New York — Toyota Motor Corp. Thursday revealed its eighth hybrid: the 2016 Toyota RAV4 hybrid, which a Toyota executive says will have segment leading fuel economy "by far."
Available this fall, the RAV4 hybrid will be the first hybrid in the compact SUV segment and answers a call from Toyota customers, said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. It also has more horsepower and is more fuel efficient than the conventional gasoline RAV4, the company said at the New York International Auto Show.
"There's no doubt the RAV4 is hot right now and we are going to make sure it stays hot by giving customers another reason," Fay said.
Toyota did not provide miles per gallon specifics for the hybrid or pricing but the hybrid will be powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. All-wheel drive versions of the RAV4 currently get 22 miles per gallon city, 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.
"The RAV4 hybrid will be targeted towards young adventure-seeking couples looking for a vehicle that provides utility, versatility, capability and excellent fuel efficiency," Toyota said.
The hybrid version comes as the popular selling RAV4 gets a facelift including a new exterior look and updated interior. Also new for 2016 is a SE trim line that features a more premium and sporty look with sport-tuned suspension.
All 2016 RAV4 vehicles have an updated, sleeker look, with a new rear bumper and lift gate. Consumers can choose from three new exterior color choices and new interior colors.
Toyota said it listened to customers to improve the quietness, interior and technological functions. The refreshed RAV4 has more premium and softer feeling materials, more power and USB outlets, revised cup holder design to handle taller mugs with handles, and available 7-inch touch-sensitive audio display screen.
Toyota sold more than 267,000 RAV4s in the U.S. last year, up 22.7 percent from 2013. Sales through March this year have totaled about 67,000, up 26.3 percent from the same months in 2014.
RAV4 will feature the first deployment of Toyota's new Bird's Eye View Monitor, an available feature that uses four exterior cameras on the vehicle to give a driver a panoramic view. The small SUV also will be one of the first Toyota vehicles in the U.S. to offer Toyota Safety Sense, a new safety package with a slew of features including automated pre-collision braking. Fay said it would be available for about $500.
The RAV4 hybrid will be offered in two trim lines, the XLE and Limited, which feature on-demand all-wheel drive systems. Toyota said 17-inch wheels will be available and the small SUV will come in six exterior colors.