My godchildren soured the Bay Area looking for the Rav4 Prime. They loved the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime as it boasts a larger electric battery with plug-in capabilities that increase its power and efficiency. They couldn’t believe a compact SUV could take them across the country and get such great miles to the gallon. The RAV4 Prime is a compelling plug-in hybrid that delivers exceptional economy and practicality. An additional benefit is a state and federal credits they got for buying a plug-in hybrid.
The “Prime” moniker is the designation for the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version that Toyota has been using for a few years now. The RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid variant of the gasoline-only version five-passenger RAV4 SUV. It is offered as an all-wheel-drive in SE and XSE trims only and is equivalent to the higher trims available on the gasoline-only RAV4.
The RAV4’s first-ever plug-in hybrid PHEV model has up to 302 horsepower thanks to the combination of a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force 4-cylinder, aluminum alloy block engine, and an 18.1 kWh Lithium-Ion battery pack. The ability to do 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds makes this the quickest four-door model in the Toyota lineup. Another added best in RAV4 is 42 miles on battery alone on a single charge, making it the highest EV range of any PHEV SUV on the market. Toyota says the RAV4 Prime gets a 94 combined MPGe and has standard Electronic On-Demand AWD.
The RAV4 Prime’s battery pack is mounted under the floor allowing for more interior space, a low center of gravity, and enhanced driving stability.
The RAV4 Hybrid XSE Prime version stands out for its two-tone exterior paint, pairing a black roof with select colors, including the Supersonic Red that I drove that is new to RAV4 this year. Exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels, Vertical LED accent lights, optional Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) with headlamp auto-leveling that aims the beams into turns as the driver steers.
Toyota has upped the luxury and technology with RAV4’s first-ever paddle shifters, along with moonroof, unique SofTex synthetic leather seat surfaces, wireless smartphone charging, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated garage door opener, and the largest multimedia screen in any RAV4 ever. The standard Audio Plus system comes with a 9-in. touch-screen, and there is an available Premium Audio that includes Dynamic Navigation and a JBL speaker system.
- Supersonic Red. ($425)
- Super White.
- Silver Sky Metallic.
- Midnight Black Metallic.
- black and red fabric
- black and red Toyota SofTex
Is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime available?
EPA Class: Small SUV
MSRP: From $38,350
Horsepower: 302 horsepower
Range: 42 mi battery-only, 600 mi total
Towing capacity: 2,500 lbs
Dimensions: 181″ L x 73″ W x 67″ H
Curb weight: 4,235 to 4,300 lbs
EPA Estimated Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined MPG): 40/36/38
BATTERY PACK: 18.1 kWh Lithium-Ion
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime trim levels and pricing:
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE
The RAV4 Prime XSE that I drove started at $41,425 and totaled $49,577
- Exclusive 19-in. two-tone alloy wheels, the largest ever offered on a hybrid RAV4
- Vertical LED accent lights
- Paddle shifters
- SofTex-trimmed seat surfaces
- Qi-wireless phone charger
- Ambient interior lighting
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink universal transceiver
- Audio Plus with 9-in. touch-screen
The standard Audio Plus system comes with a 9-in. touch-screen, the largest ever offered on a RAV4. There is also an available Premium Audio multimedia system that includes Dynamic Navigation (3-year trial included) and a JBL speaker system.
Available options for the XSE grade include:
- Weather Package (+$815)
- Heated Steering Wheel
- Heated Rear Outboard Seats
- Rain Sensing Wipers w/Wiper De-Icer
- Weather and Audio Package (+$2,435)
- Weather package plus:
- JBL Premium Audio
- Dynamic Navigation with 3-year trial
- Destination Assist with 1-year trial
- Weather with Audio and Premium Package (+$5,760)
- Weather and Audio package plus:
- AC (6.6kW) Enhanced Charger
- Digital Rearview Mirror
- 120V/1500W AC power outlet in the cargo area
- Panoramic Moonroof
- Kick-Type Power Back Door
- SofTex-trimmed seats with sporty red accents and stitching
- Bird’s Eye View Camera
- 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat with seatback pocket
- Smart Key System on all doors
- Perforated Heated & Ventilated Front Seats
- Parking Assist with Automatic Braking
- Adaptive Front Headlight System
- Head-Up Display
All Toyota RAV4 models come equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which groups a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
- Automatic High Beam (AHB)
- Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
- Road Sign Assist (RSA)
The XSE Premium Package adds Rear Cross-Traffic Braking (RCTB) and Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking (PA w/AB).
Daniel and Jules drove the Toyota RAV4 Prime across the country from California to North Carolina. They averaged 36 MPG combined. They plan to move to New York City, where they won’t need a vehicle. The excellent news is that used car prices are so exaggerated that they will get close to what they paid for the SUV.