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.
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.