Better Than the Regular Hybrid?


Toyota’s largest power is its hybrid expertise, and in our SUV-obsessed market, the RAV4 Hybrid has overtaken the Prius because the best-selling hybrid within the model’s lineup. The RAV4 Hybrid boasts a number of advantages over the standard RAV4, together with a smoother powertrain and higher gasoline financial system. Now, Toyota is introducing a plug-in model of the RAV4, one which’s extra highly effective, extra gasoline environment friendly, and delivers spectacular electrical vary. That makes the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime the crown jewel of the model’s SUV lineup.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Vary, Gas Economic system, and Charging

One key differentiator between the RAV4 Prime and its siblings is its capacity to cowl distances on EV energy alone. Some prospects will be capable to commute to work daily with out utilizing a drop of gasoline. The RAV4 Prime is predicted to journey 42 miles on a single cost, giving it the very best EV vary of any plug-in hybrid SUV in the marketplace. Ford’s plug-in hybrid Escape isn’t far behind with an EV range of 37 miles, besides the RAV4 Prime has all-wheel drive, whereas the Escape plug-in hybrid is barely obtainable with front-wheel drive.

Charging instances differ dramatically relying on the strategy. Included with the RAV4 Prime is a 3.3-kW, 120V Degree 1 charging cable, permitting prospects to recharge the battery in about 12 hours from house. With a 3.3-kW 240V charger, the time drops to 4.5 hours. XSE fashions with the Premium package deal characteristic enhanced 6.6-kW charging functionality to replenish the battery in 2.5 hours on a sooner Degree 2 charger. With the fuel and electrical bits mixed, complete driving vary is predicted to be 600 miles.

After initially estimating a gasoline financial system score of 90 mpg-e, Toyota is now anticipating larger effectivity. The SUV is predicted to ship 94 mpg-e, a formidable quantity, however decrease than the Escape PHEV’s 100 mpg-e score.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Efficiency

It is counterintuitive to consider a RAV4 as sporty, however Toyota meant this variant to focus closely on efficiency. The automaker claims the RAV4 Prime is its second-quickest car, simply behind the Supra.

Beneath the sheetmetal, the RAV4 Prime has lots in widespread with the RAV4 Hybrid. It makes use of the Hybrid’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder fuel engine, tuned to a barely greater output. A brand new lithium-ion battery pack, booster/converter, and extra highly effective motor-generators give the Prime 83 extra horsepower total in comparison with the common RAV4 Hybrid. Complete system output is 302 hp, far more juice than you suppose a small mainstream crossover would want. The Prime can also be considerably heavier, although, weighing round 4,300 kilos in prime XSE trim.

So how does all of it work? There are three totally different electrical modes. In auto/HV mode, the engine kicks on to ship additional energy when wanted, comparable to while you kick the fuel pedal. You may choose an EV precedence mode to run on electrical energy solely, even while you use the accelerator aggressively. A battery cost mode makes use of engine energy to recharge the battery, including EV vary as you drive.

In the event you use electrical energy solely, acceleration is slower. Toyota estimates a 0-60 mph time of 9.2 seconds in pure EV mode. That is a far cry from hybrid mode, when Toyota claims it may well hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, whatever the cost state.

Very similar to the RAV4 Hybrid, the RAV4 Prime’s acceleration is clean and linear from a cease. Regardless of the additional horses, it does not really feel radically extra highly effective from a cease than its sibling. The fuel engine is fast to leap in with an additional kick while you’re switching lanes on the freeway in hybrid mode. When the engine engages, nonetheless, you hear a loud groan.

Toyota says it tweaked the RAV4 Prime’s suspension for a smoother trip, however we did not discover a big enchancment from the RAV4 Hybrid. It massages out small bumps properly sufficient however acts jittery over harsh pavement. Toyota additionally recalibrated the steering system, nevertheless it feels just about the identical, too. It is simply as uninteresting as it’s within the RAV4 Hybrid.

Many hybrids undergo a mushy brake really feel in comparison with historically powered autos. On the RAV4 Prime, the brakes take somewhat longer to chew down fully, nevertheless it’s one thing we really feel we might get used to over time.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Inside

The inside ought to really feel acquainted when you’re pushed a RAV4 Hybrid. Buttons are neatly laid out on the dashboard, giving the cabin an uncluttered really feel. Massive, grippy knobs assist you to modify the local weather with out taking your eyes off the street. On the decrease middle console, the shifter and cupholders are positioned for simple entry. Like with the RAV4 Hybrid, soft-touch supplies in all places make the cabin really feel extra comfy. The RAV4 advantages from glorious visibility. It is easy to see out the car because of the low home windows and unobtrusive pillars.

Our XSE tester got here with a protracted record of ordinary options, together with plush leatherette seats and ambient lighting. On the tech entrance, there are 5 USB ports and wi-fi telephone charging. This prime trim additionally features a 9-inch touchscreen. On the choices roster, a premium package deal brings alongside a 10-inch head-up show, unique to the Prime. It additionally features a foot-activated tailgate, panoramic moonroof, adaptive headlights, perforated and ventilated entrance seats, and a chook’s eye view digital camera.

With the battery mounted below the ground, the RAV4 Prime has the identical passenger quantity because the RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid. However cargo area suffers modestly. It gives 33.5 cubic ft of area behind the second row and 63.2 with the seats folded, in comparison with 37.5/69.eight cubic ft for its siblings.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Costs and Availability

The RAV4 Prime arrives this July, and will probably be offered in all 50 states. Within the launch yr, Toyota expects to promote 5,000 copies for the U.S. Afterward, 20,000 models are deliberate yearly.

You will get a RAV4 Hybrid for as little as $29,470. However if you’d like a Prime, you will must spend nearly $10,000 extra. Costs begin at $39,220 for the bottom SE mannequin, which is admittedly properly outfitted. The RAV4 Prime XSE begins at $42,545, plus an additional $3,765 if you’d like the Premium package deal. Consider the Prime might be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit score and any relevant state credit, which ought to lighten among the load.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Specs
BASE PRICE $39,220-$42,545
LAYOUT Entrance-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.5L/176-hp/163-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-Four plus 179-hp/199-lb-ft (entrance) + 53-hp/89-lb-ft (rear) electrical motors; 302 hp comb
TRANSMISSION Cont variable auto
CURB WEIGHT 4,250-4,300 lb (MT est)
WHEELBASE 105.9 in
L x W x H 180.9 x 73.Zero x 66.9 in
0-60 MPH 5.7-9.2* sec (mfr est)
EPA FUEL ECON 40/36/38 mpg; 90 mpg-e mixed (est)
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 84/94 kW-hrs/100 miles (est)
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.51 lb/mile (est)
ON SALE Summer time 2020
*9.2 second time is in EV-only mode.



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