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New to the Rav, advice please


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About to buy our first Toyota Rav4 but unsure of the variant, the rav will be used up and down farm tracks in the middle of no where so we want AWD but not 100% on engine. Our budget will at a push get us a used 2016/17 Hybrid however because of the hilly terrain I think though im no expert it will on engine demand most of the time which will at a guess give us around 30 mpg. The other option is diesel 2.2 we use diesel now, gearbox also a debate as we need to visit steep drive ways where a bit of manoeuvring to turn around ect is needed and auto box may be easier as opposed to toasting the clutch.

Any advice appreciated, this is our 1st Toyota we have always had German Diesel cars manual gearbox and really want a change now. 

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I have the 2.2 D-CAT Auto - bullet proof. As long as you can suffer low 32 - 38 MPG  (I have had up to 40MPG on good runs) and the hefty £265 / year VED its a good bet. Wouldn't want to be constant gear changing on farm tracks that's for sure! If you were using it for commuting I would say go for the 2.5 Hybrid but for semi off road definitely Diesel Auto you wont be disappointed. 

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21 minutes ago, tony.w said:

Thankyou for response, i think diesel auto is the way to go.

+1 for the D-CAT auto - it's an excellent car. It even has hill descent control if you can ever find a situation where you need it! I did 61k in a 2013 D-CAT auto before swapping to my current car.

And one should be quite easy to find within your budget but, unfortunately, you won't find one newer than 2013/14 since at that point Toyota abandoned to 2.2 diesel altogether. You will find 2.0 diesel manuals for a few more years - mostly fwd and built for economy rather than off-road ability. So, you choice is between an older D-CAT auto and a newer hybrid ... which isn't a bad alternative but not really as good at the AWD thing.

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Nice low mileage ones can still be had from Toyota dealers, I picked up my Invincible 1 owner car for £12.5K with just 27K on the clock and 1 years Toyota warranty last year. Other than that I would say test drive a Mitsubishi Outlander Auto diesel. They are quite thirsty though and (I am told) not as reliable as Toyota but at least you will be able to pick up a more recent plate model and they have proper 4WD which you need by the sound of it.

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Mitsubishi is not for me I am not a fan of the look also a mate wife has one (PHEV) and they dont rate it much your also your right about fuel consumption. There are some Rav4s 2016/7 hybrids about within our budget although they have covered 100k but a one owner fully dealer serviced, I have to say I feel i should give it a go as its a cheaper way of getting into the hybrid scene and doing my bit for the planet, anyway thankyou for your replies its been very helpfull.

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Worth noting If you buy a hybrid it’s not a proper 4WD system where all the power can potentially go to the rear wheels. The electric motor to the rear wheels supply’s ?68 Bhp so for better 4WD performance the diesel would be the better option.

Although I’m onto my 4 th RAV have you thought about a Subaru Forester which seems to be very popular with the farming community. 

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Yes thanks for that it is worth noting however it should only be mild sticky situations we need 4 wheel drive to be fair.

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19 hours ago, robo1 said:

Worth noting If you buy a hybrid it’s not a proper 4WD system where all the power can potentially go to the rear wheels. The electric motor to the rear wheels supply’s ?68 Bhp so for better 4WD performance the diesel would be the better option.

At the risk of being a PITA, that's not the whole truth ...

RAV's haven't had 'proper' 4WD systems for generations - if by 'proper' we mean permanent four wheel drive complete with limited slip differentials. Instead, they have had an electromagnetic clutch in the propshaft that aims to achieve a 50:50 split from rest and releasing to supply 100% of the available drive above around 20 mph (I forget the exact figure). So, at speed, petrol and diesel RAVs from generations 3 and 4 at least are front wheel drive cars. Not that that matters to much because the AWD system works pretty well when it is needed most!

The important measure when attempting to get a car up a step incline (whether slippery or not) is the available torque rather than the available power (horses).

A RAV 4.4 DCAT Auto delivers 340Nm torque between 2000 and 2800 rpm which means that there is potentially up to 170NM torque available at each axle to get you away from rest. Obviously you would start from almost idle speed so the would be a lot less than that available initially.

A RAV4.4 Hybrid has a 270Nm electric motor driving the front axle and a 139Nm electric motor driving the rear axle. With electric motors you get the available torque from pretty much zero rpm. So, in practice, you'd get pretty much the same amount of drive from the rear of the hybrid as you would with the diesel and rather more at the front. The total 409Nm of torque in the hybrid makes the hybrid rather quicker in acceleration terms than the poor old diesel as reflected in the 0-60 times of each.

