Payback time: is the wait for a 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid really worth it or should you just get the gasoline engine? – Car news

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Semiconductors. Computer chips. Silicon wafers. You’ve probably heard enough about it by now, with the global shortage of semiconductor materials causing shortages of virtually everything electronic, but if you’re one of the thousands who have put down a down payment on a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid , you probably feel an added pinch of pain while reading this.

According to Toyota Australia, the wait time for a RAV4 Hybrid, from order to delivery, is now around nine to ten months on average. You might also be waiting a few months for a non-hybrid RAV4, but with the hybrid requiring a lot more control electronics than its more conventional counterparts, there’s a good chance you can put a ‘regular’ RAV4 in your car. gone much earlier – in fact for some variations you could theoretically buy a new one on the day you signed the papers.

But should we wait? After all, gasoline prices are going up, so how much can that nine to ten month waiting period cost you? Let’s do some math.

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First, let’s divide the difference between that nine / ten month period and make it a more mathematically practical 285 days, which is 78% of a year. Now, according to the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (12 months to June 30, 2020), the average Australian motorist has traveled 12,100 km throughout the year. 78% of that is 9,438 km, which we’ll take as the number of kilometers driven in the time you wait for your all-new RAV4 Hybrid to arrive.

As of this writing, oil prices are skyrocketing thanks to a combination of lockdowns ending in Australia’s two most populous states, as well as tight supply in the global oil market after a glut. production last year. Prices for 91 octane gasoline in the capital ranged from $ 1.60 to $ 1.80 per liter.

With those baseline numbers established, let’s move on to RAV4. The RAV4 hybrid is available as 2WD and AWD, but the gasoline variants (except the 2.5L Edge niche variant) are only 2WD, so we’ll be comparing 2 2-wheel drive for fairness.

The RAV4 GXL class sits perfectly in the middle of the lineup, with 2.0L 2WD gasoline priced at $ 37,415 before the roads and the 2.5L 2WD hybrid priced at $ 2,500 above. at 39,915. For 2.0-liter gasoline, Toyota’s average fuel consumption is 6.5 L / 100 km, while the 2.5-liter gasoline-electric hybrid consumes 4.7 L / 100 km on the same combined cycle, a difference of 1.8 L / 100 km.

Now dividing this difference in fuel consumption by the average distance traveled in 9.5 months gives us a difference in total fuel consumption between the two powertrains of 169.89 liters, or just over three full tanks of fuel in a RAV4. In dollar terms, it’s $ 288.80.

So, from a purely economic standpoint, that’s what it will cost you to wait nine to ten months for an all-new RAV4 Hybrid compared to buying a conventional gasoline equivalent in a car’s inventory. dealer. For the average, middle-class Australian this is not a particularly huge sum, however, as with all things in life, it is not necessarily as simple as cutting things down to basic numbers.

On the one hand, some buyers may simply not have the luxury of waiting for the most efficient option, if, for example, their current car is in poor condition or their life situation changes rapidly. Tip: If you have a child on the way and want to get a RAV4 to transport it, place your order as soon as the pregnancy test is confirmed – your car’s gestation will likely take longer than your child’s gestation.

But waiting might be the wisest thing to do. Hybrid variants are the volume sellers of the RAV4 model line, accounting for over 72% of total sales volume at last count, meaning they are the ones that are likely to retain their value the best at the time of sale.

Also, the price of fuel is only going to go up in the long run – a fuel mileage difference of 1.8 L / 100 km may not seem like much, but depending on how much time you spend in your car it could be. the most financial. sensible option. At current fuel prices, it would take six years and eight months for the RAV4 GXL Hybrid’s fuel savings to “pay off” its $ 2,500 premium over regular gasoline, but as gas prices rise. increase north, this cooldown becomes shorter.

In addition, if you drive primarily in the city, the Hybrid goes from being “a little more efficient” than regular gasoline to “significantly more efficient”. The difference on the urban cycle is a whopping 3.0L / 100km in favor of the hybrid, and that changes the numbers considerably.

Over 9.5 months of predominantly urban driving, that fuel economy equates to 283.14 liters, or $ 481.34 at current fuel prices. It also shortens the payback period to just four years.

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to wait for the hybrid is up to you – we’re just here to give you the knowledge to make that decision.


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