.S. since 2000. Now, 15 years after the first Prius was sold in the U.S., Toyota has unveiled its eighth hybrid offering as part of the refreshed 2016 RAV4.

Launching this fall, the RAV4 Hybrid will be targeted towards young adventure-seeking couples looking for a vehicle that provides utility, versatility, capability and excellent fuel efficiency.

Looks Great and Less Filling

Fewer fill-ups will become the norm with the addition of a new, fuel efficient RAV4 Hybrid. Higher MPG comes without sacrifice as the RAV4 Hybrid will deliver more horsepower and better acceleration than the conventional RAV4.

A no compromise vehicle, the RAV4 Hybrid will be offered in two premium grades: XLE and Limited. Both grades will be equipped with an Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i). Also available will be unique 17-inch alloy wheels and six exterior colors (Super White, Blizzard Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl and a new BLUE).

Making the Grade(s) With Refreshed Styling and New Technologies

The conventional gas version RAV4 will come in four grades: LE, XLE, Limited and the new SE. Together with the new Hybrid XLE and Limited, all 2016 RAV4 models will feature refreshed exterior styling, providing a sleeker, more dynamic appearance. It starts with a new, stronger looking front fascia with an available LED trifecta (Headlights, Daytime Running Lights and Hi-Lo Headlights). The new styling extends along the lower rocker panel to the rear bumper for a flowing visual appeal. A new rear bumper and lift gate with available LED taillights add a premium touch. Additional new exterior features include front and rear silver skid plate garnishes on most models and a standard shark fin antenna. An all-new wheel lineup and three new exterior paint colors (Silver Sky Metallic, Black Currant Metallic, and Electric Storm Blue) round out the exterior design.

Toyota listened to customer feedback and added more refinement and technology to the interior. New features include:

Improved interior quality with more premium materials

Available 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display in a revised gauge cluster

Available 7-inch touch-sensitive display audio touch screen

Leather steering wheel (excluding LE)

Updated interior shifter and window/lock control bezel material

Revised cup holder design to accommodate tall mugs with handles

New sunglasses holder

Additional USB added to front and one 12V power outlet added to rear

New interior colors (Tan, Beige and on SE a Tan/Black combination)

Soft touch material on upper door panel and lower dash

Additional convenience technologies include front and rear parking sonar, available Smart Key, and a Homelink® garage door opener (standard on Limited grade). The LE grade will have an available Scout cell phone based navigation system. All RAV4 XLE, SE and Limited models will come standard with SiriusXM All-Access Radio with a 3-month complimentary trial.

RAV4 will also offer a new Bird's Eye View Monitor. This Toyota-first technology utilizes four cameras that are mounted on the front, side mirrors and rear of the vehicle to give the driver a panoramic view of their surroundings. The system offers drivers assistance when parallel parking, and when pulling in and out of parking spaces. The Bird's Eye View Monitor system also has an industry-first feature called Perimeter Scan, that gives drivers a live rotating 360 degree view of what is around the vehicle, helping them see objects that could be in the way.

RAV4 SE: Sporty Looks, Spirited Driving

The new SE grade features a sport-tuned suspension, providing a more dynamic and responsive driving experience. The SE also adds premium convenience features and performance styling cues, inside and out. Additional equipment and sporty design cues unique to the SE include:

18-inch Alloy Wheels

LED Headlights and Taillights

SofTex Seats with power driver's seat and contrast stitching (also on Limited) Two interior colors (Black and Black/Tan)

Bumper and lower grill design

4.2-inch color TFT multi-information display with a meter cluster, twin dials, red illumination and red pointer

Distinctive interior with Black headliner and gunmetal finish

Paddle shifters

The SE will also include an S-Code paint design consisting of three available upper exterior colors (Super White, Black Sand Pearl, and Electric Storm Blue) mated to a Classic Silver Metallic on the lower trim of the vehicle.

Toyota Safety That Makes Sense

The 2016 RAV4 will be among the first U.S. models with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including:

Pre-Collision System

Forward Collision Warning

Lane Departure Alert

Automatic High Beams

Pedestrian Pre-Collision System

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

TSS will be standard on 2016 RAV4 Limited grades.

Small SUV Utility Plus Hybrid MPG Equals $avings

The RAV4 started the small SUV segment craze 20 years ago. Five years later, Toyota introduced hybrids to the U.S market, raising the bar for high MPG at an affordable price. Each has helped change the automotive landscape in the U.S. The arrival of the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid will be a natural fit for young buyers seeking the winning combination of affordable SUV utility and the high MPG of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive.

Toyota RAV4 Information

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