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RAV4 PHEV review - Petrol Ped


Gray86
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May be of interest to anyone interested in the PHEV: 

Do note, this is a review by someone who likes performance cars, so doesn’t get on that well with the CVT when driving spiritedly. 

 

 

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I found the fact that engine revs don't match speed strange at first but I'm completely used to it now.  It's not overrevving though.

I also didn't buy a Rav for its ability to do the Nurburgring 🤣

 

 

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I've followed Petrol Ped for a couple of years now and yes, he does prefer performance cars. I do think that he have a reasonable review of the car though. The satnav etc is behind the times, although as I haven't had anything more modern it is fine by me with the option of using android auto if required. The CVT gearbox does take some getting used to and prefers to be driven in a more relaxed manner, it seems to be set up for economy, which does suit my style of driving nowadays. I had a Prius as a company car a few years ago and they had the same marmite reactions with other users. 

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The ICE is set up for peak conversion efficiency but also to charge the PHEV Battery. In combination with the traction Battery it does, in my view, perform pretty well given the size and weight and the eCVT is probably the best in it’s class.

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Considering he thinks it still uses belts on the eCVT he really has not researched his cars very well and he also talked about a torque converter auto as being better, maybe he should stick to push bikes.

I've seen a few reviews that say the car is noisy under acceleration, well my current 69 plate Mazda CX-5 is loud under acceleration and you don't see that mentioned much in reviews, he didn't seem to have to talk any louder on the review, so I wonder if it's just to find something to complain about.

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I not even looked at his review, and I don’t take much notice of other reviews out there. I don’t mind watching a new model review when they just talking about what’s on the inside, under the bonnet and in the load area, but not bothered when they take it on the road.

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Another opinionated review which litter social media. Given the worldwide sales of the RAV4 it can’t be that bad. I too like a drivers car and in my opinion a TC box is better (the Volvo was very, very good but only after a Polestar remap) but that doesn’t make the latest generation of Toyota CVT bad. Unlike The Audi attempt at CVT a few years which was dire and unreliable. however like many we have to combine the households needs into one car so compromises are required and After one day of ownership and 60 odd miles of driving so far our RAV PHEV exceeds my expectations. 

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59 minutes ago, Roger_N said:

Considering he thinks it still uses belts on the eCVT he really has not researched his cars very well 

I

Hi all......good point, lots of comment relating to the eCVT including using belts. I am under the impression that here are no cones/belts in the CVT's. Borne out by this excellent tutorial: 

 

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1 hour ago, Bcc212 said:

I’m also getting tired of the slow tailgate comment. Bore off. It works. 

It beats the speed of closing of the one that was on my Outlander by about a week! haha!

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The RAV is no 'noisier' than any other car I have owned when you give it some hard acceleration (in fact its pretty well insulated I think), I do get fed up of closed mind journos that can't seem to cope with a steady engine note instead of a varying note (Had the same about my Outlander PHEV).

Is it that hard to gauge your speed from the speedo rather than your ears? I manage.

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1 hour ago, Broadway One said:

Hi all......good point, lots of comment relating to the eCVT including using belts. I am under the impression that here are no cones/belts in the CVT's. Borne out by this excellent tutorial: 

 

As I understand it the Toyota eCVT is very much like a helicopter drive system continuously connected, no cones or belts.

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3 hours ago, Roger_N said:

Considering he thinks it still uses belts on the eCVT he really has not researched his cars very well and he also talked about a torque converter auto as being better, maybe he should stick to push bikes.

I've seen a few reviews that say the car is noisy under acceleration, well my current 69 plate Mazda CX-5 is loud under acceleration and you don't see that mentioned much in reviews, he didn't seem to have to talk any louder on the review, so I wonder if it's just to find something to complain about.

Thankfully he was corrected (a lot) in the comments, he did acknowledge it too 

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1 hour ago, ernieb said:

As I understand it the Toyota eCVT is very much like a helicopter drive system continuously connected, no cones or belts.

If you’ve got 35mins, this guy explains it perfectly: 

 

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eCVT is a planetary gear. Grahams Toyota Prius website , especially the understanding your Prius section, well worth a read as RAV uses same system. When I bought my first RAV hybrid I thought it had a standard CVT until reading this

85746D56-13BE-46C1-A249-39DB4FEE158A.jpeg

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I have seen many of Petes videos and I like his channel alot, I even subscribe to it, out of all the motoring journalism I have seen I find his to be from the heart and truthful, unlike some others. As for the gearbox, I found it OK on my test drive and it certainly wasn't a deal breaker for me, others may be different though. My car is due for delivery in the next 6 weeks or so and as far as I am concerned  I have still made the right choice for me. 

