2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Review

RAV4 Prime

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2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Overview

Toyota introduces the RAV4 Prime for 2021. You might recognize the “Prime” from the Prius family, where it represents the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version. That’s also the case for the RAV4 Prime. It sits at the top of the RAV4 family, where it's the most fuel-efficient and powerful trim.

Under the RAV4 Prime’s hood sits a familiar 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine. Paired with electric motors and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the system makes a combined 302 horsepower. All RAV4 Primes have all-wheel drive (AWD), using a separate motor to power the rear axle for additional traction and power when needed.

While full performance and efficiency specifications aren’t available, the numbers you need to remember are 39 miles of all-electric range, 5.8 seconds to 60 mph, and 90 MPGe combined. Helping the RAV4 Prime achieve those numbers is the Predictive Efficient Drive system, which reads the road and learns driver patterns to optimize efficiency.

The RAV4 Prime comes in SE and XSE trims. The SE trim kicks things off with 18-inch wheels, keyless access and start, piano-black exterior accents, an 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, a 7-inch instrument panel LCD, a leather steering wheel, a power liftgate, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. You can tack on a Weather & Moonroof package, which gets you a moonroof, a heated steering wheel, heated rear outboard seats, a windshield wiper de-icer, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

The XSE comes with even more great content: a bold two-tone paint scheme seen on other RAV4 trims, 19-inch wheels, vertical LED accents, paddle shifters, a moonroof, leatherette upholstery, a garage-door opener, and a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen, the largest ever offered in a RAV4. The Premium Audio package gets you dynamic navigation and a JBL audio system. The Premium Package includes that audio upgrade as well as ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a panoramic moonroof, keyless access on all 5 doors, a hands-free power liftgate, and the first head-up display offered in a RAV4. Adaptive front lighting is also an option.

The RAV4 Prime, like all RAV4 trims, comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 standard. It bundles a reversing camera, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-tracing assist, automatic high beams, and road-sign assist. The XSE Premium package throws in rear cross-traffic braking, front and rear parking assist with automated braking, a surround-view camera, and a digital rear-view mirror. The structurally similar, gasoline-only RAV4 won a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The Toyota RAV4 family was already well-rounded, but the new plug-in hybrid RAV4 Prime takes things to the next level. Not only is it a new benchmark for performance and efficiency for the RAV4, but it’s also a big step for crossovers everywhere. Look for new information regarding gas efficiency, charging times, and pricing ahead of the model’s Summer 2020 debut.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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