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So I went and traded my 2016 RAV4 XLE Hybrid in for a 2017 RAV4 XLE AWD gasoline version, I thought I'd share my experience with both and why I ultimately did away with the hybrid. This post isn't meant to discourage anyone from buying the hybrid because it is a great car, but it just didn't fit me.

I originally had a RAV4 XLE prior to the hybrid and chose the hybrid for the great fuel economy and extra power. I was very satisfied with how the hybrid drove and certainly the fuel economy. I averaged about 44 MPG with 50/50 city and highway driving. It was my first CVT and hybrid, which I was apprehensive about at first, but I was surprised by the improved the ride quality without experiencing any shifting and the overall quietness. But that was the extent of my enjoyment with the car.

As for the gripes, the main thing I had a concern about is the serviceability of the car beyond 10 years, since I planned to drive this car into the ground. I have great faith in Toyota to make a very dependable car and I know the Synergy Drive system is just as reliable as anything on the road, but I couldn't get it out of my mind having to service that system if something happened accidentally in or out of warranty. I mean, the fact is you not only have an ICE and everything that goes with it, but there's also inverters, electric motors, and everything else in between. I can't control a squirrel getting into the high voltage wires or my dogs' hair causing the battery to overheat - that stuff isn't covered under warranty. Since I only drive maybe 10,000 miles a year, I couldn't justify the fuel savings for a vastly more complex car.

There were a few other minor things I found I didn't like about the hybrid. For one, it felt awfully heavy in the corners as I like to drive spiritedly. The car has a great amount of torque on the highway, but I really missed the engaging AWD of the gas RAV4 when cornering. To add on that, the steering also felt a little too limp. Finally, I really don't like the power lift gate AT ALL :D! It was convenient the first few times using it, but I just like the swiftness and simplicity of the manual lift gate.

So I got the 2017 RAV4 XLE AWD and it's a breath of fresh air for me. It has more road feel than the hybrid being much more responsive and engaging. I average 32 MPG, which isn't a huge deviation from the hybrid, and I feel much more relaxed about any repairs that might come my way in the long term. A few other perks, there's also a lot more room to work with under the hood and seats fold completely flat!
 

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I know the Synergy Drive system is just as reliable as anything on the road, but I couldn't get it out of my mind having to service that system if something happened accidentally in or out of warranty
Sounds like general anxiety disorder. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like general anxiety disorder. :D
When it comes to my cars, yes!

I'm comfortable working on gasoline engines and electronics. I'm an HVAC professional by trade, so I'm very mechanically inclined, but regardless of that, some of the parts alone on the hybrid are extraordinary expensive over the gasoline RAV4. It's just not something I want weighing on my mind. If the alternator goes on the gas RAV4, I can swap that out in 30 minutes for $100. If MG1 or MG2 fails on the hybrid, I have to spend a weekend and well over a thousand to swap the entire hybrid transaxle.

It's not only the cost, but convenience of correcting a problem and getting back on the road.
 

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Fuel injection replaced carburetors, and I guarantee you there were people that clung to their carburators for as long as they could because they did not trust all that complex microcontroller controlled fuel injection mambo jambo. :D
 

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I've seen a couple of car magazine calculations which state that one would have to drive a hybrid 70,000 miles before recovering the gasoline cost differential between that vehicle and an equivalent purely gasoline-powered car. I spoke briefly with the owner of a new RAV hybrid and he likes the car but said that he hadn't owned it long enough to have put it through what he normally does with his vehicles. That is the first hybrid RAV I've seen here. Fuel mileage-wise a friend's VW Beetle Diesel gets 52 highway miles and diesel fuel now costs less than gasoline here, but of course his Beetle doesn't have AWD. What one likes obviously depends upon individual criteria. At least we still have choices available in the U.S.!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Fuel injection replaced carburetors, and I guarantee you there were people that clung to their carburators for as long as they could because they did not trust all that complex microcontroller controlled fuel injection mambo jambo. :D
Oh I've dealt with carburetors. My first car was carbureted Buick Century and that thing sucked to tune up once or twice a year!

I welcome new technology and hybrids are great, but because the only time I drive my personal car is for errands or pleasure, I've found I prefer the sportiness and response of the gas RAV4 over the hybrid. If I lived in D.C. and drove to work in bumper-to-bumper traffic everyday, I would be able to justify having the hybrid long-term. And I think where the hybrid, any hybrid, shines best is in a dense metro area unless your annual mileage is more than average.
 

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There are none so blind as those who will not see.
So you came here for what? Looking for validation? Really?
 

