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Is the RAV4 Hybrid's time at the top coming to an end? How electrified Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sorento and Mazda CX-5 will try to take down Toyota

The Toyota RAV4 is set to get some new competition.

That the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has taken Australian - and the world - by storm will come as no surprise to anyone who watches this country's new-car sales figures, with the Japanese giant nailing a perfect combination of the right tech at the right time in the right car.

And the sales prove it, what with the RAV4 emerging as the country's most popular vehicle in July and August. More impressive, of the 4825 RAV4s that were sold last month, a staggering 4405 – or 91.3 per cent – were Hybrid versions.

In fact, as reported at CarsGuide, if the RAV4 Hybrid was its own brand, it would’ve finished fifth on the Australia new-vehicle sales chart in August 2020, trailing only the entire fleets of Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai and Kia.

And it seems the other car companies have taken notice, with reported plans a foot to electrify their SUV ranges in the near future to take on the dominance of the RAV4.

With that in mind, we'd thought we'd take a closer look at just what to expect from some of Toyota's biggest competitors, with Hyundai, Kia and Mazda each reportedly prepping electrified version of their most popular SUVs to surf the hybrid wave.

Will they be able to steal the RAV4 Hybrid's thunder? Read on.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

When Hyundai first pulled the covers of its new, fourth-gen Tucson, the bulk of our attention was applied to its new and more out-there design language, but there's key changes under the bonnet, too - at least for international markets.

While Australian cars will debut with update versions of the current conventional powertrain options, Hyundai's local executives have their hands high in the air for the hybrid and PHEV options revealed, too.

The most crucial of which will be the new 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that's paired with a 44.2kW electric motor to produce a combined 171kW and 348Nm, and a diving range that's close to 800km on a single tank.

It's worth pointing out here that the cheapest RAV4 Hybrid makes 160kW, and produces a torque figure somewhere north of 221Nm (the brand doesn't quote combined torque figures), so the Hyundai should have Toyota beat on performance.

Details of the PHEV version of the Tucson remain thin on the ground, though we do know it will deliver an even more impressive combined power output of around 195kW.

Hyundai is yet to confirm a launch date for the electrified Tucson, but has also made no secret of their desire to introduce it ASAP.

Kia Sorento Hybrid

The PHEV version ups the grunt with a 66.9kW motor and 13.8kWh battery for combined outputs of 195kW/350Nm. The PHEV version ups the grunt with a 66.9kW motor and 13.8kWh battery for combined outputs of 195kW/350Nm.

Yes, the Kia Sorento is a size up from the RAV4, but with the brand ruling out a hybrid Sportage, at least in the short term, its electrified eggs are going into this basket.

The Sportage Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid have both been confirmed for our market, with the pair to debut next year, and the numbers make for interesting reading.

Both use a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine, which in the hybrid version, also gets a 44.2kW electric motor and a 1.5kWh lithium-ion battery. All up, you can expect healthy outputs of 169kW/350Nm - or near-enough on-par with the smaller RAV4.

The PHEV version ups the grunt (and makes AWD a prerequisite), with a 66.9kW motor and 13.8kWh battery for combined outputs of 195kW/350Nm.

Mazda CX-5 Mild Hybrid

The next CX-5 will balance frugality and fun. (image credit: Best Car Web) The next CX-5 will balance frugality and fun. (image credit: Best Car Web)

An electrified CX-5 will likely be the last of our trio to arrive, with unconfirmed reports from Japan suggesting a mild-hybrid version of the brand's popular mid-size SUV will debut in 2023.

The reports suggest the next CX-5 will be equipped with a straight-six SkyActiv-X engine - a compression-ignition petrol engine which provides the low-end torque of a diesel with the power delivery of a petrol, reducing fuel consumption and emissions by between 10 to 30 per cent. The engine will include a 48-volt mild hybrid system, further helping fuel use.

According to the Japanese press, the new engine is expected to produce a whopping 220kW and 345Nm, and sip just 6.6L/100km.