Can Autocrossing a 2016 Toyota Prius and RAV4 Hybrid Actually be Fun? First Drive

For the longest time, the term 'hybrid' was reserved for box-like economy cars taking up the left lane of the highway, going 15 mph under the speed limit, and usually donning a bumper sticker wishing harm to meat-eaters. Or so the old stereotype goes...

Standard hybrids typically aren’t meant to be driven with passion, they’re meant to be driven with efficiency and city commuting in mind. Yet there we were, behind the wheel the new Toyota Prius and RAV4 Hybrid staring down an autocross circuit. Whoever in Toyota's PR department thought this was a good idea was absolutely right about that. 

Can Autocrossing a 2016 Toyota Prius and RAV4 Hybrid Actually be Fun? First Drive

The 'Boring' Stuff The new Toyota Prius and RAV4 Hybrid aren’t meant for people that turn up Deep Purple’s Highway Star blazing through the desert at three o’clock in the morning. These cars are meant to get you from point A to point B, return excellent fuel economy, and envelop you in a sense of safety that rivals some German brands. And after testing each on the highway, in traffic, and around town—they do exactly that, no questions asked. While driving the new Prius—as if by magic—we managed to return 60 miles per gallon. That’s with our right foot filled with lead and our fists full of ham. Swapping to the RAV4, it too returned equally brilliant fuel economy as we scythed our way through the canyons around Dana Point, California. This is what Toyota hybrids do best and we expected nothing less.

Can Autocrossing a 2016 Toyota Prius and RAV4 Hybrid Actually be Fun? First Drive

Furthermore, both the new Prius and the RAV4 Hybrid have almost every safety system known ...