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Trouble is his comments ignite old prejudices from people that had old CVT's.  I have driven CVT's in the past, even hybrids like the Honda Insight and it was a hateful thing, yes it made a right racket with virtually no acceleration so yes I wouldn't want to buy a car like that. The RAV is nothing like it. 

Getting hung up on an engine sound (only under heavy acceleration) while dismissing the huge advantages is insane. A smaller 2wd diesel SUV will typically real world do low 40's mpg mixed driving. The bigger, 4wd (if you want), more powerful RAV does better mpg any day and its running on cheaper petrol. Its also very responsive and linear. Having driven both a Ford and VW autos recently it felt like a step backwards going back to old fashioned gear ratios, rubber banding and delayed response.

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6 hours ago, Rav Rob said:

more powerful RAV does better mpg any day and its running on cheaper petrol

That depends on the country of residence. Diesel still cheaper In France, people started rioting when the government tried to change this, by hiking tax on diesel more than on petrol.

Just less than 60% of cars on French roads are diesel, with 3% being electric.

Being new to my hybrid I am still surprised by the engine noise not being related to road speed, but with the gen IV drive train I am not missing anything.

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2 hours ago, Stopeter44 said:

That depends on the country of residence. Diesel still cheaper In France, people started rioting when the government tried to change this, by hiking tax on diesel more than on petrol.

Just less than 60% of cars on French roads are diesel, with 3% being electric.

Being new to my hybrid I am still surprised by the engine noise not being related to road speed, but with the gen IV drive train I am not missing anything.

Good to hear, we need a bit more of that attitude in the UK given the energy price rises and woke green policies. 

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When corrected he replied:

"Thanks for pointing that out. Totally my bad. I used that as a generic description of a CVT to try and keep it simple. In hindsight I should have explained it in more detail 😢"

I simply don't believe him - anyone who knew the differences wouldn't use the belt / pulley's description.

Reading the comments it appears many took him at his word and it is definitely off their shopping list - pity, if they had not been put off and did try it they may have formed a different opinion.

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Yes, it looks like total laziness on his part. I spent a lot of time learning what the e-cvt was, admittedly after I had ordered a Yaris hybrid, and if he's pretending to be a journalist he should have researched the subject a lot more, and certainly not condescend to his public. I've never watched any of his videos, and am certainly not likely to now.

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13 hours ago, Stopeter44 said:

Yes, it looks like total laziness on his part. I spent a lot of time learning what the e-cvt was, admittedly after I had ordered a Yaris hybrid, and if he's pretending to be a journalist he should have researched the subject a lot more, and certainly not condescend to his public. I've never watched any of his videos, and am certainly not likely to now.

I do think Toyota are incredibly generous to long term lend a 47K car with someone with pretty limited followers and low viewing numbers for much of his content. I can think of better youtube channels for their money.

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On 1/9/2022 at 8:41 PM, Lawnmowerman said:

When corrected he replied:

"Thanks for pointing that out. Totally my bad. I used that as a generic description of a CVT to try and keep it simple. In hindsight I should have explained it in more detail 😢"

I simply don't believe him - anyone who knew the differences wouldn't use the belt / pulley's description.

Reading the comments it appears many took him at his word and it is definitely off their shopping list - pity, if they had not been put off and did try it they may have formed a different opinion.

In hindsight he should simply have described it correctly, it doesn’t need more detail. Sheer laziness. I hope Toyota refuse to let him have access to their press fleet in future given the potential damage and lost sales. Tesla would have had their lawyers all over him requiring a correction. 

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I was never a big fan of CVT/eCVT in small engine cars, but the way Toyota executed this in RAV4 Plug-in it's on the different level. The car has so much power, even a slight touch of the pedal gives you +10 miles on the speedo within a second or two and I don't find the car struggling at any time, it's actually crazy fast. I know it will sound weird, but the noise the car generate while driving gives me flashbacks from driving 5th generation of Ford Mustang V6, because it needs so little rev to get the car going. I'm talking about normal driving, not flooring the gas pedal.

 

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