The Toyota RAV4 kick-started the crossover segment when it originated back in the late nineties, now dominates the division with the initiation of 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime. Embracing the competence, fun-to-drive nature, and off-road abilities of the regular RAV4 model with an ultra-efficient plug-in hybrid method, the RAV4 Prime is an outstanding choice for eco-minded compact SUV buyers.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV

Toyota RAV4 is the best-selling compact crossover in the Japanese automaker's lineup and this time Toyota has decided to extend its lineup with the all-new plug-in hybrid, the RAV4 Prime. The RAV4 Prime is a big upgrade from the ongoing variant as it gets a new hybrid engine that makes 302 horses making it the most-powerful RAV4 ever.

What is new in the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime?

There are many changes in the 2021 Toyota RAV4, prime amount them is the increased power which none of the rivals can match. Some other updates are also there regarding the infotainment system which supposedly has a bigger screen.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Price and Specs

The 2021 RAV4 Prime will be available in two flavors: SE and XSE. The base model will start at $39,220 while XSE will begin at $42, 545. Toyota wants to claim the performance ground with its high on power hybrid crossover. While the cost may appear steep, remember that you will get a rebate of $7,500 in the federal EV tax credit, plus state incentives depending on the area. 

Trims

SE

XSE

MSRP (AWD)

$39,220

$42,545

Key Features

heated front seats

Adds/Upgrades to SE trim

 

8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment

Two-tone exterior paint scheme and moonroof

 

7-in. Multi-Information Display

19-inch alloy wheels

 

The leather steering wheel and shift knob with red stitching

Multifunction Steering wheel with Paddle shifters

 

8-inch touchscreen infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay, Alexa, and Android Auto

4-way power passenger seat with SofTex Upholstery and interior ambient lighting

 

9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Dynamic Navigation and JBL Speakers

Engine and Performance

The plug-in hybrid system in the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime combines a gasoline engine with two electric motors which dish out a total of 302 hp, totally immoral for a green car. The RAV4 Prime uses a differently tuned version of the RAV4 Hybrid’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine.

One of those electric motors power the rear axle, bestowing the RAV4 Prime with all-wheel drive, in the same way, Toyota gave AWD to the Prius. Toyota states the RAV4 Prime's battery is ample for 42 miles of pure electric driving — up from a prior estimate of 39 miles. 

Models

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid LE (AWD)

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (AWD) 

Ford Escape SE Sport (FWD)

Lexus UX 250h (AWD)

MSRP

$28,100

$35,145

$28,255

$34,350

Engine

2.5L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

2.5L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

Drivetrain AWD AWD FWD AWD

Transmission

CVT

CVT

E-CVT

CVT

Power

302@5,700rpm 152hp@6,000rpm 198hp@N/A 181hp@6,000rpm

Torque

206lb-ft@3,600rpm 145lb-ft@4,000rpm 152lb-ft@N/A 151lb-ft@4,800rpm

Toyota says that the RAV4 can get from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds with the help of its gasoline powertrain and axle-mounted electric motors. It is one of the quickest vehicles in the segment and second fastest vehicle in Toyota’s lineup after the Supra. 

As the battery is mounted very low, RAV4 Prime’s center of gravity is better than older RAV4s. With one motor mounted on the rear axle, an electronic all-wheel-drive system is standard — similar to the RAV4 Hybrid.

 You can also opt for the paddle shifters which helps in regenerative braking

The paddle shifters will let the driver improve regenerative braking power by downshifting, which promotes better control when driving in steep regions. You can also opt for the sports tuned suspension which is available in the XSE trim as well as the base SE model.

The AWD arrangement also decreases understeer while cornering for improved steering confidence. A driver-selectable Trail mode makes it probable to get out of a problem by stopping a spinning wheel and transmitting torque to the grounding wheel.

Fuel Economy

Most of the two-row crossovers are focused on fuel efficiency, and Toyota is estimating that the RAV4 Prime will be able to achieve 94 MPGe combined with all-wheel drive as standard. The RAV4 Hybrid can give 41 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 40 combined on the strength of its 219-horsepower standard hybrid system. The total range of the Rav4 Prime is estimated at 580 miles per tank.

