2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Test Results; CR’s Tire Purchasing Survey Results | Talking Cars #212

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Test Results; CR’s Tire Purchasing Survey Results | Talking Cars #212


We talk about the final test
results of the Toyota Rav 4 hybrid, we debate
the pros and cons of all the available
transmissions out there, and we give you some insights
of our recent tire buying survey next on Talking Cars. [MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, and welcome back
to Talking Cars. I’m Jennifer Stockburger. I’m Ryan Pszcolkowski. And I’m Mike Monticello. So we’re going to
start off today talking about tires, taking
advantage of Ryan being here, who’s the key driver in
most of our tire testing. Consumer Reports conducted a
pretty comprehensive survey. 34,477 CR members were surveyed
about their tire purchases, their tire installations. And it was what
we’ve heard before, that it was a rather
complex, time consuming, not enjoyable process
for some of them. Their words, not ours. But Ryan, why don’t you give
us some of the highlights of that survey. Yeah, so this is always
a topic of concern because like you just said,
buying tires is not fun. No one enjoys that. Maybe if you’re a real
enthusiast, you’ll like this. You might enjoy buying tires. You know, and I like it. I think it’s neat. Well, it’s fun if you can
improve the tires that are on your car, you know, maybe
if you can get better tires than you had before– [INTERPOSING VOICES] –or whatever. That’s always nice. Most people don’t
want to buy tires. They don’t care. They’re not that educated on it. And they’re always shocked
at how expensive they are we when you go to buy them. Right, yeah. So we did the survey, and we
found that people, our members, are listening to us. And in general, I
was suspecting this, but people were replacing
tires usually because they are old or wear out. 48% tire age, 46% wear. I think there is
an overlap there, the misconception
of what age is. That age is really wear. Right. But the key thing here, I think,
is educating yourself ahead of time. You can have a good experience. Give yourself enough time. Your tires aren’t bald, and
you’re running to the store before a snowstorm. You’re going to get whatever
they have in the store. Unfortunately, there’s hundreds
of sizes, models, and brands out there. The store can’t carry
them all on the shelf. They just can’t. They’re big. Tires are big. Imagine the facility
that would have to carry every size, right? So if you go ahead of
time, do your research– what type of tire,
what performance attributes you’re looking for. Right. To change, to your point,
what you want to make better. Research that ahead of time. You can order them
ahead of time. And then when you
go to put them on, you only have to go there
once, maybe not go there twice. Because if you go
through that one time and you get the tires
that day, you’re not going to get
necessarily what you want. Because when you
order tires online, say from Tire Rack or
a company like that, you can have the tires shipped
either to an installation place or your home, correct? Yes. So we’ve done this before. I actually went and bought tires
from a few different online retailers– Tire Rack, big box stores, like
Sears, and then a local tire dealer, Town Fair Tire. And I went online
ahead of time, ordered the same tire for our
Nissan Altima at the time. We went there once they
showed up to the store. Because they order them
ahead of time for you. They didn’t have
them in the store. Tire Rack sent them
to a local installer. They have a list of installers. So when you buy those tires, you
can literally pick from a list. It tells you the
price right there, what it will cost for
installation, and stuff. It was a pleasant experience. I wasn’t rushing in
there in the store trying to figure out what I needed that
day, getting whatever they had. And that was reflected
in the survey. People were very happy
with their online purchase and going to the installer. Yeah, it’s funny. I mean, because
the survey people said the most significant
takeaway was the reality check that replacing tires
is often an expensive, time consuming, and complex process. But a lot of them
were still very happy with the results of
ordering– you know, doing the research online, and
then having them installed, and the money that
they can save. And also that
haggling your price or for extras can
save you some money. But most people don’t do it. But those that did haggle a
little bit actually saved. It’s doable. Yeah. And I think a message
we’re trying to convey is first of all, you can have
a tire that is a little more expensive but wears way better,
