Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid: specification and on-sale date

Plug-in version of RAV4 Hybrid to offer 302bhp, 22g/km and 46-mile electric range when it arrives in spring 2021

A plug-in hybrid version of the Toyota RAV4 SUV is set for a UK launch in early 2021, offering 22g/km CO2 emissions, a 46.6-mile electric range and a 302bhp power output for a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds.

First unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December 2018, it unsurprisingly promises greater electric driving range and stronger acceleration than the standard, non-plug-in RAV4 and will be capable of travelling at up to 84mph in pure-electric mode.

That 302bhp total power output from the engine and electric motor makes this the most powerful RAV4 yet. The plug-in hybrid uses the same 2.5-litre petrol engine as the existing RAV4, but a new, high-capacity lithium-ion battery has been developed for the car.

Toyota claims very impressive economy and CO2 emissions for the RAV4: up to 282.5mpg and just 22g/km of CO2. These figures trump every one of the RAV4's direct rivals, including the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid (217mpg, 29g/km), Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid (202mpg, 32g/km) and Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid (192mpg, 34g/km). This is great news for company-car users, whose running costs depend heavily on low CO2 emissions.  

The impressive claims continue with the car's electric range, which is pegged at 46.6 miles from its 18kWh battery – a decent chunk more than the majority of its rivals, whose claimed figures sit in the 30s in most cases. However, exactly whether this is achievable in real-world driving is yet to be seen. Charging from a domestic supply will take 2.5 hours, Toyota claims.

The RAV4 plug-in will feature four driver modes to enable the driver to have full control over whether to use the battery's energy, save it or combine it with the petrol engine's output in the most efficient possible fashion.

Luggage capacity will be 520 litres – 60 litres down on the regular RAV4 – with the battery being located entirely under the floor to minimise intrusion.

Elsewhere, the heat-pump air-conditioning initially developed for the current Prius Plug-In has been adapted for use here. This sees the hybrid battery being cooled by the air-conditioning's refrigerant and also absorbs heat from the air outside to warm the cabin when needed.

Sales of the new RAV4 plug-in hybrid in the UK will commence in the spring of 2021. Exact UK specifications and pricing will be confirmed in due course.

Key features available on at least some of the trim levels will include 19-inch alloys, heated front and rear seats, a two-tone exterior paint finish, a powered tailgate with hands-free kick sensor, a panoramic roof, a head-up display, a nine-inch display touchscreen and the latest Toyota multimedia package with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.