Toyota gives the green light to its first hybrid SUV in the UAE

The Japanese marque has focused on sustainability after introducing the VXR to the region

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Toyota unveiled the new Rav4 in Dubai last week, and central to the range is the manufacturer's first hybrid SUV to go on sale in the Emirates. The VXR – which was launched alongside the two-wheel-drive GX, the 4x4 GXR and the 4x4 Adventure – is the latest in a line of vehicles with a focus on sustainability.

This new hybrid will be sold alongside Toyota's hydrogen-fuelled Mirai, which first came to the UAE in 2017. The Rav4 launch took place at Al-Futtaim Toyota, an automotive company that claimed its place as one of the pioneers in alternate propulsion in the region, after it launched a range of hybrids in 2008. Since then, more than 4,000 vehicles of this kind have been sold across the country.

Al-Futtaim also opened the first hydrogen refilling station in the country at its Al Badia Festival City showroom in Dubai, to coincide with the launch of the Mirai.

The new VXR can be driven entirely on electrical ‎power with zero-fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, or by combining the power generated from both the petrol ‎engine and the car’s two electric motors.

This latest model delivers 218hp and 221Nm from the 2.5-litre petrol engine, with an additional 121Nm, which is supplied by the electric motor. Fuel consumption weighs in at 22.2 kilometres per litre. In comparison, the petrol-fuelled GX, GXR and Adventure are all powered by 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engines, with eight-speed automatic transmissions, which deliver 203hp and 243Nm of torque.  

The range retains the general Rav4 styling – you certainly wouldn't mistake it for any other vehicle out there – but the body shell has been altered to become noticeably more assertive. The interior also retains an air of sophistication. Toyota says there are 19 new features available, including a new navigation system and panoramic sunroof in the top-spec VXR.

The new range is likely to be popular in the UAE, where Toyotas have a reputation for durability. A survey carried out last month by classifieds website Dubizzle Motors showed the Camry was the most popular second-hand car in the country, with the Land Cruiser and Corolla not far behind.

Prices for the 2019 Toyota RAV4 start at Dh99,000 for the 2WD GX version, while the GXR, Adventure and VXR variants retail for Dh119,900, Dh129,900 and Dh139,900, respectively.