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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is normal, but I've been trying to break in the engine and burn off some gas by mostly staying in HV sport mode.

When accelerating, I've noticed that sometimes the RPMs stay reasonably low and I can feel good power and acceleration, but other times the RPMs go very high and I don't feel much acceleration so I have to press the throttle down more to pick up speed, which pushes the RPMs even higher. It's as if the engine is stuck in a "low gear" when it seems like it would be more efficient for it to upshift. I've also glanced at the MPG on the energy trip info on the main infotainment screen and during the times the acceleration feels good, the MPG stays pretty high, but the times when the RPMs are high, the MPG of course plummets. Is this inconsistent behavior normal, or should I have the dealer check it out?

Because of this, when I'm merging onto the highway, I never really know what to expect and how much I need to push on the throttle because the response always seems different.

In charge mode, it's even worse, this feeling of not having any "power" and RPMs being very high. I imagine this is to charge the battery, but I would have expected that when I'm pushing the throttle and to maintain the same response and acceleration, it should prioritize engine power to the wheels and only charge the battery from the engine while cruising and power demand to the wheels is low?

Additionally, I've found in HV mode, the engine seems to always shut off at the worst time if I'm in city driving. It seems very aggressive, like if I'm stopped at a light for not too long or at a stop sign waiting for traffic to clear so I can turn, it seems to always shut off right when the light is changing and it turns the engine back on again. This constant frequent cycling of starting/stopping the engine it seems every 30secs to a couple of minutes worries me. Should I be concerned, or are hybrid engines designed to handle this? Because of this, I've started to just drive in EV only mode when there are lots of stoplights around (which would be the preferred mode anyway, but I was trying to put as many engine miles on as I could to get past the break-in period).
 

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2021 RAV4 Prime XSE (+weather +audio) Silver Sky Metallic
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Agreed. To add a bit that someone mentioned in another thread, the engine does need to warm up for ~45 secs to a minute before it will give you full power. So if your engine was not already warmed up then this may be why you felt a power difference when accelerating. Also because there are no set gears in our car, the engine prioritizes either a “power” (high rpm) or “efficiency” (low rpm) set point at any given time, based on how hard you are depressing the pedal and how fast you are already moving. When it kicks into the “power” rpm set point you will hear the engine much more noticeably.

Note that this is also a hybrid power train, so whenever you punch the pedal you are getting some power from the engine and some from the electric motors. So this is also why acceleration is sometimes different depending on circumstances.

Also yeah, charge mode uses your engine power to charge the battery. So obviously it will give you less power to the wheels.

I just use Normal mode when using HV mode because I don’t notice a big difference in acceleration but the engine rpms are a bit lower/quieter. I save Sport mode for when I’m in EV mode around town.
 

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2021 Prime SE
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OP, sounds like your first hybrid. Just drive and let the car do its thing. Toyota has these figured out quite well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the replies. Yep, my first hybrid and first new car in a while (previous car was a 2004 RAV4), so getting used to all the new bells and whistles.

It also did occur to me that maybe in HV mode the times the RPMs go up and I don't feel as much power to the wheels might be when it's charging the battery. I've noticed on the power flow animation that sometimes the battery is being charged in HV mode when not regen braking. Sometimes this is happening when I'm trying to accelerate. I just would have thought the priority would be to maintain a consistent throttle response and power to the wheels during HV mode especially, but if this is how the hybrid system works, then good to know and I'll adjust to it. Just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything weird going on with mine.

Thanks again for all of the feedback.
 
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