Hybrid Toyota RAV4 arrives in 2016

  • New RAV4 to go on sale December with hybrid model on sale in 2016
  • Powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors
  • New car comes with revised styling, improved interior quality and safety kit upgrade

For the first time in its 20-year history the Toyota RAV4 will be available with a hybrid petrol and electric powertrain.

Although no official emissions figures have been released, the combination of a 2.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors points to a low benefit-in-kind tax that will attract company car drivers. Even the out-going RAV4 didn't cost a huge amount to tax, with a 2.0D Business Edition setting a 20 percent tax payer back just £85 per month in tax. You can expect a hybrid model to dip under this amount, as long as the list price isn't too ruinous. 

An electric motor on the rear axle will power an all-wheel drive system which provides traction on slippery surfaces, and a towing capacity of 1,650kg.

The hybrid sits in the new RAV4 range, which Toyota says will feature revamped exterior styling, better interior quality, more tech and better safety features.

The front of the new RAV4 has been given a stronger look and the sides have been given a new rocker panel (the section beneath the doors) to create a more flowing appearance.

Around the back the lamps and bumper have been smoothed out and give the car a wider stance.

You can now have full LED headlights and a 360-degree Panoramic View Monitor, which promises to eliminate blind spots associated with conventional front and rear cameras. Inside there is a colour screen and swathes of soft-touch materials.

Safety features include Lane Departure Alert which monitors your position between the white lines, Automatic High Beam system to activate and deactivate the car's main beams, Road Sign Assist, which spots changes in the speed limit, and Adaptive Cruise Control that matches your speed to the vehicle in front.

Finally the Pre-Collision System which helps to avoid or mitigate accidents will now work from 6mph up to the vehicle’s maximum speed, and can brake automatically from 24mph. Toyota says it can also spot pedestrians; in which case the brakes will be activated at lower speed.

The new RAV4 will go on sale in December, with the Hybrid model arriving in the UK in 2016. UK spec and further details will be announced nearer to this date.