Video: Is The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid An Off-Road Stud Or Dud? I Find Out On Tombstone Hill!

We push the electrified RAV4 to its limits on the trail

Video: Is The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid An Off-Road Stud Or Dud? I Find Out On Tombstone Hill!
Image: TFLoffroad

We take the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid off-road on Tombstone Hill!

We know that the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a crossover that’s not setup for extreme off-roading. But on Tombstone Hill, we will put it to the test. Tombstone Hill is our Rocky Mountain test course for just about anything that has 4WD or all-wheel drive (AWD). As long as the vehicle has sufficient ground clearance, we enjoy using the varied terrain of Tombstone Hill. It tests traction control, off-road settings, articulation, power and – most importantly tires.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has been tested by us on a variety of surfaces in the past, but never on this course.

Video: Is The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid An Off-Road Stud Or Dud? I Find Out On Tombstone Hill!
We’ve pushed the RAV4 hybrid hard in the past. (Image: TFLoffroad)

Other than the “Prime” plug-in hybrid, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the most powerful of the RAV4s. The hybrid engine is a 2.5-Liter “Dynamic Force” four-cylinder that makes 219 horsepower combined. According to Toyota, there is a split (front/rear) 149/89 lb.-ft of torque. It is connected to a electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT).

Basically, it’s a front-wheel drive vehicle that has a separate electric motor that powers the rear wheels. Now, we’ve tested this system in several ways, including our very own slip test – and the results were mixed. We found that it takes a lot of wheel-spin to get the system to kick in. Mechanical AWD systems seem to be more aggressive when needed. Still, with the right settings selected, it will find its legs and move.

There are five selectable modes that consist of Sport, Eco, Normal, EV, and Trail. The EV mode allows for a very limited all-electric drive, while the other modes are as advertised. Interestingly, some people say the Sport mode is better to use in the rough as its the most aggressive for acceleration.

In this video, Roman and Tommy take on Tombstone Hill in the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and provide an entertaining perspective on this popular hybrid.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.