last longer, than another tire that’s much cheaper. And that tire is
actually a better value– it will last longer–
by the time you mount and balance that other
set twice, for that one set, assuming all other
factors are equal, performance and everything. But there’s value there. So don’t necessarily only
take price in consideration. And our survey showed that. Our members aren’t doing
that, and that’s great. And you know what’s cool
is, of course, you know, Consumer Reports has
these incredible tire ratings, these very
detailed tire ratings– Thanks to Ryan and Gene,
the program manager, right? — that you, and Gene Peterson,
and [INAUDIBLE] all take care of. And your boss, Gene
Peterson, his tip from doing all this– he
says, check the CR ratings for both performance
and estimated tread life in narrowing down your choices. Then use price and
free extras to help break the tie if
you can’t figure out which tire to go with. I think that’s a great tip. And free extras– mounting
and balancing, rotation. And those were some of the
things, I think, in the survey that people were
able to haggle on. It’s giving yourself time. And tires get around
[? for ?] 30 seconds. Give yourself some
time to figure it out. Because if you’re
doing it last minute, you’re going to get
forced into something. And even a cheap set
of tires is still a considerable amount of money. So don’t blow it. Give yourself the time. I like that– don’t blow it. Yeah. Ah, I didn’t get it. Oh, that’s tricky. I don’t even think he meant it. But the big takeaway– even though we’re
in the summer, we’re not talking about snow storms– maybe it’s not so
crazy to think about, are you going to
need tires this fall. Or even hydroplaning
with these summer storms, give yourself the time. I think the key takeaway
in this survey– do your research, don’t
be afraid to haggle, get what you need, not
what they want you to have. Especially if you’re
looking for snow tires, do not wait on those. Because those are seasonal, and
they sell out, they sell out. You’re done for the year. So go out and look at those
snow tires in your garage. If you have a second set,
you have a set of snow tires, go and look in the
garage, see if they’re low or not on tread depth. And if they are, order them now. Right. Order them now. Great. So very interesting survey. And of course, that will be
covered on ConsumerReports.org. Moving on from the
track, at long last– and I say at long
last because we have gotten a number of
questions regarding this car– the Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid. So a lot of interest
on your side. Just a little bit of detail– 2.5 liter 4 hybrid version of
the Rav 4, CVT transmission, versus the 8-speed
in the regular Rav 4. This was a really
good comparison between these two
cars that we tested, in that they were both XLE trim. So the same trim,
different drive train. Good side-by-side. So Mike, we’ve completed
testing on this car. Give us some of the highlights. So we’ve tested both cars. We first tested
the regular Rav 4, and now we’ve tested
the Rav 4 Hybrid. And you know, the Rav 4
Hybrid, in a lot of ways, improves on some things
that we didn’t like as much about the regular Rav 4. First of all, there’s
the fuel economy. It gets 10 miles
per gallon better. It gets 37 miles per gallon
overall, which is pretty impressive for a compact SUV. Yes. Because it has the
electric assist, it leaves the line in
a very smooth fashion. And the Hybrid drive train
is quieter than the kind of rackety sound. The regular Rav 4 has
such a raspy engine when it accelerates hard. It was really loud. We used the word raucous. Yeah. And I was like, I don’t even
think we’ve used that word to describe the regular Rav 4. So the Hybrid is a
little more refined. And usually, we wouldn’t be
as happy with a car that had the CVT versus an automatic. But because the engine is
so loud in the regular Rav 4 with the automatic,
this actually works better, in a
lot of instances. In the Hybrid, the electricity
fills in some of that. The gaps. Yeah, where a CVT
sometimes lacks, that you don’t get
that real stringy, rev holding, and whatnot. Because the electricity is
kind of helping in that. Well, it’s also quicker. It’s a hot second quicker. And it’s quicker. Yeah. The 60 miles per hour. So you’re getting better fuel
economy, quicker acceleration, a little more
refined drive train. I’m not going to say
it’s super refined. The engine can still get
loud, and the CVT still will wind out. If you’re in hard
acceleration, it’ll hold that revs really high. But in many respects,
it’s a better car. And in other ways,
it’s exactly the same– in the way it handles,
and rides, and those– Ride comfort, all those. So apples to apples, Ryan. Hybrid or regular? I never thought I’d say this,
