This is a 300bhp... Toyota RAV4 | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear

This is a 300bhp... Toyota RAV4

Yep. Your guess is as good as ours

Published: 21 Nov 2019

Remember when 300 horsepower was quite a lot? No, us neither. But it seems, in a mythical time called ‘the 1990s’, when music was usually sad but life was generally happy, it took quite a bit of money and effort to park a 300bhp car on your driveway. 

Nowadays, when life is generally sad and music is usually rubbish, you can park a 300bhp Toyota RAV4 on your driveway. Just consider that for a second. It’s more power than you can get from a Ford Focus ST... tucked away in a midsize SUV. 

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If you’re anything like us, your first reaction to this news is a kind of “Whuuuuuhhh?” noise, as bemusement courses through your system like one too many whiskies.

So, how does the RAV gets its tower of power – some form of American-spec V8, ready to do 15mpg on the Interstate? No, no, no – this is the pointy end of 2019, and advocating consumption-based horsepower is about as popular as advocating for a return to the six-day working week. It’s a hybrid, of course, of the plug-in variety, good for nearly 40 miles on battery power alone and more miles per gallon than your average camel. Yep, this roided up RAV is also, according to Toyota, its most fuel-efficient.

But 300bhp, even in an SUV with a heavy lithium-ion battery on board, is going to have a fairly pronounced effect on proceedings. And, in the least surprising news so far, it absolutely does: nought to 60 is all said and done in 5.8 seconds – faster than a Golf GTI Performance or a 2.0-litre MX-5, and just as fast as the ballistic Honda Civic Type R. 

And now that life has officially stopped making sense, please join us in walking outside at midnight to watch the sun rise in the west.

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