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Old 04-29-2019, 12:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2016-18 vs. 2019 RAV4 Hybrid, decisions to be made!

Hello Everyone,

I'm curious what y'all predict will be the real world #s for a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid once it gets in the hands of someone on this forum? Fueleconomy.gov lists it as 41 HWY, 38 City, 39 Combined.

I'm curious because when comparing it to the 2016-18 RAV4 Hybrid, and factoring in total cost to own with MPG/Gas and purchase price, they seem to be neck and neck and I want to make sure my predictions for the 2019 model are in line with the masses. I predict I'd get about 37 MPG combined (rated 34 city, 30 highway, 32 combined) from the 2016-18 RAV4 Hybrid and I am guessing 45 MPG (rated 41 city, 38 highway, 39 combined) from the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid. That new 40% efficient gasoline engine in there sure helps the highway numbers! Thanks.

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Old 04-29-2019, 02:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to posting on the forum, and interesting first post.

In my experience there isn't a lot left on the table when a vehicle is a hybrid. It has a tendency to compensate for the inefficient driving practices of regular drivers that hypermilers have learned to overcome.

My Prius plug-in is rated at 50 MPG for either highway or city driving. I get 50 MPG in it (with tires I didn't choose, so that could be a factor). The Ford Fusion hybrid is rated at 42 MPG combined. When I rent one, I get 44 MPG.

My guess is that the greater of the two MPG ratings is about the best one could do unless employing extreme techniques, or simply driving much slower than the typical driver.
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Here's a data point:

At the Green Grand Prix this year, Toyota provided three exhibition vehicles, driven by sales reps--a 2020 Corolla Hybrid (53/52/52), a 2019 Prius AWD (52/48/50) and a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid (41/38/40). Under the same track conditions and same average speed, the results were:

2020 Corolla Hybrid: 57.0 mpg (+9.6%)
2019 Prius AWD: 54.4 mpg (+8.8%)
2019 RAV4 Hybrid: 39.2 mpg (-2.0%)

Granted, the conditions weren't great (snowing), but the two cars still beating their EPA ratings while the SUV didn't raises some concerns--specifically, it might be harder to beat its EPA.

Why do you assume you can get only +3 mpg in a 2018 RAV4 but +5 mpg in the 2019?
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's harder to beat the EPA in a Toyota hybrid, even with hypermiling, unless you do extreme pulse-and-glide at speeds under 30 MPH, in which case fuel economy is great, but such driving isn't that practical.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Everyone. As for Toyota hybrid vehicles sticking to the EPA fuel economy numbers, thank you guys/girls for the feedback. And it seems the SUV hybrids are even more locked in for numbers than the smaller ... but I will offer two counters:

This guy has had this hybrid RAV4 for a few years and regularly gets ~40 during warmer months when in town: Gah... can't post video links yet as a new member.

This new owner got 41MPG with mixed driving and 51MPG on his return:
Gah... can't post video links yet as a new member.


I agree about not buying a new car if it is the first in a redesign, but that Dynamic Force Toyota engine... 40% efficiency is damn sexy to pump the MPG up so far! But perhaps I am putting too much trust in Toyota.... their GEN3 Prius are oil burners afterall.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm just saying my rough estimate for non-hybrid cars is that I can exceed the manufacturers claimed MPG figures by about 20%. Not so with hybrids. Maybe I can squeeze out another 4% or so without any drastic changes in driving speed, but hybrids just don't leave much on the table short of aerodynamic improvements.

I certainly wouldn't set my expectation based on best case scenario conditions in the summer. What is relevant is average MPG over time.

Getting much over 40 MPG on a regular basis on anything resembling a box seems unrealistic to me. I'm getting 29 MPG in my 2017 CX-5.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I understand where you're going about hybrids already being pretty well sorted. The summer reference is that I will be retiring and living out of the vehicle as I follow the warmer weather through out North America. But point taken. Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Awesome! I don't know much about the RAV4, but living out of a vehicle and traveling sounds like quite an adventure.

If I were doing it long term, I'd probably go with a minivan like the Pacifica just for the extra space and decent fuel economy.
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I used to track motorcycles and then use my touring bike for a sense of adventure, but that didn't end well with a deer encounter. That took the alpha right out of me, so 4 wheels and a cage seemed like the way to go for the longevity play and also comfort. The Toyota hybrids have "ready mode" where you can set the climate control and A/C will run off the traction battery and cycle on the engine every so often to recharge. Living in a van down by the river is only fun if I'm comfy. I'm unsure if the Pacifica can do this and I'm unsure of that vehicle's ability to get down fire roads, but I love that there are more hybrids in this world.

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