but I would take the Hybrid. It’s a better car. It’s a better car. I think in most
situations, it is. Especially if you care
about fuel economy, definitely get the
Hybrid, without question. If you live in a
very snowy area, I’d be a little concerned
because remember, this is an electric
all-wheel drive system. This does not have a
differential at the rear, like, say– You know, we just tested
the Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid. And that has a true
differential in the rear, so it has all-wheel
drive all the time. Subaru cares about that. Compromise with that vehicle
less cargo room in the rear. So Toyota has electric
all-wheel drive, but it doesn’t compromise
any of the cargo space. Which the downside is there’s
going to be times– even just in wet weather, you hit
the gas really hard, the front tires are going
to spin for a little bit before it starts
sending power rearward. And at highway speed, the
all-wheel drive system isn’t going to work. So there’s some compromises
with both of them. That’s a great system though. That’s the same hybrid
system they’ve been using in the Highlander and now this. It’s tried and true. We expect it to be reliable. Yeah, there’s just
certain situations where it physically can’t work. And I would argue, even if you
didn’t care about fuel economy, it’s still a better car. That’s true. All in all, I think it’s
a nicer car to drive. It’s a little more refined
than a regular Rav 4. So of course, if you’re looking
for more details on the Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid, you will
find the full report at ConsumerReports.org. So moving on to audience
questions, as always– we’ll say it again– keep them coming. We love, love, love them. [email protected] The first question is
video– we love your videos– is from Michael. Take a listen. All right, so my friends, my
buddies, at Consumer Reports, I know in one of
your recent podcasts, you talked about how– you know, really, when you guys
did your temperature testing, that black cars– black cars, black interiors–
it just didn’t really make a difference
much on temperature. I don’t know. I will tell you what. Getting in that black
Chevy Malibu right now with the black leather
interior, and it’s morning, that car is hot. Of course, the
windows aren’t tinted. In Texas, we tint
our windows now. So yeah, to answer
Michael’s question, when we did the study of
dark car versus light car and how quickly
they heated up, it was relative to the
protection of children in cars, this tragedy of
people either inadvertently– or children gaining
access to vehicles and perishing in the
hot temperatures. What we were trying to give a
little kind of myth busting to was that if you had a child
in a light-colored car or a light-colored
interior, that you didn’t have to worry as much. So the truth is you have
to worry in both cases. To your point, Michael,
absolutely the darker car got hotter more quickly. The rate was higher. But both cars still
reached dangerous levels within the hour. So certainly, I
suspect for Michael, if he had a light-colored
car, light-colored interior, still sitting in that
parking lot in Fresno, it probably would be
pretty uncomfortable for him to get into, also. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, bottom line is hot is hot. Hot is hot. And dangerously
hot is the problem. And to remind people of
what that study showed, it was during a 78 degree day. The interior of a lighter
car reached over 104 degrees during a one-hour test period. The dark car reached over 109. But both got over 100
degrees in an hour. And that’s dangerous. Either one is dangerous. And that’s the point, and that’s
why what we were talking about, especially related to that
podcast and that story, was how important
it is to not leave children unattended, or pets,
in the back seat of your car. In any car. In any car. And really on any day. Because even, like, a cool
day, a 50 or 60 degree day, it’s still going
to get hot in there. And you were in California. You lived in California. There’s a lot of light-colored
cars, light-colored interiors, to make it more comfortable. But it’s still
pretty uncomfortable. Right. OK, so that brings us
to our next question, which is from Claudia,
from Vancouver. “I’ve got a question
concerning the different types of automatic transmissions
the CVT, Continuously Variable Transmission, and DCT,
Dual Clutch Transmission. What are the pros
and cons of each? The DCT seems to be all
the rage these days, but I’ve heard it’s
not good for towing and that it can be sloppy
in stop-and-go traffic. I’m tempted to say
that I’d prefer a traditional transmission,
but all these people preferring these other engines
can’t be all wrong, can they?” I’m going to throw this one to
