Thursday, 3 March 2016

Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

'Hey Monkeyfooted Mummy, we'd love to put you in one of our brand new Rav4 Hybrids and find out what you think!'
Erm ok then (little excited dance!), and thats how it happened, would I like to be a Toyota Ambassador for Hodgsons Newcastle and Gateshead car dealership and have a run around in some cars? Well yes thankyou I would, sadly I don't get to keep one, but I was very excited to head along to Hodgson Gateshead and meet the lovely Mark and an equally lovely showroom host who promptly distracted my children while I asked the all important questions
  • Do I get to park in the free electric car spaces?
  • Can I charge with a normal socket? No and No!
  • Right them I'm confused does it not plug in? 
So I decided to shut up and let Mark explain how the car works, here is  my version of that 

We then went for a wee drive so I could get used to how to operate the car and then UNBELIEVABLY, with just a copy of my license and a signature they let me drive away in a super dooper new car. I drove the 11 mile return without the kids and got plenty of opportunity to try out the radio controls, the sat nav, and very excitingly the blue tooth phone answering option. Oh how I love that I never get calls, yet I got a call from one of my besties and had the chance to say 'Your on speaker in my new RAV4!!!!!!'

The first job of the weekend was a trip to the bowling alley so we transferred all the car seats to the new car. Sadly, as we find with most cars, 3 bulky car seats just don't fit across the back. There was lots of space though. I do however much prefer the safety of all the children in the back. The kids thought it was great and I love all the features....

Now then, I love the idea of an electric car but honestly the distances you can get kind of put me off so hybrid seems like a great middle ground. The husband however disagrees and called it a a gimmick!!! N one to be influenced in my decision I set about doing some research of my own, Hodgsons didn't have the comparison figures available that I asked for so a bit of research has let me find out ...

Price Charts The Rav 4 Diesel   £26995.00
                                      Hybrid  £29795.00

MPG                             Hybrid 57.6*
                                      Deisel 60.1*
* combined

Carbon Emissions - Hybrid 118g/kg
                                    Diesel 124 g/kg 

I've also questioned a pal who drives a Toyota Auris who is quite the researcher, his only issue with the hybrid is that he consistently gets about 20mpg less than advertised, he has been shown how to drive most economically by the showroom but still doesn't feel the car is delivering what is promised. Now I did get fairly close to the advertised urban mpg BUT, having only had the Rav4 for short while, I didn't really give it full whack on the door to door driving, so I'm not sure what the mpg or emissions would be to just do the school run and other boring parental driving that I do.

I want more than anything for hybrid to be the way forward! I love the idea of running mostly on electric and having the battery charge from the engine. It's great that the car does everything for you and I love that it doesn't need pluggin in to charge, it's great to know I could tootle about on my mummy journeys using the electric motor without worry about running flat AND still have the freedom to go on a long journey using the petrol engine. My biggest worry about the hybrid is that the difference in mpg and emissions does not make the price difference attractive enough. As you can see above the Icon model I drove vs the Icon diesel version has a £1500 higher price tag, is 6g/kg better in emissions but the diesel does an average of 3 mpg more. If you look at a smaller model (which would be my choice) like the Yaris theres a £4500 difference!

 My honest opinion on Hybrid is that its a fab idea, a great middle ground between electric and its poor distance capability and diesel with its air pollution problems. If our government want more people to look at hybrid and electric there has to be more incentive. My heart is happy with the idea behind hybrid but I really believe we should be getting discount to go hybrid in order to make a difference to our planet. In summary, the extra price tag is too prohibitive for us and that I think needs to be rectified so that moer people would consider Hybrid. I love the idea, I loved the drive. The Rav4 was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed using it but my heart would always go to a Yaris or similar small sized car. 

I'd love to get to grips with Hybrid more, really put the electric motor and the mpg claims to the test, I'd like to see how the Yaris runs in comparison to my little petrol Yaris (lightning was her name and she served us well) and see if I could really run mostly on electric whilst doing the 'round the doors' journeys and work out what kind of savings I could make on the running cost to offset that additional price tag

*Please not that in the video I quoted the incorrect figures for MPG and those shown above in writing are the accurate ones

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