To boost sales for its slow-selling all-electric RAV4 compact crossover, Toyota is discounting the unit via low-cost lease and loan offers. Toyota is offering until Sept. 3, 2013 the option of a $299-a-month, three-year lease for the RAV$, or a 60-month, no-interest loan, according to the carmaker’s Web site.
The discount offers is only good in the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions, according to Toyota spokeswoman Carly Schaffner. Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are already offering discounted leases to boost sales of their electric offerings.
Toyota said in 2012 that it expects to sell 2,600 RAV4 EVs by the end of 2014, but the carmaker had only delivered 709 units from September last year to the end of July. Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at auto researcher Edmunds.com, remarked that the mass market has been reluctant to buy electric vehicles due to the high cost of the technology.
RAV4 EV carries a tag of $49,800 and is powered by a Tesla battery pack and motor. Krebs remarked that Toyota may not have done enough to promote the car’s Tesla connection. The RAV4 EV is a product of Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s desire to work with Tesla, led by Elon Musk. The project was disclosed in 2010, when Toyota made a $50-million investment in Tesla.
Looking at the interior of the new Toyota RAV4 EV, the driver’s seat now has a six-way adjustability function. This same seat also has variable heaters with the heater coverage now including the upper back. On the rear, the reclining seats allow for a split fold and with the center arm rest also having the capacity to be folded, the cargo space is increased greatly.
Actual total cargo capacity is similar to the standard RAV4 which measures 73 cubic feet. Even with the EV components, Toyota made sure that no space was lost especially in the interior. However, the interior’s main feature is the 8-inch display screen with touch capacity. Aside from having a cutting-edge display, it also features telematics and navigation.
It is here that the EV drive information is displayed with settings that have been designed specifically for this model. Included as standard is the Entune which also comes with a complimentary 3-year access to Entune services. Included as standard is SiriusXM Satellite Radio though it only has a 3-month trial subscription for the XM Select package.
Additional features are the USB port which allows for iPod connectivity, Bluetooth streaming audio, and AM/FM radio. One feature customers will like is that when running in normal mode, the dash is illuminated in blue. However, if the driver decides to shift to sport mode, the color changes to blue. The exterior meanwhile reveals the premium low beam projector headlights that use LED and that are paired with the halogen projector high beams.
By offering a manual leveling system, the driver is able to redirect the headlights in the event that the vehicle experiences heavy load resulting in a significant change on the pitch. The daytime running lights are composed of five vertical LEDs which dim to the parking lights. On the rear section, the combination lights utilize LED as well and this is highlighted by the distinct light smoke outer lens.
Toyota revealed that it will be offering different versions like the gas-powered RAV4 showing new emblems on the exterior, particularly the front, front door, and the rear. The exterior will also make use of the brand’s trademarked “environmental blue.”
Later this year, three additional colors will be offered for the RAV4. These are Blizzard White Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, and Shoreline Blue Pearl. For the interior, the door trim and seat inserts have the unique “Neutron” fabric woven with a blue accent and subtle sheen.