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Discussion Starter #1
We recently purchased a RAV4 hybrid and are very happy with it. I am thinking that there has to be a reason why they don't put the AWD logo on the back, like they do with all other AWD cars. I suppose the reason must be it is not, strictly speaking, a AWD vehicle, in the sense that the AWD mode cannot stay on very long, depending as it does on the charge of the hybrid battery. It is still a great feature to pull you out of a tight spot, but if you are in a situation where you'd need continuous AWD, like going up a hill in very slippery conditions, then the feature will quickly become unavailable, I suppose. And I think that's the main reason they don't want to advertise it too much as a AWD.

The owner's manual talks *very* little about AWD. As far as I know, only in two places:

p. 309: E-Four (Electronic On-Demand AWD system) Automatically switches from front wheel drive to four-wheel drive (AWD) according to the driving conditions, helping to ensure reliable handling and stability. Examples of conditions where the system will switch to AWD are when cornering, going uphill, starting off or accelerating, and when the road surface is slippery due to snow, rain, etc.

p. 171: This is not an AWD vehicle designed for off-road driving. Proceed with alldue caution if it becomes unavoidable to drive off-road.
 

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The AWDi badge is on the cars in the US, ask Toyota Canada why they leave it off. There's plenty of stuff around here to read about the system. Its a 75HP electric motor/generator that runs the back. You do have the on-screen energy monitor that shows more or less what its doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well of course I don't doubt it has a rear electric motor dedicated to the rear wheels. My doubts have more to do with what would be a minimim requirement to call a vehicle AWD. Would it still be AWD if it could only keep the rear traction going for 10 continuous seconds before discharging the hybrid battery??
I do believe the fact that the AWD badge is absent in some countries cannot be just attributed to an odd whim on the part of Toyota, or to coincidence. The absence of the badge in some places is without a doubt related to legal issues as to what can and cannot be called AWD.
Is there any information as to how long can rear traction last if you need it continuously for a difficult climb on icy/sowy conditions? This is not an irrelevant question. An AWD system that depends entirely on a gasoline engine can give you AWD as long as you need it.
There are also other important questions regarding the characteristics of this AWD system, like what is discussed in a post titled AWD for sure? by a member called Robene on 01-08-2016

And I am not asking these questions to put down the vehicle at all. I absolutely *love* our hybrid Rav (our previous vehicle was a Prius, for 12 years) but I do wonder to what extent the system can be called AWD on a par a normal AWD system, if rear traction is very limited and necessarily short lived.
 

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I just parted with my Prius so I understand what is being asked.

Some new badges Toyota should consider:

PTPTAWD - Part time part time AWD
SAWD - Sometimes AWD
MAWD - Maybe AWD
DAWD - Depends AWD
SLAWD - Short-lived AWD
BDAWD - Battery dependent AWD
QDAWD - Quickly decreasing AWD
S&SAWD - Short and sweet AWD
BAWD - Barely AWD
 

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Mine has the logo on both sides rear doors. I suppose if you want to do serious off-roading then maybe a hybrid should not be considered, but for me and my purposes, the hybrid RAV4 is the vehicle for me. I will never regret purchasing it. Great gas mileage and trouble free performance, so far, with 7600 miles on it. But, then again, I have not had to drive in more than a couple inches of snow. I have "heard" that in snow depths of approximately 8" or greater that the hybrid is not as reliable as the non-hybrid models.
 

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There are a lot of notions about the hybrid lacking capability of the non hybrid models, but I completely trust our hybrid, especially in winter conditions as I do our 2011 non hybrid. This last winter was particularly nasty at times and our hybrid made it through some of the worst weather with no issues. The intelligent All wheel drive passed all the tests for me, especially making it up the hills to get to our home in several snow storms so I have no doubts about it's ability:laugh
 

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Well in your theory if you are going up a steep slippery grade, your engine will also be running, which charges the battery. I think you'd only loose rear wheel drive in very extreme circumstances, if ever.
 

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MG1 will generate power enough for rear motor in all conditions - it is not only powered by battery. So the power of the ICE is devided to the both axels as in normal AWD system. If there is some power available from the battery it will be extra power in addition to 150 hp of the ICE.
 

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MG1 will generate power enough for rear motor in all conditions - it is not only powered by battery. So the power of the ICE is devided to the both axels as in normal AWD system. If there is some power available from the battery it will be extra power in addition to 150 hp of the ICE.
On the AWD-I there is no mechanical connection (rear drive shaft) from the front drive system to the rear drive system on a Rav4HV like there is on the gas model, the rear drive system is entirely electric.

