Toyota RAV4 Prime fails the moose test in Sweden
Swedish publication Teknikens V”arld has a reputation for calling out automakers who fail its proprietary moose test, in which a fully loaded vehicle is travelled into an S-shaped obstacle-avoidance course at moderate speeds. The test was created as a way to imitate a possible worst-case scenario, like whenever a large animal or perhaps a child darts in to the street and forces a person to take emergency evasive action.
Lots of vehicles pass the test with little drama, which requires completing the program inside the lines at a speed of at least 72 kilometers per hour (44.7 mph), but occasionally a vehicle performs poorly enough that Teknikens V”arld confronts the automaker with the results. The most recent vehicle to draw the ire of the publication is the Toyota RAV4 Prime.
During the publication’s testing (begin to see the video above), the RAV4 Prime skidded wildly in the initial test speed, crossing the painted lines of the course and barreling through the cones. The test was repeated until the plug-in hybrid crossover remained controllable, so it eventually did in a speed of 63 km/h (39.1 mph). The blame lies with the RAV4 Prime’s stability control system, based on the publication, which does not engage and keep the vehicle from skidding out of control.
This isn’t the first time a RAV4 has failed the moose test. Teknikens V”arld tested the non-plug-in version of Toyota’s latest crossover in 2021, also it failed. To the credit, Toyota took the outcomes seriously and developed an update for its vehicle stability control programming that resolved the problem and earned a passing grade within the moose test. That updated software was reportedly presented to any or all RAV4 models bought from Europe, which we'd guess includes the plug-in Prime, but apparently there’s enough difference – weight and weight distribution probably being chief differentiators – between models to result in the handling disparity.
It’s important to note that Teknikens V”arld also tested the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Volvo XC40 Recharge, nor could complete the course at 72 km/h. Says the magazine: “So- three cars fail. Only one of them is actually bad. Scandalously bad, Toyota!”
In response, Toyota Motor Europe issued a statement saying it was able to reproduce the outcomes of Teknikens V”arld’s moose test. “As a countermeasure, we'll now do something to ensure that RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid can pass Teknikens V”arld's Elk test,” says Toyota. We’re certain you will see an up-to-date test once the stability control is reprogrammed.