you, Mike, Mr. Transmission. I don’t know if I’m
Mr. Transmission. But I’ve certainly driven a
lot of them over the years. I love that Claudia knows her
transmissions, first of all. It’s a great question. I would just correct
her a little bit. I don’t think so
much that people are preferring these transmissions. It’s more that these
are the transmissions that the manufacturers
have chosen to give us, mostly in the
interest of fuel economy. That’s what they’re trying
to improve– fuel economy. So if you break
these down, she’s looking at the pros and cons. So Continuously
Variable Transmission, unlike a traditional
automatic that uses a torque converter to
transmit the engine’s power through the gears, a
Continuously Variable Transmission uses a
pulley system and a belt to constantly vary the gear
ratios within a wider range. Kind of infinitely, right? Yes, yes. And a dual clutch transmission–
think of it as underneath, where you can’t see, it’s
kind of like the bones of a manual transmission,
except instead of having a clutch
pedal, electronically, it takes care of the clutches
and the shifting for you. So it acts kind of
like an automatic. But we’ll get to
that in a second. So pros and cons. So pros of a CVT– pretty much fuel economy. That’s the pro. They are very efficient. The con is the driveability. And mostly, it’s this
rubber banding effect. You’re driving along, but you
give it a lot of throttle, and the RPM just goes– rrr. You’ve said flaring. Yes. the transmission
is very efficient. So whenever possible, it
tries to have the revs as low as possible. But when you’re looking
for acceleration, it’s trying to give you the
most acceleration, so it allows the revs to rev really high,
whereas a normal automatic might shift those gears to
keep bringing them back down. So what ends up happening is
if you have a 4-cylinder, which a lot of CVTs are
paired with 4-cylinders, and the engine’s loud,
now it gets exacerbated because the revs are so high. And noisy. I know we’ve talked about that. A dual clutch
transmission– the pros are that it allows for
really quick shifts, which is great if it’s in a
more performance car. Also better fuel
economy, typically, than a regular automatic. And they can also be
usually quite smooth, quite smooth shifts as well. The downside is low
speed driveability, just as Claudia said. That is the problem with the– Stop and go, right? Stop-and-go traffic, the
dual clutch is often– not always, but often– it seems confused as to
what gear it wants to be in. You’re rolling to a stop,
and then you get going again. And now it’s not sure if it
wants to be in first or second. And there can be some low
speed clunking that you feel from the transmission as well. And delay. And delay. And of course, that
gets compounded if the engine is a turbo
and there’s some turbo lag. You don’t know what’s
causing the delay. Which brings us to the
question about towing. Now, we have heard
from some people that they have had
some overheating issues with DCTs and CVTs when towing. We haven’t experienced
it ourselves, so we can’t say for sure
that it’s a problem. But we have heard
experiences with that. Obviously, never tow more than
what your car is rated for, is the first thing. She talked about a
traditional automatic. The funny thing is,
so CVTs were kind of the rage in the
early 2000s, then they started switching
more to DCTs. And now they’ve actually
backed off on that. Manufacturers are focusing
more on CVTs again and these 8, 9, 10-speed
automatic transmissions. The regular automatic has kind
of made a comeback, right? Yeah. But we’ve noticed some
problems with those too. So maybe it’s teething
problems with all these brand new transmissions. But the really good
ones, the benefit is now you’ve got your good
low-speed driveability, and you’ve got 10-speed
automatic transmission. You’re going to be able to have
a very high, very tall highway gears, so you can
get the fuel economy. So you’re saying the
good traditionals with the multi speeds. And that’s what I
would say to her, is if you can find
a car that you like that has the
traditional automatic, I would go with
that, personally, over the DCT or the CVT. In general, it’s a much
better driving experience. Now one thing, and maybe it’s
a question for both of you. When there’s those multi
speeds, we have experienced some of that, what I’ll
call searching, ’cause the gears are
close, depending on– if it’s an area of speed
where you drive often and where it’s trying
to find the right gear because they’re close. And there’s more gears. There’s more choices. It takes a second to
figure out where that’s at. Well, and it has so
many to choose from. So in a sense, it could
always be shifting. Which it is. So not a problem. Not a problem. If they’re really smooth shifts
