Any Chance of a Small Hybrid SUV?

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Doug, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Doug

    Doug Junior Member

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    I am a Prius owner and loving it but my wife needs an SUV for snow emergencies in the winter. What are the chances Toyota makes the Rav4 into a hybrid? I hate the thought that the Ford Escape Hybrid might be the best option for bad weather driving.
     
  2. etyler88

    etyler88 etyler88

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    I have not heard of any RAV4 rumors. Front wheel drive is really good. I spent most of my life in snowy Syracuse, NY and never needed more than front wheel drive. Tell your wife to try it, just don't let the tires get bald and you'll be fine.
     
  3. sandman

    sandman Member

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    Have you checked out the Toyota Highlander Hybrid..:)

    But I would love to see the rav4 a hybrid it would be perfect, use the prius motor ...
     
  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    What kind of 'Snow Emergency'?
    The kind the city declares anytime there is more than 2 inches of snow so they can plow it. The kind where she needs to off road up a mountain and tow other cars out of ditches and ravines?
    If it is city driving with a lot of snow, a Prius with snow tires should do fine. If any towing or pulling or plowing is involved, I'd say get a pick-up truck. If it is somewhere in between, I would suggest test driving both in heavy snow. She should get the one she feels safest driving in those conditions.
     
  5. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    If conventional RAV4 sales volume remains high; there continues to be demand for the RAV4 on a wide scale, and hybrids continue to remain in high demand, then eventually, Toyota will see it as a no-brainer to make a RAV4 hybrid.

    Until then, see if you can get your mitts on one of these babies:
    http://www.altfuels.org/events/testdriv/rentrav4.html
     
  6. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    In the past, Toyota has said that the engine compartment of the RAV4 is not compatible with the available Hybrid drive trains.

    Our best hope for a Toyota AWD Hybrid with good MPG seems to be the Matrix, but Toyota doesn't appreciate the market for this combo so the Matrix hybrid (when it comes) is likely to only be available in FW drive.

    I would like to see the Prius with the rear wheel electric drive of the Highlander making it both AWD and faster without much degradation in MPG.

    JeffD
     
  7. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I have never heard that, nor does it make any sense. Estima-Hybrid is similar in size and offers AWD. The problem is our market shuns minivans and now SUVs are falling out of favor. So we are lefting waiting for an appealing midsize platform to emerge where a MG3 can be offered.


    .
     
  8. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Hi Doug,
    First ... what is a "snow emergency" ??

    Second ... see the info w/ my avatar? It says where we live. Go into your PC control panel & add that kind of data. Then, folks won't have to ask dumb questions like, "snow? ... well, we're in the snow with no problems ... where do YOU live? "

    Lastly, Does your SUV have to be real compact? The hyhi and Lexus 400h are both built on the Camry/midsize platform ... not exactly Suburban size. And if traction (tho arguably less than 4x4) from all 4 corners is the goal, both 400h & hyhi come in AWD versions. We love our AWD 400h as well as its mpg's. One of us gets over 30mpg while the other, who I'll just refer to as "racerX" still gets 26mpg with no effort.

    That said, we've used both in the mountain winters of Montana with easy handling on slush / Ice / deep snow for both (using the proper snow tires)

    Edit:
    I just noticed this thread is in the hybrid news section? Maybe consider putting these topics under "newbie" or the general one. Also, the search tool. You'll find these issues (traction versus SUV) have been exhausted.

    .
     
  9. Ari

    Ari New Member

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    Why hate the FEH? I drive a Prius and my wife has an FEH - both excellent vehicles. The hybrid system in the Ford is a lot like HSD and you'd have no trouble adapting to it. The Ford also has a cool "L" gear that let's you increase the amount of regen when driving around town. When I'm careful, I can get 37-38 MPG in mixed driving! (However, most of the time we get in the low 30's due to running short errands and driving the kids to school.)

    $0.02 ...
     
  10. brick

    brick Active Member

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    I have heard nothing but good things about the FEH, particularly if you really need AWD that works. (Very few people do...snow tires and FWD are usually all it takes.) I can not say the same of the HiHy, as its traction control generates many of the same foul weather complaints as the Prius. Look around the net.
     
  11. morpheusx

    morpheusx Professor Chaos

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    Ford Escape Hybrid is a very good option for her if you can find one.
     
  12. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    Yeah, what he said.

    The location field is quite useful, even if you give a somewhat generic answer like I have.
     
  13. joe_g

    joe_g New Member

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    A buddy of mine has the Escape hybrid. He just loves it. No, it doesn't get Prius mileage, but it beats the pants of any other all wheel drive vehicle.

    He's had it in the snow and says it does real well.
     
  14. Stefx

    Stefx Member

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    Snow emergency?

    If you live in a rural area I understand, but if you live in an urban center/city... the day that only 4x4 SUVs can move around, everything will be closed anyway, there'll be nowhere useful to go to. Stay home and wait it out.
     
  15. Doug

    Doug Junior Member

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    Our snow emergency is that my wife is an OB/GYN and when she needs to run to the hospital to deliver a baby, it might be in the middle of the night when it has been snowing and the roads have not been plowed yet. It doesn't snow that often but there are times that it can so we need a car/SUV with some clearance and traction. Our other car is a Prius and love it.

    I guess a Ford Escape Hybred wouldn't be a bad choice but I would love to drive a Toyota or Honda small SUV with 35 MPG or better.
     
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