Toyota RAV4 hybrid "a possibility"

29 Nov, 2012 10:55pm Tom Phillips

Market to determine whether the new Toyota RAV4 gets a hybrid model

The all-new Toyota RAV4 has just made its debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Motor Show, but the firm’s thoughts are already moving to the future for its new crossover.

Speaking to Auto Express at the show, RAV4 Deputy Chief Engineer Yoshikazu Saeki said that the new car has been developed around three pillars, “an active exterior design, high interior quality and dynamic handling.”

He added that he had benchmarked the new Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan, to ensure that the latest RAV4 offered a “big improvement” over the car it replaces.

And while he said that there’s no plan to offer a seven-seat version of the RAV4, or to offer a smaller, Nissan Juke-rivalling model, leveraging the well-known and successful RAV4 brand, he did say that a hybrid “would not be difficult to do.”

Saeki-san added: “We are watching the market. After introducing the new RAV4 we will see. There will be a possibility of introducing a hybrid RAV4 and we will respond to what the market wants.”

Toyota already offers a hybrid SUV in some markets. The Highlander is a little larger than the RAV4, giving plenty of space in the firm’s global car line-up, should a market be identified for a hybrid version of the RAV4.

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What a pup. Honda and Toyota don't seem to have noticed that the Koreans are beating them at their own game with better looking and better warrantied cars.

How does "the market" indicate that it wants a hybrid version?

Koreans beating them at their own game? Don't think so - and don't be fooled by styling or the 'impressive' warranties Koreans offer - its a clever marketing trick. Kia/Hyundai have a large number of customers, who have problems with new vehicles, and the warranty is useless, such cases are all over the internet. Indeed regular AE readers will know of recent Watchdog articles involving a Hyundai i10 and Kia Soul. Korean cars use poor quality parts and lack engineering integrity.