and it’s real responsive, then it’s not a problem. But the problem– if the
shifts aren’t that smooth or it lets it rev out too high,
then there’s some problems. With any of these? They’re not all created equal. So there’s CVTs that are
actually pretty good. And they’re getting better. Yes. I would say they’re
getting better. Yes, absolutely. They’re doing some of these
sort of artificial shifts. So instead of just
letting it wind out, it’ll actually bring
the revs back down. It’ll feel almost like
a regular automatic. Obviously, look
at our road tests. Look at our ratings. We talk about transmissions. In every road test
we do, we give a breakdown of what’s good and
bad about each transmission. We critique them all. I do find it funny,
into Claudia’s question, that they’re making
this new technology feel and sound like– The traditional– Yeah, I find that funny. I think they’re
either going back to really focusing and
spending a lot of money on these 8, 9,
10-speed automatics. Nothing’s perfect. They’re all a little
bit of a compromise. So that was a great
question, Claudia. Mike, you gave us
a ton of detail. But I think it was warranted. So hopefully, it helped
everybody in the audience. Moving to our final
question on SUVs. “As we are moving more
towards SUVs and trucks, are we increasing the
chance of more accidents due to their high center of
gravity and rollover risks?” This is a good question,
because I do think– despite some changes
that we’ll talk about, I do think there’s still a
reputation of the rollover risk, the higher
center of gravity, that lingers with
SUVs and trucks. The truth is it’s
hard to tease out the right numbers
because SUVs are so much higher in popularity. Yeah, they’re
dominating the market. Right, so you just can’t say
the amount of fatal crashes. You have to look
at it as a rate. So we did find some great stats
from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
IIHS, that did it as a rate of single vehicle
rollover crashes per million registered vehicles. So it makes it so it
doesn’t matter how many. And that data set, at
a high of 168 driver deaths in single rollover
crashes per million registered vehicles in 1980, is
down to 3 in 2017. That’s huge. It’s come way down. That’s unbelievable. Ryan, what are the whys,
why it’s so much better? So an SUV in 1980 was much
different than it is today. So all SUVs back then were
a body-on-frame vehicle. So there was a frame, a body
bolted to the top of it, big axles underneath it. It had a higher
center of gravity. Trucks today,
modern trucks today, are still built this way– large full-size trucks. Even your Tahoes, Suburbans,
Expeditions are still this way. But even those, you’re starting
to see less and less of them. We’re going to what
we call a unibody. It’s a big car, essentially. Well, we said car
base all the time. Or adapted car base SUV. They’re a little lower. Their center of
gravity is lower. And electronic stability
control is huge. We’ve said it a million times– ever since seat belts,
it’s the best thing that has ever happened. In terms of safety, right? If you can keep these
vehicles on the roadway during an accident, as opposed
to leaving the roadway, the chance of a
rollover is way less, and the chance of
fatalities is a lot less. The minute a vehicle rolls
over, the chance of a fatality goes up considerably. It’s unbelievable. I mean, it’s really
incredible that we’ve come this far with that. I’m going to quote
something out of here– the same study– “ESC reduces the risk of
fatal single-vehicle rollovers by 75% in SUVs and 72% in cars.” That’s huge. And I’m sure there’s a ton of
fatalities that go with that. So I think the point
is we were heading toward that with
the truck-based SUVs and the lack of safety systems
back in the ’70s and ’80s. Right, yeah. But because of these
car-based SUVs, we’ve gone away
from truck-based. Now we’re car-based. And ESC being
standard since 2012, it’s just making a
world of difference. And if you were to
look at it today– a car versus these
modern, great SUVs– yeah, the car is still– the chance is a little
less, still, in a car, because that’s much lower. Yeah. In fact, ESC, we say,
should be on more vehicles. We talk about buses
and big trucks. And I think you’ll
see more of it as its effectiveness becomes
more and more documented. So that’s a great question. I think the risk is– well, to summarize–
that those two things have made a huge difference. So that’s going to wrap
it up for this episode. As always, thank
you for listening. Thank you for watching. Keep the questions coming– [email protected] And we’ll see you next time. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Only registered users can comment.

