Toyota RAV4/Suzuki Across PHEV – What Can It Tow?

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No, the title is not a typo, the Toyota RAV4 PHEV and Suzuki Across are essentially the same cars say for a few badge swaps. However, there are a couple of notable differences in specs, warranty terms and price which we’ll discuss below. Importantly though, both vehicles have the same 18.1kWh battery pack proving a claimed electric-only range of 46 miles. When it comes to towing both the Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Across are rated to tow a braked trailer up to 1,500 kg. So let’s look at these two plug-in hybrids in more detail.

Toyota RAV4 & Suzuki Across PHEV
The Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Across PHEV are essentially the same vehicles, but there are a few spec differences: Images – &

Toyota RAV4/Suzuki Across PHEV Specs

  • Official Towing Capacity – 1,500 kg
  • Availability – Now
  • Price – Starting £45,599 (Suzuki Across) > £47,395 (Toyota RAV4)
  • Official MPG – 282
  • Real-World MPG (Fuel Only) – 51 (NextGreenCar)
  • Official EV Range – 46 miles
  • Real-World EV Range – 32 miles (70% of Official)
  • Maximum Charge Rate/Time – 3.5kW/5 Hours (Across) > 7kW/2.5 Hours (RAV4)

Toyota RAV4/Suzuki Across PHEV HP & Torque

  • AWD: Combined output of 302 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque
  • 2.5L Petrol Engine: 187 HP and 167 lb-ft of torque
  • Electric Motors: 180 HP and 198 lb-ft of torque

Toyota RAV4/Suzuki Across PHEV Towing Capabilities

You could rightly point out that when spending north of £45K on a tow car for a towing capacity of 1,500kg is not that competitive. You could also state there are other PHEVs that can tow an equal amount of weight or more for less, and you would also be right.

However, the RAV4 and Across PHEV provide an official EV range of 46 miles which cheaper (and some more expensive) PHEVs cannot currently match. With regards to cheaper ICE cars which can tow more than 1,500 kg as they’re not a PHEV you obviously have no ability to cover any distance at all on electrical energy alone.

Also, with regards to the prices of the RAV4 and Across PHEV with a quick search, you will find you can get a new car for far less than the stated prices above. Opt for a nearly-new car with a few thousand miles on the clock and I’ve seen the Suzuki Across for as low as £35K.

In terms of towing performance, the PHEV system in the Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Across provides a significant amount of power, a total of 302 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque when the electric motors and petrol engine work together.

Toyota RAV4/Suzuki Across PHEV Real World EV Range and MPG

First off, please check out my article on BEVs vs PHEVs for towing where I discuss the pros and cons of pure electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) which the RAV4 & Across are examples of.

Essentially, when it comes to towing with a PHEV the electric range is generally insignificant for all but the shortest journeys. For instance, while I’ve quoted the real-world EV range of these vehicles as 32 miles. Under towing conditions, it would likely be around 16 to 23 miles, half the normal EV range when not towing.

So when the battery is empty and not contributing what will the MPG be? Well, just like for any PHEV, forget the official WTLP figure of 282 mpg. The as I’ve referenced above has given the RAV4 and Across a real-world MPG figure of 51.

However, really when towing with an empty battery you should realistically expect an even lower MPG figure. As I discuss, in my article linked above on BEVs vs PHEVs, plug-in hybrid vehicles are not efficient when towing, they can be even less efficient than a standard ICE (internal combustion engine) car.

Differences Between the Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Across PHEV

While for the most part, the RAV4 and Across PHEV are the same car wearing different badges, there are a few notable differences between them. The price being one of them as I’ve shown above, the list price of the Toyota is a few thousand more than the Suzuki.

However, there are a couple more differences between them. To help explain I’ve included a video below from WhatCar where they did a comparison of the Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Across.

The subtle differences between the Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Across

So the first difference is while both cars share the same infotainment screen, the Across doesn’t get SatNav integration. However, both vehicles get Apple Car Play/Android Auto as standard. Hence, your phone will provide better SatNav functionality than that built into the RAV4 anyway. So missing Sat Nav on the Across is not a big deal.

A more significant difference is while the RAV4 has a maximum charge rate of 7.5kW and can charge in 2.5 hours, the Across is limited to 3.5kW and will take 5 hours. However, let’s say we focus on these vehicles as electric tow cars and let’s say you were going to destination charge at a caravan site.

Well, if you’re charging via the exterior socket on the caravan, you can only charge at a maximum of 3.7kW anyway. So again, when it comes to how these two PHEVs would be used that charging speed difference may not make that much difference.

Another difference that is not noted in the video above is the warranty. While the Toyota RAV4 gets a 5yr/100,000-mile warranty the Suzuki Across get a lower 3yr/60,00-mile warranty.

My Thoughts On The Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Across PHEV…

The towing capacity of the RAV4/Across at 1,500kg means they can tow many typical small to medium-sized caravans, and they both provide plenty of power to do the job well.

They also both provide a healthy EV only range of 46 miles, which is above average compared to current PHEV standards. Now, the real-world range EV range, particularly in the colder months of the year will be closer to 32 miles. However, on a dry day at low speed that 46-mile range could very well be achievable, not towing of course.

These PHEVs should though be able to provide many people with electric-only journeys for much of the cars useable life if you mainly do short runs and only do long-range trips infrequently. That’s provided of course that you actually plug the car in to charge, which I would hope anyone reading this website realises.

While the RAV4 is the better spec’d car when it comes to charging speed and offers a better warranty, it is also more expensive. The Suzuki Across may seem only slightly cheaper than the RAV4 on paper but if you look you can find nearly new examples at significantly less than the RAV4 PHEV.

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