The vehicle is quiet, but not completely noiseless, with a distinct whine as its noise signature. There's not much wind noise owning to the fact that the RAV4 EV, with a drag coefficient of 0.30, is even more slippery than a conventional RAV4.
One drawback is that the hushed nature of the vehicle's powertrain highlights noisy road surfaces, such as those we experienced on our test drive in Michigan.
In its wisdom, Toyota has fitted a button that switches the RAV4 EV into so-called 'Sport' mode. Press it, and the instrument dials behind the steering wheel glow devilishly red instead of calming blue and an extra dollop of power is unleashed.
The SUV gathers pace quickly, reaching 60mph in just 7.0 seconds on its way to a top speed of 100mph. However, such wanton disregard for power consumption scuppers any hope you might have of matching Toyota's claimed maximum range of 103 miles.
In truth, though, the RAV4 EV is more intended for urban cruising. The steering feels very light and is fairly direct, lending itself well to city driving.
Under braking you're reminded that you're carrying an extra 200kg or so compared to a regular RAV4. The battery pack has been mounted low in the middle of the vehicle to make the centre of gravity as low as possible.
The driver has a full range of EV instrumentation to play with, including a three-mode climate control system that can tease out more battery life in its most frugal setting.
An eco cluster includes the power meter, driving range, battery gauge, speedometer, shift indicator and multi-information display. Information such as driving range, trip efficiency and one of those pretty but pointless trees showing how much CO2 your vehicle hasn't emitted can be called up on the multi-information display.
A regenerative braking system, developed in cooperation between Toyota and Tesla, can help to replenish the batteries. Used intelligently, a driver could potentially recoup about 20 extra miles of range per full charge.
Crucially, the load space of the RAV4 isn't compromised by the electrical components. That means there's a 547-litre boot with the rear seats in place, which makes it one of the more practical EVs on the market.
Recharging of the batteries can be completed in approximately six hours at its quickest.