  1. This show is always awesome when Ryan Pszczolkowski is part of it! I really enjoy what he has to say, because his perspective is always different from the other wonderful people.

  2. I have winter tires all year long. Got them new with the used car purchase. I have been doing it for a few decades and it worked for me in New England US area.

  3. 6:39 Toyota's Hybrids use eCVT, which is not the same as the conventional CVT (like in the Corolla), from what I understand. 🙂

  4. Mike: “At highway speeds, the AWD system doesn’t even work.”

    Why would we need AWD if we’re already up to highway speeds? 🤔

  5. Hi CR Team! Love your show! I watch it always from Puerto Rico.

    Talking about transmissions, I think that the main issue is long term reliability, and cost of maintenance. I think that one can eventually get used to the "droning" on the CVT's, and also to the confusion on stop and go traffic for DCT's. The main thing is that people focus on how much does it cost to maintain those transmissions versus regular torque converters, as well as the cost to repair. Maybe going to a bit more detail into this would help.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. I noticed Toyota cheaped out and didn't line the hood with any sound deadening. Might make a difference.

  7. CR has finally joined the chorus of approval for the RAV4 Hybrid. Toyota is so confident in their sales volume that 100,000 units of production in Kentucky will be added for 2020 in order to augment the current supply from Canada and Japan. If the RAV4 Hybrid with winter tires can't move you through the snow then buy a 4Runner.

  8. Claudia, In nearly every case a manual transmission is the best answer. As you are paying the highest gas prices on the continent in VancOOOOOuver, you might choose a Toyota Hybrid with an e-CVT transmission instead.

  9. I realize it can get tedious, but it's important to clarify that the ecvt system in toyota hybrids is not the same thing as a typical cvt at all, and one of the factors that contributes significantly to toyota hybrid's high reliability.
    There's an easy fix for loud droning in cars with CVTs: Ask the manufacturer to put in a low rpm mode. Or, use less throttle. Car reviewers need to stop complaining about the way cvts sound and accept that it's just the noise ICE makes when operating at peak power/efficiency.
    Artificial shifting in CVTs continue to be the dumbest thing in automotive history. Intentionally making acceleration less smooth is not something you should celebrate.

  10. Full size vans, especially those used by church organizations need to be required to be configured with ESC! Several years ago, an interstate highway roller accident for a church, based in Lee County, Florida took several lives because of a rollover accident caused by a tire blowup that had been subjected to a recall.

  11. Rav4 hybrid sales have stopped in australia due to braking issues. I have not experience anything with mine but the only thing I modified is to opt for the 19inch wheels instead of the standard 18inch with my limited hybrid. Now I am able to put all weather tires on and it runs fantastic.

  12. CR, Base on these two Off-Road testing video on YouTube of the XSE RAV4 Hybrid system, I do think it will handle well in snow. The offroad video links: https://youtu.be/llramhpjPAw https://youtu.be/Vdjb8CrAA6w Due theses testing I am now and due to the fact that you can get 41 MPG from it, I am willing to get out of my old 2001 Corolla LE for a RAV4 XSE Hybrid, but the lack of Android Auto will force me to wait for the next model year.

  13. I recently took your advice on new tires for my 2015 VW Passat. I chose one of your recommended tires, the Michelin Defender 90k mile. The idea being, as you state, that spending a small amount more (not much in actuality) will net me greater longevity and ultimately better value in the long run. Thank you CR for all that you do. Your research is very much appreciated.

