Review: 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV

13 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Review: 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV

Tesla#8217;s First SUV, of

Photo by Alex Washburn/Wired

Pay no to the Toyota badge on the boot. is Tesla#8217;s first crossover, one dressed in the sheet metal of last-generation compact SUV.

If in the market for an all-electric crossover, the aren#8217;t just slim, otherwise non-existent. The RAV4 EV is the show on the road. But it#8217;s a good show.

The 2013 RAV4 EV is the $60 million baby from the marriage of the Japanese and its Silicon Valley partner. running Tesla software, packing a Tesla-developed battery, and powered by the same AC induction pulled from the Tesla S. but fitted with a different set of gears.

Musk and Co. don#8217;t you to do so, but think of the RAV4 EV as the Alpha of the upcoming Model X. but with range, less power, space, and less personality. And it#8217;s a retrofit, it also that the RAV4 EV is less than Tesla#8217;s forthcoming SUV, with a sticker just shy of $50,000 before any or state tax incentives.

But if you#8217;re in the market for an all-electric the pickings aren#8217;t just they#8217;re otherwise non-existent. The EV is the only show on the road. But a pretty good show.

The EV is quick, delivering a 0-60 mph of seven seconds in #8220;Sport#8221; and topping out at 100 mph. It#8217;s with the same 73 cubic of storage capacity as its combustion-powered (with the rear seats down). And it#8217;s got a usable of around 100 miles thanks to a kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

But as your mileage may vary on the amount of lead in your shoe.

Photo by Alex

It#8217;s also the latest in a of #8220;compliance cars#8221; being in California to meet the state#8217;s mandate. Although Toyota prefer you to think of the RAV4 EV as a way to its green cred beyond the Prius line, the fact it#8217;s only available in tells you all you need to know its intended purpose. And it#8217;s not the time.

If you#8217;re up on your electric history, this is the second RAV4. The first was available 1998 to 2003, and there are about 500 floating around roads. People love and after years of asking for a effort, Toyota answered, a little help from its

While it#8217;s not as dynamic as the all-new RAV4 that on sale earlier this the brace of #8220;ELECTRIC#8221; badging down the sides #8212; with the new front fascia, and rear spoiler #8212; it stand out from the rest of the littering the Golden State. If

Photo by Alex Washburn/Wired

The is more of the same, with all the and panache of a modern SUV. to say, not a lot. The cloth are comfortable if not conforming, the rear pack plenty of legroom and ample space for a cadre of their primping supplies, and 4.5 humans.

Where the story changes is the center-mounted climate control It features a trick multi-color that allows you to toggle four temperature modes to your range. Behind the wheel is a trio of binnacles, the speedometer front and center.

To the is a maximum range meter, the right side features a display that gives you an range based on your style, the amount of CO 2 you#8217;re not (aka the #8220;smugometer#8221;), and a pseudo-driving that scores your skills by measuring your and scores you on a scale of 0-100. I managed to crack 80 once a week behind the wheel. Sport mode.

The central is where all the magic happens. It has a EV display that shows from power used to and charging status, along the standard AM/FM/XM controls, and USB inputs, and navigation. The navi a range circle on the map to show how far you can go one-way or roundtrip #8212; the current amount of juice on

Photo by Alex Washburn/Wired

is a snap. There#8217;s a 110-volt plug that sticks the same outlet as your and tops up the battery from to full in over 40 hours. untenable, and Toyota knows it.

So the has partnered with Leviton to a 40-amp charging station for that will drop charge time to five over a 220-volt outlet same as your clothes

To keep tabs on the flow of there are two lights mounted in the window above the charge These tell you if the battery is charged, or if there#8217;s a malfunction. also offers its Entune app for Android and iOS that lets you tabs on the state of charge

Out on the road, the RAV has all the road manners expect of a crossover-turned-EV. The steering is but the overall tonnage is heavier its V6 sibling (a little over 200 of added heft). But the extra is negated, given the on-demand of the 154 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque the front wheels.

It gets going #8212; #8212; and provides further that silent, electric are an absolute hoot to hoon, in a 4,000-pound SUV.

Photo by Washburn/Wired

But like every retrofitted EV #8212; a car that#8217;s had its combustion excised in favor of an drivetrain #8212; the RAV4 EV a series of compromises that more to do with your driving habits than the technology.

If you#8217;re anything me, you use your #8216;ute for weekend as well as commuting, and the observed range isn#8217;t enough to get you too even if there#8217;s a charging waiting for you at your destination.

for someone with a few kids to to school and soccer practice, and a commute that doesn#8217;t say, 60 miles round-trip, the EV is a perfect companion, offering emissions motoring, cheap and the solid reliability that built its brand around.

And the fact that it#8217;s got DNA under its staid sheetmetal the RAV4 EV just slightly compelling#8230; until the real one out.

WIRED Solid Solid range. Solid quality. No battery intrusion the passenger compartment means space for you and your friends. mode is surprisingly entertaining.

smartphone app makes checking on quick and easy.

TIRED Only available in California. mile range isn#8217;t for weekend jaunts. Recharge would be quicker with a onboard charger. Isn#8217;t as as the new RAV4.

No physical volume on the stereo, requiring you to press a button on the center-mounted touchscreen and with a dastardly little slider. Advice: Just use the wheel controls.

Photo by Washburn/Wired

Photo by Alex

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