The Toyota RAV4 Prime's moose test was "scandalously bad."
Sweden's moose test conducted by Teknikens Varld is designed to put a vehicle's handling to the ultimate test to see if a car can safely avoid obstacles like a moose in the road when turning sharply. As automakers have found out, it's notoriously difficult to pass. Last month, we watched the refreshed Audi A3 fail the moose test, and now the Toyota RAV4 Prime is the latest model to fail the test in spectacular fashion.
It's not as bad as the Toyota Hilux that infamously tipped onto two wheels, but the publication's assessment is very damning. During the same test, the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid and the Volvo XC40 Recharge T4 also failed, but not as dramatically as the RAV4 Prime.
At 42 mph, the RAV4 oversteers wildly and almost spins out of control as the rear clips some cones. In a real-world situation, this could be dangerous if the SUV loses control, yet the RAV4 Prime is considered to be one of the safest SUVs in America with a Top Safety Pick IIHS rating. Lowering the speed to 39 mph causes the SUV to complete the course without incident, but this is too slow to pass the test.
"These types of cars are really bad," Teknikens Varld's Linus Projtz said during the test, adding that "the biggest disappointment is the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid." A report published by the magazine goes onto say that the RAV4 Prime's poor performance was "scandalously bad." Ouch.
So what's to blame here? The publication believes the SUV's electronic stability control was not activated to stop the RAV4 Prime from sliding out of control at various test speeds. If you recall, the publication encountered a very similar issue with the regular RAV4 Hybrid during a moose test last year. In response, Toyota fixed the stability control with a software update, which enabled the SUV to pass the moose test.
You would think, then, that Toyota would have applied these lessons learned to the RAV4 Prime. After seeing the results, Toyota promises to fix this latest problem with the RAV4 Prime. "As a countermeasure, we will now take steps to ensure that RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid can pass Teknikens Varld's Elk test," Toyota said in a statement to the publication.