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In-depth reviews

Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid range, MPG, battery & charging

Range, fuel economy and charging are a strong suit for the Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid, with best-in-class claims in all three areas

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Range, MPG, CO2 & charging rating

4.5 out of 5

Fuel economyCO2 emissionsElectric rangeWallbox charge time
282mpg22g/km46 miles2hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)

Depending on your usage, the Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid could save you thousands of pounds in running costs compared to a conventional petrol, diesel or hybrid car. With one of the longest pure-electric ranges in the family SUV class, you can travel further without using fuel; 46 miles is more than a Mitsubishi Outlander, Ford Kuga or Volvo XC60 will manage.

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But as is the case with all plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), you’ll need regular access to a charging socket to realise those cost advantages – otherwise you’re carrying around a heavy electric motor and battery pack without reaping any of the benefits. Charging from a wallbox doesn’t take long, and even from a domestic socket you’ll wake up to a full battery by topping up overnight. This is how we’d recommend running a plug-in hybrid.

Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid range, MPG & CO2 emissions

All versions of the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid come with 19-inch wheels, which means they all boast the same low CO2 rating (22g/km) and 46-mile electric range. Not only is that best in class – a Peugeot 3008 hybrid will do 40 miles; a Ford Kuga 35 miles – it also means that no matter which Toyota you choose, if you’re a company-car driver, you’ll benefit from a 6% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rating.

But that doesn’t mean the RAV4 is without appeal for private buyers. That quoted 46-mile range is probably closer to 30-35 miles in real-world driving, but if you charge regularly and do mainly short trips, you could find visits to the petrol station reduce dramatically. In truth, like all plug-in hybrids, the RAV4’s 282mpg fuel-economy figure doesn’t mean an awful lot; you’ll see 40-45mpg without charging, but top up the batteries every day and your car could return a whole lot more.

Charge time

The Toyota RAV4 boasts pretty quick charge times for a plug-in hybrid, thanks to its relatively powerful 6.6kW on-board charger. This means you can top up the car’s batteries and realise the RAV4’s 46-mile range in just two and a half hours using a 7.4kW home wallbox. Like most plug-in hybrids, there's no option for rapid charging. All versions come with two cables as standard, however, which means you can also charge from a conventional three-pin socket. Doing so will take seven and a half hours.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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