 

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That's my main reason for buying. Have had rwd and fwd and was considering buying a RAV4 fwd. Then this hybrid awd comes along without the mechanicals and maintenance associated with them, that decides for me.
Agree there must be a reason why the same car have awd badged in US and not in Canada.
 
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I drove our hybrid a fair bit this winter in deep snow and varied conditions (ice, snow, sleet, etc).

It did very well even with all-season tires. I didn't have any problems on the very steep hills that my ford focus with snow tires had problems with.

I think it doesn't do AWD over a certain speed - like 40mph. But how often do you need the rear wheels pushing hard when going that fast?

like OP, I'd love to hear toyota really outline technically how it works. In theory, the AWD-i system could work significantly better than any mechanical AWD system because there is so much more control over power to each wheel. But who knows?

All i can say from driving it, is that it's a really really good system for driving in the snow. I didn't do any rally driving or anything. Maybe someone who has can chime in.
 

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When the rear wheels need power, the gas engine supplies electricity to make it happen.
That's why it is called a hybrid.

It is that simple.
.
 

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When the rear wheels need power, the gas engine supplies electricity to make it happen.
That's why it is called a hybrid.

It is that simple.
.
You are absolutly right.
So long you have gas you have power to rear wheels when needed.
 

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When the rear wheels need power, the gas engine supplies electricity to make it happen.
That's why it is called a hybrid.

It is that simple.
.
I suspect that's only true until the rear drive motor gets too warm, then it will just stay off or cycle on and off providing limited power.
 

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I suspect that's only true until the rear drive motor gets too warm, then it will just stay off or cycle on and off providing limited power.
The MG power input and output is managed completely, so that nothing ever gets hot. The only thing that *might* get hot is the friction brake actuators if the TCS is working overtime. Apart from that the only heat being generated is in the inverter/converter up front, which is water cooled.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In over a decade of Prius driving I’ve observed that when going up a mountain, if you push it a bit, the hybrid battery doesn’t take very long to lose its charge, and then it won’t be charged again until you get to do some coasting.
In the screen diagram where it shows what the system is doing, I’ve never seen a situation where the hybrid battery is charging uphill, let alone a situation where it is providing energy to the wheels while simultaneously being charged.
The whole point of a hybrid system is to save or store some of the energy that would otherwise be wasted. If the system were in the business of using a gasoline engine in order to charge an electic motor in order to move the vehicle, then such a system would use more fuel than a gasoline engine alone. The effect would be the opposite of the main goal.


I wonder if in this particular system the hybrid battery can act as a kind of instantaneous converter of mechanical energy from the engine into electrical energy to move an electric motor. I very much doubt it, but I suppose it is possible. Toyota isn't explaining much about the details of this AWD system, though.


But let me repeat that I don’t believe for a second that Toyota just “forgot” to put AWD badges on hybrid RAVs in some countries, but not in others. There has to be a reason behind the absence of the badge.

For people who do a lot of driving in conditions where they may need to rely on continuous AWD for prolongued periods, it would be important to have specific information about these matters. One of the features I like about the non-hybrid AWD Rav is that you can force it into a 4-wheel traction mode continuously (as long as you stay under 40 km/hr) for situations when you know you are going to need it and you don’t even want to wait for the front wheels to start spinning before the car starts using it.

And then there is is this other issue mentioned in another thread overa a year ago.

I can’t post links yet, so I copy below the opening post of a thread titled AWD For sure?, by forum member Robene, on 01-08-2016:
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I just read a comment from a former owner of Lexus NX300h AWD, the car which motor and gearbox configuration now is inherited into the new Rav4 Hybrid AWD.
He claimed that e.g. in winter conditions, being stuck in snow and having the front wheels spinning and even if the NX was AWD version, the fronwheels of the Lexus kept on spinning while the rear wheels refused to move at all!

Apparently (and this was his words), Lexus/toyota have made a setup meaning the rear wheels cannot start contributing from stand-still position and need to be in motion for activation.

Seriously? Is this even fair to be called AWD???

I have still one and a half month 'til I get my hands on my own Rav4 Hybrid (I know, Swedish lead times...) and I will surely try it out myself once i have the car in my possession, but for now...could anyone confirm or decline this statement?
Rob
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Lots of unknowns.
 

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The AWDi system is NOT a "continuous AWD" system.
Lexus/toyota have made a setup meaning the rear wheels cannot start contributing from stand-still position and need to be in motion for activation.
This is false. Its true that the system is designed to prevent any wheel spin when TCS is engaged, and the rear motor doesn't have enough power to spin the wheels in some situations. Also true that spinning wheels can destroy the electric drive very quickly.
To date nobody has complained about the Rav4HV performance on snow and ice. Its an impressive system in action.
 
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