  14. That is an improvement over the 3WD from prior generation. But the Toyota AWD systems, along with Lexus, are still amoung ther worst examples of AWD.

    https://youtu.be/CQGZmQWLVpI

  15. I worry about the Toyota Hybrid AWD systems. They only power two wheels by battery and that is it. The battery gets low climbing a mountain in the snow, and then you are down to two wheel drive. That does not work for me as I live in CT and in deep snow I need AWD to get home going up my mountain. I think I am better off with the Subaru Crosstrek AWD which also has gas engine capability to four wheels. CR does not test that – how well they get up a mountain in the snow which Mike I think is the first time anyone at CR mentions it.

  16. It depends on the manufacturer on what transmission you get. Nissan, a lot of CVTs. Subaru, also a lot of CVTs. GM and Ford, majority of standard transmissions with a few CVTs. Toyota, a hodgepodge of transmissions across Toyota and Lexus. Just look and test drive before committing to a transmission.

  17. SUV's are heavy and have a higher center of gravity then cars they are also much more dangerous to other drivers. SUV's also use more resources to build, more energy to run and therefore exacerbate the climate emergency. CR please educate consumers about these factors when the subject comes up.

  18. CR person here did not know Hybrid RAV4 is eCVT?! (not CVT). Perhaps the auto captions was in error. But I am amazed at this error but it's the pitfall of doing video talkin'. Always best to read all about the RAV in their print issue.

  19. as a baby boomer who was avidly reading your auto pages from age 7 or so in the early 60s, I dimly recall some detailed critiquing of the various makers' automatic transmissions in a specific dedicated section of the Auto Issue. Especially the quite significant differences between GM's various ones before the Turbo HydraMatic came along in the mid 1960s… Oldsmobiles whose quadrants said "PNDSLR", and so forth. Maybe you could have some fun rereading these ancient back issues and commenting now on how transmissions are different/same today? My nostalgic view of CR back then also seems to include that you only recommended the low trim line 4 door sedan version of most makes and models as the sensible choice long term. Zero attention was given to aesthetic considerations. No one guessed, if we had only bought and kept those 50s/60s glitzy convertibles garaged and out of the rust belt, they would have been easy enough to keep maintained and today would be worth on the order of up to $100,000…

  20. The Rav 4 hybrid has an eCVT which uses planetary gears and electric motors. A CVT has no gears and uses pulleys and belt.

    Big difference between an eCVT and a CVT. One has gears the other pulley and belt.

  21. Dear CR:
    Regarding CVT and DCT transmissions, you glossed over two major problems with those transmissions. DCT trannsmissions have MAJOR workability issues. That is to say they do not work, and the car simply (read dangerously) stops. See FORD Motor Company and its almost decade long issues with DCT's.
    CVT's especially made by NISSAN (but made for several other motor companies) have long term survivability(?) issues i.e. lasting to 100,000 miles – as others commented below. That is a reason motor companies are going back to regular (albeit improved) automatic transmissions.
    Do you care to comment about these long term issues?

  22. I think your freeway fuel economy cycle needs some work. It basically only reflects what hypermilers will get, which is useful information, but if you live in a hilly area or somewhere with poor weather it won't be very representative. The newer transmissions, regenerative braking, etc. all mainly help in these scenarios, not cruising.

  23. Stop! Repeat after me: eCVT — eCVT — eCVT. Different animal, different construction. Mechanically they are not even cousins. Please stop confusing people!

  24. 2019 does use E-AWD when at highway speeds (at least 40-50mph) as per Alex on Autos (best car reviewer in North America). Also I question how many suvs actually have AWD engaged at highway speeds when it's rarely needed and significantly hurts fuel economy. My guess is AWD engages only when wheel slippage detected. While 2019 Rav4 E-AWD isn't as good as mechanical AWD it's much lighter which helps fuel economy as well no rear diff fluid to have to change. Better long term reliability and less maintenance costs. A more then capable AWD for Canadian winters.

  25. I would buy the none hybrid XLE just because I keep cars a long time and I like the 8 speed auto better than the CVT

  26. You mentioned that the Rav4 awd system does not work at highway speeds, when does it effectively become a fwd only vehicle?

