We’ve already touched on the main pecuniary reasons that a company car driver might choose a RAV4 PHEV over any other plug-in SUV. The car’s 46.5-mile WLTP EV range and sub-50g/km CO2 score combine to allow it to qualify for BIK tax at seven per cent of its list price, rather than at eleven, twelve or even more in the case of some of its rivals. That difference might save a 40 per cent income tax-payer £100-a-month all by itself.
Private buyers will likely look to real-world fuel economy to offset some of the high purchase price of the plug-in hybrid, of course: and what you get here will depend on how often you charge, as with all PHEVs. The difference here is how unlikely the RAV4 PHEV will be to disappoint in any case. In UK-typical motorway touring, the car will return nearly 50mpg on a flat battery. Around town and during unhurried commuting you could expect similar or slightly better – again, on a flat battery.
But charge the car regularly and you’ll really get the benefit of that electric range. Our test car verified its electric autonomy claim almost exactly, averaging 46 miles in electric mode over several trips; and that fed into an average test economy of 67.9mpg for the car, which really is very commendable for a PHEV considering the impact that our performance testing always has on the figure. The car’s trip computer only reads to 200mpg – but if you’re a habitual home-charger and a short-range commuter, you could easily average better than that over the long term (although, of course, you might not know by exactly how much).
As regards charging, Toyota includes a 32-amp charging cable and a 6.6kW onboard batterycharger with the RAV4 PHEV as standard and so, via a 7.4kW home wall box or public charging post, this is a car you could charge from flat to full in around two hours (which is more quickly than in the case of Suzuki’s related Across SUV). Unlike Land Rover’s comparable PHEV SUVs, however, it is not compatible with DC rapid charging.