2012 Toyota RAV4 EV.Bradley Berman for The New York Times2012 Toyota RAV4 EV.

In Sunday’s Automobiles section, Bradley Berman reviews the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV, a purely electric version of the compact crossover with a drivetrain sourced from Tesla Motors.

The RAV4 has always been respectible, if not a standout in its crowded segment. A power-source transplant, however, works wonders for the Toyota’s on-road personality, as Mr. Berman writes:

I punched the Sport button on the all-electric Toyota RAV4 EV that I had been driving for two days and slammed the accelerator to the floor. The burst of power — in a blink it kicked me past the 75 m.p.h. traffic in the fast lanes — was not what I expected from a small battery-powered crossover.

The electric surge was transformational. Still gaining speed at a good clip, I could easily have zoomed to the 100 m.p.h. top speed listed in Toyota’s specifications.

Though only 2,600 units of the RAV4 EV will be produced, Mr. Berman expects the car’s cult to grow well beyond the constraints of that modest number.

Read the entire review, check out the slide show and share your thoughts on the RAV4 EV in the comments.

By THE NEW YORK TIMES