  27. The cvt in hybrid toyotas is different than normal cvt. The first is a set of planetary gears (physical gears) while normal cvt is a set of pulleys around two cones and it usually slip and not so reliable.

  28. Did some cross shopping between Prius and Hyundai Ioniq which doesn't get a lot of attention but it gets better highway mpg than Prius with a dct. Less friction. It's occasionally a touch funky at low speed, the electric does a good job of smoothing it all out and making it drive really comfortably. Funny enough though, it feels quicker than the Prius but I hear it's about half a second slower to 60 than Prius. Not exactly sure which Prius model though, probably newest gen.

  29. DCT transmissions are going away and it may hang on to high-speed oriented sports cars for sometime. Current developments with many gears on regular automatic transmissions may take over CVT eventually as well. So, traditional trannies may take its place again but with more gears.

  30. The discussion on the RAV4 hybrid is very informative BUT the added cost over getting the regular gas-only engine was not even mentioned. Obviously, purchase cost has to figure in the mix when deciding. After watching this discussion, I can say that for me the hybrid is what I would want…but at what cost?

  31. Toyota makes the standard petrol Rav4 so underpowered and loud that the Hybrid has no choice but to be better. When in reality both are poor performers but because it's an improvement upon a pro offering people are awestruck

  32. @9:37 'At highway speed the AWD system is simply not going to work'. Toyota not being 100% crystal clear is aggravating. If I'm driving to Lake Tahoe on the highway at 55 mph and there is slush and snow on the road will I be driving essentially a FWD RAV4 or will I get all wheels giving me forward movement as they try to grip the road? An hour sitting in a Toyota dealership and three sales persons, a manager, and a service technician, I could not / was not given a 100% crystal clear answer.

    The AWD Prius is clear that the AWD system is only to get the car moving offline from a start and adds no additional capability over 40 MPH. I suspect the same is true for the RAV4 hybrid but Toyota marketing does not want to make it plain because they will lose sales to Subaru.

  33. I'd never have a DCT. A friend narrowly avoided an accident when the Fusion she rented wouldn't accelerate at an on ramp.

  34. When it comes to tires, many people replace all four tires when they get a flat – or they replace their tires in pairs (which is recommended for all-wheel-drive vehicles). I use a penny and make sure my tires still have meat on them – and I replace them before the wear bars start showing. I highly recommend Michelin Pilot tires. I use them on my SUV, sports car and motorcycles. I get good use out of tires because I rotate them every 5,000 miles and I get my car aligned once a year. I also check tire pressure at least twice per month. (I should do it more often.)

  35. We drove a Rav 4 hybrid the other day, and were very disappointed at the ride-quality…very floaty and not of the same quality as our prius and sienna se.

  36. I placed an order for a new rav4 hybrid. Unfortunately no dealership in our area has the ability of simulating the pre-collision system before I sign the check. I called Toyota customer service and they say they are not allowed to do that. You just have to take their word for it.

  37. imho the RAV4 Hybrid is different enough from the regular RAV4, especially the non-AWD version, that it warrants a separate review and write-up.

  38. Hi
    love you're show!
    When do you think the hybrid will have a full review and video review, because I am thinking of replacing my 6 year old 3 serious in Sept.or Nov.
    Awesome job from a very long time CR Subscriber.

  39. You didn’t mention the advantages of a good old fashioned standard transmission: you know exactly what gear you’re getting, it’s more robust, and it’s a lot more fun to drive.

  40. I usually find CR very informative but i couldn’t finish this video. Ok, it’s very informative to hear what ordinary people might observe testing the double clutch transmission and hybrid versions of the RAV4 side by side. And the hybrid has a “CVT”. But they continue to inform us that CVTs use a belt, obviously not knowing that Toyota’s hybrids achieve continuous variability by connecting two motor-generators and the engine to a single planetary gearset. They’re telling people it’s a belt. The obvious concerns would be of frictional losses and wear. NO! The Toyota hybrid has nothing like that. They’re unaware how clever, simple and elegant the Toyota hybrid is.

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