2014 Toyota RAV4 EV Review NJ

 

Most automakers are shy when it comes to creating electric vehicles. As a result, there is significantly low competition in the EV market compared to other vehicle segments. The few electric vehicles in the market are no match for the 2014 RAV4 EV, which seems to be way ahead in terms of technology and performance. The RAV4 EV features the innovation of Toyota Motors and the ingenuity of the Tesla.

The 2014 RAV4 EV is a continuation of an innovative and inspiring line of electric vehicles from Toyota Motors. The EV does not sport any major design changes from its predecessor.


Exterior

The RAV4 EV borrows its exterior heavily from its mainstream gasoline-powered cousin. From a distance, you may not notice the difference between an EV and a regular RAV4. The 2014 EV maintains the sporty but conservative design it started with. The design is not extraordinary and can be seen in most SUVs. 

Trim Levels and Options

The 2014 RAV4 EV comes in a single trim. The vehicle comes with a standard package that includes 17-inch alloy rims, key-less entry and ignition, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height adjustable driver's seat, 60/40-split folding back seat, a rear spoiler, a unique grille, leatherette and cloth upholstery, aerodynamic mirror housing, LED exterior lighting accent, daytime running lights, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual zone climate control and a 3.5-inch information display.

Other features include a rear-view camera, a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, Toyota's Entune smartphone app integration, an 8-inch touchscreen, six-speaker sound system, iPod and USB interface, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

Considering that the vehicle is already well equipped with features, the optional package only upgrades the exterior of the RAV4 EV. The optional exterior package is special paint.


Interior


Toyota RAV4 EV interior The RAV4 EV introduces very interesting concepts in the cabin. The first notable concept is the shifter, which is borrowed from the Prius' joystick and is set in a unique deep blue Toyota signature. Next is a futuristic instrument panel that looks like the gizmos you might have seen in sci-fi movies. As much as the instrument panel is not conventional, it is easy to get used to and provides useful information about the car. The RAV4 EV's infotainment touchscreen can be used to multi-task, has split functionality and scrolls like an iPad screen.


The leatherette and cloth bucket front seats make for a comfortable ride. The driver's seat is height adjustable and the cabin has ample legroom and headroom on both the front and back seats. The backseat is quite large and can fit a third person during short trips. The seat can also be folded if you require extra luggage space. The lowly mounted battery pack does not compromise the cargo area.

Performance

Under the hood, the 2014 RAV4 is powered by a 115-KW electric motor that outputs 154 horsepower and 218 lb.-ft. of torque. In sports mode, the torque comes up to 273 lb.-ft. The electric motor is mated with a single speed transmission and is powered by a 41.8-KWh lithium-ion battery pack. A single charge gives the vehicle a drive range of 103 miles. It takes approximately 6 hours to charge the battery pack to capacity.

In sports mode, the drive range is reduced but performance is enhanced. When sports mode is engaged, the RAV4 EV can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. In normal mode, the vehicle achieves the same in just under 9 seconds.

Since the RAV4 does not use gasoline, its efficiency is given in mpg equivalent. The efficiency of the vehicle is pegged at 78 mpg city and 74 mpg highway (76 mpg combined). Another way to look at the efficiency of electric vehicles is by measuring their kilowatt-hours of energy per 100 miles. The lower the number, the higher the efficiency of the vehicle. The 2014 EV has a rating of 44 KWh/100 miles.

Safety

The RAV4 EV comes with standard safety features including front seatbelt pre-tensioners, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation,  stability control, front and rear airbags, child seat anchors, traction control, dual front side-mounted airbags, automatic collision notification, daytime running lights, 4-wheel ABS, tire pressure monitoring, emergency braking assists, stolen vehicle tracking and assistance and emergency services.

Driving Impression

The EV's drive range of 103 miles is suitable for day to day use, though the battery pack takes a long time to fully charge. The RAV4 EV is quite heavy, making it stable and providing a smooth ride. The 2014 EV has good acceleration and cruise control. The select modes give you the option of switching between performance enhanced mode or the conservative mode. Each time you shift to one of the modes, the information display recalculates and adjusts the remaining mileage. The RAV4 EV's outside visibility coupled with the height adjustable driver's seat makes for confident driving.


Contact

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Directions South Brunswick, NJ 08810

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