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Fuel injection replaced carburetors, and I guarantee you there were people that clung to their carburators for as long as they could because they did not trust all that complex microcontroller controlled fuel injection mambo jambo. :D
LOL - I didn't mind carbureted vehicles since if something went wrong it usually was easily resolved by the owner with a little knowledge of what to look for, and without expensive equipment. Still, I prefer FI and modern systems which are more precise and generally require less maintenance. But still more complexity isn't necessarily or inherently beneficial. It's fine until there is a malfunction, and then repairing it often is relatively expensive and requires a specialist to get it done correctly. :wink
 

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It's fine until there is a malfunction, and then repairing it often is relatively expensive and requires a specialist to get it done correctly. :wink
That's what they said when OBDII was implemented in 1994.

I remember buying my first OBDII reader in the late 90's for about $350. And it connected to a Palm Pilot that cost another $450. With inflation, that's well over $1,000 combined.
Now I can go on Ebay and buy a Bluetooth enabled OBDII reader for $3.83 with free shipping that would connect to any cell phone.

New technology requires new skills and knowledge. OBDII was cutting edge not that long ago. A hybrid is half way to where the future seems to be going, electric cars. Might as well learn how to work on them now. All this tech isn't going away. :nerd
 

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It seems OP didn't bother reading the advantages of a Toyota hybrid beyond MPG but at least he is now happy.

The depreciation on the car alone was more than enough to get an eight year, 160k warranty, and some change.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
So you came here for what? Looking for validation? Really?
No, just to share my experience. I'm not not here for validation or an argument. Isn't a discussion what a forum is for? Like I said, the hybrid is a great car, but it didn't fit me.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

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With a lot of highway driving, the hybrid loses it's competitive advantage as I think at least in Canada, highway numbers are the same for both variants. Also, the AWD of the non-hybrid is superior.

Glad I didn't go with other hybrid offerings from Hyundai/Kia, Mitsubishi and the rest. I mean if people are anxious buying into Toyota's, there'd be more real risks to owning hybrid vehicles that aren't tried and true.
 

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Congrats, but I have a question. You say you drive 50/50 hiway / city and are averaging 32 mpg in your new 2017 XLE?? :surprise I seriously doubt that myself, I do not think that is possible with this car.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Congrats, but I have a question. You say you drive 50/50 hiway / city and are averaging 32 mpg in your new 2017 XLE?? :surprise I seriously doubt that myself, I do not think that is possible with this car.
Fortunately, my city has nice, straight streets with synced traffic lights, so I can maintain 25-30 MPH for a couple miles at a time before having to stop. I also don't commute to work, so I typically don't experience traffic. Also, it's a bit uphill to my usual destinations and downhill back home, so I average 25-27 MPG there and 35-40 back. If I only make short jumps around the city or drive more aggressively, I'll get 26-27 MPG easily.

With the hybrid, I think it was like 23-25 MPG there (battery typically charges at this point) and 60-65 MPG back.

At 60-65 MPH, I get about 31-33 MPG. At 45 MPH, I can get as much as 35 MPG. Coasting whenever possible helps tremendously.

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So here's the rub:
You threw away thousands of $ trading a 1 year old car for a new car that costs more to own and operate. That's all fine and you certainly have a right to do so. But you keep trying to rationalize the choice with faulty logic and erroneous assumptions.
Glad you're happy with the new model.
 

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If fuel is a non-issue which is the case in US then the awd alone is rational choice to go to the gasser :)


Skickat från min iPhone med Tapatalk
 

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So here's the rub:
You threw away thousands of $ trading a 1 year old car for a new car that costs more to own and operate. That's all fine and you certainly have a right to do so. But you keep trying to rationalize the choice with faulty logic and erroneous assumptions.
Glad you're happy with the new model.
I took a beating on what equity I had left, but I realize this was much more an emotional decision than an economical one. While I said I have a fear of something happening to the hybrid system by accident and me having to foot the bill, I know in reality that's very unlikely. Aside from that, the other reasons I mentioned also pushed me to the gas RAV4 too, which are completely subjective and not everyone will agree (I really hated that lift gate). That's why I say, it's a great car, just not for me. At least I tried it! :D

In the end, the car is worth what I paid for it (posted in another thread, if anyone is curious) and I look forward to many years of enjoyment with it.

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As for the gripes, the main thing I had a concern about is the serviceability of the car beyond 10 years, since I planned to drive this car into the ground.
Stop kidding yourself. You're on your 3rd 4th gen RAV4 already and they've only been out a few years. You may want to consider leasing. Though you are flipping cars significantly faster than a typical lease you can get 1 year options.
 

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Stop kidding yourself. You're on your 3rd 4th gen RAV4 already and they've only been out a few years. You may want to consider leasing. Though you are flipping cars significantly faster than a typical lease you can get 1 year options.
I thought this was his second RAV4 lol.
 
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