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I am exploring ideas to find a new SUV with better gas mileage. I am liking the idea of the hybrid since it only has a $700 premium. Does anyone have any experience with this vehicle? Good /bad? Is the downgrade from a V6 to this awful power-wise? I read that the hybrid has greater acceleration than the 4 cylinder conventional. Does it feel like it is dying when trying to pass someone on the highway at 60 or accelerating an on-ramp to a highway?

I current have a 2007 Sport v6 4wd RAV4. This thing gets 20 MPG city/hwy driving. I drive 30 miles per day one way to work. That is the norm for Jacksonville since its designers decided to create the largest land mass city in America. I don't mind the gas mileage so much since gas is cheap but what drives me the most insane is that my fuel gauge hits empty at 240 miles. I fill up 12 gallons and am good for 4 more commute days. I got it, the gauge is set to a ridiculous 4 gallon reserve but psychologically, I can't keep driving knowing the gauge is on empty. It drives me nuts.
 

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Most of your questions are answered in this forum, as well as lots of other good info.
 

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The Rav4 Hybrid has some extra horsepower and torque from the electric motors for improved performance. I have not noticed any lack of get up and go when merging onto highways, passing, etc.

The CVT might take some getting used to, though. I've been driving CVT vehicles for 10 years so it seems normal to me and now the six speed automatics seem weird. :)

The fuel capacity is 14.8 gallons if I'm not mistaken. The trip computer reports range of about 400 miles on a full tank. We get about 35-37 MPG on the average, so that's a theoretical range of 500+ miles on one tank.
 

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I drove a 2006 V6 for 9yrs, I have no complaints switching to the Hybrid, I'm getting 36mpg consistently which is way better than the V6 ever got, miles remaining usually indicates about 450 miles after fill-up. CR got 36mpg on their 20 mile test route at 65mph which is both ways on 10 miles of highway. I've had no problems passing slower traffic on 2-lane highways. Here are CR's performance numbers, they would be dependent on traction battery charge/state, several other roadtest reviews reported 7.5-8.1 sec 0-60 mph performance.

0 to 30 mph, sec.3.26
0 to 60 mph, sec.8.68
45 to 65 mph, sec.5.32
Quarter-mile, sec.16.74
Quarter-mile, mph 85
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quickdtoo,

Your feedback is wonderful. It is good to hear what a person who drove the V6 model feels about switching to the Hybrid RAV4. My other concern was that my wife has a 2010 accord 4-cyl that is so anemic feeling when pressing on the gas pedal. I am debating going and taking one for a test drive but I just hate the pushy sales people. Guess that is a pointless statement because I never heard anyone say they like them. LOL
 

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If you can find one to test drive you should. I am betting that you will buy one. We ordered ours and it took 2 months to arrive, totally worth the wait, we love it.
The fuel tank holds about 12 gallons and has been providing a range of over 400 miles between fill ups.
 

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The fuel tank holds about 12 gallons and has been providing a range of over 400 miles between fill ups.

Fuel tank capacity of the Hybrid is 14.8 US gallons as stated in the manual.


Fuel type Unleaded gasoline only


Octane Rating 87 (Research Octane Number 91) or higher


Fuel tank capacity 14.8 gal. (56 L, 12.3 Imp.gal.)


 

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While I agree with everything that was mentioned so far, I have to add a caveat which is that the 36-37 mpg, >400 miles per tank numbers can only be achieved while driving like a grandpa (at least in my hands).

Acceleration to 60 mph in 9 s are nice but not compatible with high mpgs.

Maybe its just me, and I am fascinated with getting better fuel economy after so may years of ICE runing.
 

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If 65mph is driving like a grandpa, so be it, like I said, CR got 36mpg on their 20 mile highway test, I've been getting at least that on the highway.


How Consumer Reports Tests Cars - Consumer Reports


Fuel Economy

We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits. One is on a public highway at a steady 65 mph. That course is run in both directions to counteract any terrain and wind effects. A second is a simulated urban/suburban-driving test done at our track. It consists of predetermined acceleration, and deceleration rates, as well as idle time. Consumer Reports' overall fuel-economy numbers are derived from those fuel consumption tests.


Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Most Fuel-Efficient SUV Ever Tested


At 31 mpg in our tests, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has the best overall fuel economy of any SUV that doesn’t plug in. It returned 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway—better than most midsized sedans.
 

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I have not done any highway driving, zero miles so far. So you are getting 36 mpg on the highway?

Also, I find I can drive like a grandpa and get to ~40-43 mph without any help from the ICE. Above that, ICE almost always kicks in. On occasion getting to ~60 mph, the ICE was always on.
 

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Yup, latest fill up yielded 39.9mpg, 395 miles, 9.89 gallons, 99% highway at 50-60mph on SR14 in the Columbia Gorge, always at the legal speed limit.
 

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numbers can only be achieved while driving like a grandpa (at least in my hands).
That's simply not the case, but it does require some skill in driving the hybrid system. Its a common misconception that higher MPG requires driving slow or accelerating slowly. Neither of those things is required, and in some cases can even hurt MPG.
 

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That's simply not the case, but it does require some skill in driving the hybrid system. Its a common misconception that higher MPG requires driving slow or accelerating slowly. Neither of those things is required, and in some cases can even hurt MPG.
What would you recommend and the best habits for driving the Hybrid RAV4 then?
 

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What would you recommend and the best habits for driving the Hybrid RAV4 then?
There are many pages of info about driving the hybrid system to its max MPG. Search for Prius and "pulse and glide" for a start. Most of what people believe about "efficient" driving is based on what they know about driving gas-only systems. There are a few things that each type car have in common, like all braking is bad. (Regenerative braking is less bad but its still bad).

Like most things, the last 1% of efficiency is the hardest to obtain. But there are still things you can do to get close to that, which really only require a different driving style. The one who spends the most miles in EV mode wins, as long as it doesn't involve draining the traction battery down to 3 bars or less.
 

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Thanks both of you for sharing. I've read quite a bit on Hybrid driving, but came across quite a bit that I thought was contradictory, especially with some people driving way too slowly on the highway. I see quite a few Prius drivers in the right lane hugging the shoulder doing around 60 on my commute, but I cannot see myself going to this type of driving. I do a lot of coasting, which has helped a lot but there is always room for improvement. I'll be doing some more reading thanks again:smile
 

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That's simply not the case, but it does require some skill in driving the hybrid system. Its a common misconception that higher MPG requires driving slow or accelerating slowly. Neither of those things is required, and in some cases can even hurt MPG.
Point taken, and I admit to being a total newb when it comes to driving an EV. For me, the challenge was to do it all EV. I see some of the articles mention starting off in ICE. Will try that for a while.
 

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My first Hybrid and this week was doing a lot of runs to airport and back because of family function. About an hour each way, normal city driving. Gauge shows 7 lit/100 km. Avg 5.2 lit/100 km. Much better than my Corolla. I'm just driving and not worry about the system.
 
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