Can the RAV4 Hybrid Handle a Northern Winter?

By: Prince George Toyota   |   21 Jun 2021
RAV4 Hybrid SUVs near the mountains

As hybrid vehicles become increasingly popular on Canada’s roads and highways, folks here in Prince George have a lot of questions about whether hybrids can handle life in the BC North. As your top source for automotive news and information, today on the blog we’re answering your most pressing questions about hybrid technology and how Toyota’s hybrid vehicles - like the best-selling RAV4 - will fare in tough northern winters. Buckle up!

  1. What exactly is a hybrid vehicle?

A hybrid is essentially a traditional gas-engine vehicle that also uses electric components to power the car. These vehicles use less fuel than gas-only models and also output fewer emissions, making them both easy on the environment and easy on your wallet.

Worried about where you’ll plug it in? Don’t be! Toyota's hybrids use intelligent regenerative braking technology to recharge the electric components, meaning you don’t need to plug in your hybrid unless you purchase a model that specifies a plug-in component.

  1. I need an SUV for life in Prince George. Are there hybrid SUVs?

You better believe it! It’s true that hybrid technology was available primarily in cars for several years, but by 2021, Toyota made nearly their entire vehicle lineup available with hybrid powertrain options. Canada’s #1 selling SUV, the Toyota RAV4, now comes available as a seriously impressive hybrid SUV.

  1. Will my RAV4 Hybrid do everything my regular SUV can do?

A common misconception is that hybrids are under-powered or don’t have all the same features as gas-only models - but this couldn’t be further from the truth! The RAV4 Hybrid comes with all the bells and whistles that Prince George drivers are looking for, including standard Toyota Safety Sense and Toyota Connected Services, a spacious interior cabin, and plenty of luxurious add-ons like passive keyless entry, heated exterior mirror, panoramic moonroof, bonus tech, and so much more.

The RAV4 Hybrid also comes with snow-crushing AWD, sport-tuned handling, and delivers 219 horsepower thanks to the 2.5L gas engine and two electric motors. The hybrid model accelerates faster than the gas-only version, and features intelligent Multi-Terrain Select, allowing you to put your RAV4 into a specialized driving mode for dry, muddy, or snowy conditions. No matter what our northern winters put in your path, the RAV4 Hybrid is up to the challenge.


  1. Are Hybrids expensive?

The initial cost of some hybrids is more than gas-only models, but not by much. Drivers can expect to recoup the small amount of extra initial cost with fuel and maintenance savings within the first year or two. Most Canadian provinces (including BC) also offer steep rebates and savings when you purchase a hybrid vehicle, knocking as much as $5,000 off the purchase price in some cases. The available provincial rebates and savings are often enough to make the cost of hybrid and gas-only models on par.

Man stands near RAV4 Hybrid in winter landscape

  1. What else do I need to know about driving a RAV4 Hybrid during Prince George winters?

Just like any gas-only model, it’s recommended to give your car ample time to warm up when the temperatures dip particularly low. The electric components on a hybrid should warm up with the rest of the car, and continue to function as normal. During particularly frigid winters, it can be beneficial to give your RAV4 some extended driving time, so feel free to hit the highway and relax with a podcast or your favourite tunes!

As with any vehicle, it’s vital that you equip your RAV4 Hybrid with the right winter tires before you’re taken by surprise by an unexpected snowstorm. Winter tires are a legal obligation in BC and help protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians from dangerous winter driving conditions. Need help with your snow tires? The Prince George Toyota Tire Centre is home to a massive selection of winter tires for all makes and models, plus we’re backed by Toyota’s Price Match Promise.


Check out the Prince George Toyota Tire Centre to learn more and book your next tire service!



Join the Hybrid Revolution at Prince George Toyota

Toyota is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of dependable, innovative and affordable hybrid vehicles, and we’re proud to offer a wide variety of models to suit the needs of our Prince George customers. Whether you want to learn more about how Toyota’s hybrid technology can work for you, or you’re ready to book a test drive, we’re eager to help! Don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email, and one of our Prince George Toyota team members will be happy to assist.




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