This might be the most compelling RAV4 yet.
One of the most undeniably important vehicles in Toyota’s lineup is the RAV4. And the loveable crossover gets even better for 2021 with the addition of the plug-in Prime model. Not only is the RAV4 Prime the most powerful version of the crossover to date, but also the most fuel-efficient version of the vehicle that Toyota has ever built.
Similar to the Prius, adding the word Prime designates plug-in capability in Toyota speak, and the RAV4 Prime offers some impressive numbers with the extra battery power. Horsepower improves to a very respectable 302 (225 kilowatts), up from the RAV4 hybrid’s 219 ponies (163 kW). This translates to a zero to 60 time of 5.8 seconds – the second quickest acceleration time in Toyota’s lineup, only behind the Supra.
Impressive as that is, the RAV4’s efficiency figures are still the biggest attention-grabber. The RAV4 Prime is projected to achieve 90 MPGe, and travel up to 39 miles on electric power alone. That’s a hearty improvement over the Prius Prime’s 25-mile EV range. That figure is also the best out of any PHEV SUV on the market.
Powering the RAV4 Prime is the same 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine found in the RAV4 Hybrid, in both cases making 176 hp (131 kW). However, the Prime uses a new high-capacity lithium-ion battery pack and booster converter, resulting in the 83 hp (62 kW) jump over the hybrid model. And if you’re wondering whether or not the bigger battery pack impedes on cargo space, Toyota says it’s mounted beneath the floor, resulting in no lost cargo space and a lower center of gravity. The RAV4 still has 37.6 cubic feet of room in the trunk.
The 2021 RAV4 Prime goes on sale in the summer of next year and is available on SE and XSE trim levels. Toyota hasn’t announced pricing just yet, but we can expect it priced a bit higher than the RAV4 hybrid’s $28,100 asking MSRP. Depending on the starting price, the might be the most compelling case yet for Toyota’s star crossover.