Model

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid LE (AWD)

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (AWD) 

Ford Escape SE Sport (FWD)

Lexus UX 250h (AWD)

MPG (City)

41

36

44

41

MPG (Highway)

38

34

37

38

MPG (Combined)

40

35

41

39

MPGE (Combined)

N/A

90

N/A N/A
Fuel Capacity

14.5 gallons

13.2 gallons

14.2 gallons

10.6 gallons

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/yr)

3.7

2.5

3.6

3.7

The RAV4 Prime equipped with the optional predictive navigation technology will optimize hybrid battery charging and discharging based on-road situations and the driving style.

Interior

The RAV4 Prime is ingeniously designed, and passenger space isn’t arbitrated by the larger Lithium-Ion battery, as it is installed under the floor. Besides minute details which separate the Hybrid from regular RAV4s, the interior inherits the alike strong and weak spots, prioritizing ergonomics and space over design and superior elements. Once gloomy and dingy inside, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 has one of the nicest interiors in its category. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Interior

The cabin seems and senses more upscale, with lots of soft-touch materials on the dashboard and center armrest. The Toyota RAV4 Prime can seat five passengers and there is for the third row. Taller individuals may need to slouch while inside, and front patrons may want for added headroom.

Model

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid LE (AWD)

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (AWD) 

Ford Escape SE Sport (FWD)

Lexus UX 250h (AWD)

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.5/57.8/41,0

39.8/56.7/43.1

40.0/57.6/42.4

37.2/55.0/42.0

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.5/56.4/37.8

37.4/55.6/36.7

39.3/56.0/38.9

36.3/52.9/33.1

 There is a substantial amount of interior space and the cargo capacity is good too. Amidst the rear seats up, the RAV4 accommodates more than 37 cubic feet of cargo, which increases to 69 cubic feet with the rear seats down.

Interior Features:

  • Standard heated front seats
  • 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment
  • SofTex synthetic leather seat surfaces
  • 7-in. Multi-Information Display
  • Leather steering wheel and shift knob with red stitching
  • Power liftgate
  • Weather & Moonroof Package
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Rain Sensing windshield wipers

Exterior

You might be surprised after looking at the RAV4 which comes from the same automaker as the Prius. The RAV4 is fashionable without being brash, angular without being hectic, contemporary without being too flashy. Specific designs seem to have taken inspiration from the bigger kind and it looks bigger than the other crossovers in the market.

Model

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid LE (AWD)

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (AWD) 

Ford Escape SE Sport (FWD)

Lexus UX 250h (AWD)

Curb Weight

3710 lbs

3717 lbs

3554 lbs

3605 lbs

Length

180.9"

175.8"

180.5"

177.0"

Width

73.0"

71.0"

74.1"

72.4"

Height

67.0"

62.8"

66.1"

60.6"

Ground Clearance

8.1"

8.7"

7.9"

N/A

Wheelbase

105.9"

104.9"

106.7"

103.9"

Exterior Features:

  • 18-in. painted/machined alloy wheels
  • Exclusive Grille Design
  • Front Lower Spoiler
  • Piano black exterior accents
  • Painted grille/diffuser

Safety Features

All the versions of the 2021 RAV4 have Toyota's Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) driver-assist package that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane centering. 

The 2021 RAV4 Prime not only comes with an extensive security suite but also carries it forward by combining some distinct highlights. These features are:

  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0)
  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/ PD)
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Automatic High Beam
  • Road Sign Assist
  • Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • 8-Dual Stage Airbags
  • Driver side emergency locking retractor (ELR)
  • Front and Rear side-impact door beams
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist

Final Verdict

There's no doubt that Toyota RAV4 is an all-rounder in the segment and with the addition of a PHEV variant will only add to its popularity in the country. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime looks promising with its potent hybrid engine and better than ever interiors. Also, Toyota has kept in mind the need of this generation and has provided the car with paddle shifters.

Also, read

2020 Toyota RAV4 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide