The all-new Toyota Rav4 has chalked up an incredible amount of sales in its first month on the market, but even more surprising was Toyota's admission that around 60% of RAV4s sold are hybrid variants.
"If performance is right, if it can do the functions that the consumer needs for that vehicle to do whether it be commercially or privately, then people will adapt to hybrid," Hanley said.
"If you look at Camry hybrid, if you look at Corolla hybrid, if you now look at RAV4 hybrid. I can tell you RAV4 hybrid, on ordering and it's very early I understand, but over half its orders so far are hybrid, 60%," he said.
The Toyota RAV4 hybrid commands a $2500 premium over its non-hybrid counterpart, but the big reduction in fuel consumption (4.7 and 4.8 litres of fuel per 100km respectively for front-wheel and all-wheel drive variants, versus 6.5L/100km for equivalent 2.0-litre petrol models) appears to be the main driver for the switch.
While Ford has committed to bringing the new Escape PHEV to Australia, the only other electrified competitors to the RAV4 Hybrid in its price bracket are the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and to some degree, the Lexus UX.