In theory, the traditional diesel could be better at shuffling the available power between the wheels than the hybrid but in practice the torque available at each axle is more than enough to get the car up any reasonable slope without any help from the other end. The limiting factor in slippery conditions is the lack of limited slip differentials in favour of 'clever' use of the ABS braking system to restrict a spinning wheel and thereby transfer drive to the other end of the axle - and that's true of both the diesel and the hybrid. But hey, the RAV4 is 'only' a soft roader and both AWD systems work pretty well anyway.

I'll get my coat ... 🙂

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Peter. 
great explanation. Certainly not a PITA reply.

Is all the power from the front and rear electric motors available at the same time? I had read that the total power was less than the sum of the 2 motors due to the limit of the amount of electricity that could be supplied by the Battery and generator.

 

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1 minute ago, robo1 said:

Peter. 
great explanation. Certainly not a PITA reply.

Is all the power from the front and rear electric motors available at the same time? I had read that the total power was less than the sum of the 2 motors due to the limit of the amount of electricity that could be supplied by the battery and generator.

 

Who's Peter? 😉

Yes, the power / torque from both front and rear electric motors is available at the same time ... while there is sufficient energy stored in the Battery and until / unless one or other of the motors needs to be used as a generator instead. So you can get a short term boost from both to get away from rest or to complete an overtaking manoeuvre but obviously that doesn't last forever. If you need to drive up a steep slippery slope (i.e. get me back home the last half mile or so) the car will use the petrol engine to drive the front wheels and the front motor to generate power to charge the Battery so that the rear motor can drive the rear wheels.

Also, you can't simply add the contribution from the petrol engine to that of the electric motor(s) because their power / torque curves vary quite differently with rpm. At rest the electric motors are the primary power source; at speed the petrol engine is the primary power source; somewhere in between it is a balance between the two. Best of all, it just works so I don't need to worry about it too much (if at all)! 🙂

In researching the 4.4 figures for the above I note that the electric motors of the 4.5 are 'de-rated' by comparison. The 4.4 has 105kW / 270Nm at the front and 50kW / 139Nm at the rear. The 4.5 has 88kW / 202Nm at the front and 40kW / 121Nm at the rear. While being slightly miffed that my 4.5 has less electric drive, it seems, from my experience to date, to be way more than enough and will mean that the drive will be available for rather longer due to the slightly lower drain on the Battery ...

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OP stated that 'the rav will be used up and down farm tracks in the middle of no where' so needs to consider whether this type of driving will keep the batteries topped up. If not it will be on petrol most of the time which will erode any gains made by having a Hybrid. I have never had a rAV4 Hybrid only a Peugeot RXH Hybrid but I can you tell that they do need a fair amount of normal road use to make the whole system work flawlessly. Over to you guys for that one...

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20 hours ago, satts67 said:

OP stated that 'the rav will be used up and down farm tracks in the middle of no where' so needs to consider whether this type of driving will keep the batteries topped up. If not it will be on petrol most of the time which will erode any gains made by having a Hybrid. I have never had a rAV4 Hybrid ...

That is true - the OP did say "the rav will be used up and down farm tracks in the middle of no where so we want AWD" but didn't indicate what other driving he might be doing to reach "the middle of no where". And also "Our budget will at a push get us a used 2016/17 Hybrid however because of the hilly terrain I think though im no expert it will on engine demand most of the time which will at a guess give us around 30 mpg."

The only energy source for the hybrid is the petrol in the tank. The Battery is charged through running the petrol engine and using the front electric motor as a generator so any use of the car will keep the traction Battery topped-up. While going up will be almost purely petrol powered, going down will also generate electricity via both electric motors - maybe not very much, but some.

The design of a hybrid allows the use of a petrol engine tuned for economy rather than performance - the 'pep' is provided by the electric motors. So the fuel economy shouldn't be too bad but I can't comment on what it is likely to be - the OP guessed 30 mpg. That said, I would expect that the D-CAT diesel should manage to beat the petrol hybrid under those circumstances.

I'm not aware of any specific issues associated with using a petrol hybrid for predominantly short runs. As you will be well aware, the D-CAT diesel does need regular long runs to keep the system running sweetly - this is, unfortunately true of most modern diesel engines. Only the OP will know what his normal journey profile is.

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Thankyou phillip42h for the in depth reply no its certainly no PITA, yes up and down farm tracks but not same farm tracks different ones with tarmac lanes in between and i may even use it from time to time to work which is a 50 mile round trip maily A roads and a bit of town but that may only be few times a month. I think deep down inside i want to try somthing new we realise that we need to move forward and look to the future,  I have had my fair share of issues with DPFs and EGRs somtimes you have to change & hope its the correct move - if not just sell it. 

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