Do not feel that gasoline-electric powered vehicles are just about anything but tedious and sluggish? Well, it’s time to modify your tune, for the reason that the RAV4 Primary is the next-fastest Toyota just after the Supra sports automobile. With 302 horsepower on faucet, this plug-in hybrid SUV can zip from a standstill to sixty mph in as minor as five.seven seconds, a time that is legitimately swift. And many thanks to ample low-stop electric powered torque, it feels even fleeter.

Providing that potent general performance is a 2.five-liter four-cylinder motor, an Atkinson-cycle device borrowed from the RAV4 Hybrid but retuned for Primary time. With out likely also significantly into the complex weeds, it’s augmented by a trio of electric powered motor-generators, two in the front transaxle assembly, and a 3rd at the rear. The latter gives on-need all-wheel push by turning the aft tires. Serving as an electron reservoir is an eighteen.one-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, mounted under the most important-cabin flooring in a way that does not detract from passenger area. It can be cooled applying air-conditioning refrigerant and is backed by a ten-year/a hundred and fifty,000-mile warranty. Drivers are even further shielded from maintenance expenses by a individual, eight-year/one hundred,000-mile assurance that covers other hybrid parts.

That generously sized battery aids deliver a preliminary EPA effectiveness ranking of ninety four miles for each gallon equal (MPGe) and an electric powered-only vary estimated at 42 miles. Driving it cautiously and with the weather control off a excellent portion of the time, I managed to coax 45 miles out of the RAV4 Primary while operating only on electrons. Honestly, I expected a minor additional thinking of I was driving fairly conservatively and the circumstances had been best, with temps in the upper 70s. Nevertheless, Toyota has delivered on its vary guarantee.

As for effectiveness, operating this auto about 50% on electrical energy and then 50% on gasoline at the time the battery pack was depleted, I averaged an indicated 45.3 mpg, even though that figure is potentially deceptive for the reason that true-planet financial state is dependent considerably on the ratio involving individuals two working modes. If, for instance, you push 50 miles and 42 of them are all electric powered, the typical gas financial state is likely to be a lot bigger than if you take a 600-mile street vacation burning fossil gas the total way.

The times, they are a-chargin’

Hook the RAV4 Primary up to an standard one hundred twenty-volt home outlet, and it usually takes around twelve hrs to absolutely replenish the battery pack. Plug it in to a 240-volt line with sixteen amps of juice, and that time drops to around four.five hrs. Nevertheless, if that is not fast adequate, XSE products with the quality package deal (a $3,765 upcharge, which also involves the $815 weather package deal and the $one,620 audio package deal) can recharge in as minor as 2.five hrs if you have access to a 6.6-kilowatt, 240-volt outlet.

As public charging stations become additional and additional common, it will be easier and easier to are living with an electric powered auto.


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Just after depleting the battery for the duration of tests, I located a nearby ChargePoint public station. Hooked to a Degree 2 outlet operating at 6.6 kW, the auto received 13 miles of EV vary just after about 45 minutes of charging, proper in line with Toyota’s 2.five-hour assert.

Regardless of essentially inventing the modern day hybrid, this is Toyota’s very first plug-in SUV. There is no scarcity of very similar crossover SUV products accessible nowadays, but they’re primarily at the upper stop of the sector. There aren’t also lots of immediate competition to the RAV4 Primary. Subaru’s Crosstrek is 1, but it only provides 17 miles of electric powered vary. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is yet another, with an advertised 22 miles of juice. It can be conceivable you may well cross-shop this Toyota with plug-in versions of the Kia Niro or even the Chrysler Pacifica, but none of these are a best match, possibly. Truly, this RAV4’s number-1 rival is the new Ford Escape PHEV, which provides a little fewer electric powered vary at 37 miles and has around ninety three fewer horsepower, but at the very least it’s a touch additional economical at one hundred MPGe.

Forceful but delicate-mannered

Driving the RAV4 Primary purely on electrical energy is a good knowledge. It can be punchy, sleek and just about silent. As with other EVs, there’s tons of low-stop torque, which helps make this Toyota leap off the line when you nail the accelerator. Its enthusiasm does wane at bigger speeds, but its general performance is nonetheless good, equipped to hit sixty mph in around nine.2 seconds. However, this vehicle’s general performance shines most when driven as a hybrid. Throw that inner-combustion motor into the blend and this RAV4’s sprinting qualities boost by leaps and bounds, with its -to-sixty-mph time dropping by just about forty%.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Powerful and economical, what additional could you check with for?


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When navigating corners, the Primary feels like it has a touch additional entire body roll than the RAV4 TRD I reviewed a short while ago. This is probably for the reason that of its softer ride, which is partly because of to masses of additional excess weight. At about four,three hundred pounds in XSE trim, this auto is around 500 pounds heavier than the bulkiest RAV4 Hybrid, many thanks to its a lot larger sized battery pack. To accommodate that added mass, the vehicle’s chassis has been retuned. The steering is gentle to the touch, even though it’s not as crisp as in other RAV4s. The Primary is, even so, incredibly peaceful within many thanks to laminated front aspect glass and added audio deadening, alterations that make for a serene driving knowledge. Braking come to feel is also praiseworthy. This plug-in SUV’s pedal has pleasant excess weight to it and is easy to modulate, with no discernible weirdness when transitioning from regenerative to friction braking.

A comfortable and multipurpose interior

Inside the RAV4 Primary, there’s not a lot to get psyched about, and that is a excellent matter. Just like the non-plug-in design, this Toyota’s cabin is 1 of the greater offerings in this phase, remaining attractively designed and created of good quality products. My XSE tester is even further gussied up with crimson stitching on the door panels, dashboard and in other places, plus the seats are lined in SofTex imitation leather-based, which not only feels pleasant but helps make a convincing argument that cow hides aren’t important.

As in additional run-of-the-mill RAV4s, the Prime’s rear seat is generously portioned and fairly comfortable, with excellent assist, plus a lot of area for knees and noggins. A pair of 2.one-amp USB-A ports serve riders relegated to the back again, even though the auto is equipped with a total of five such shops, plus XSE products attribute Qi wi-fi charging, so nobody’s cellphone has to go without juice.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

This Toyota’s infotainment method is fairly middling, but the substantial screen is obvious, bright and easy to attain.


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When it’s time to make an Ikea run for a load of marginal good quality, affordably priced, flat-packed household furniture, the RAV4 Primary helps make an great schlepper. It provides 33.five cubic feet of hauling area behind the next-row seat, a figure that grows to a claimed 63.2 when the backrests are dropped. These figures are a little behind what the typical RAV4 and its hybrid counterpart supply. They both max out at sixty nine.eight cubes. All in, the Primary nonetheless provides a couple of additional cubic feet of area than the Escape plug-in.

Though there’s a lot to like about the Prime’s interior, a couple of factors could be improved. The chicklet-like weather control buttons are only also small to very easily manipulate while driving, and some of the switches on the steering wheel come to feel extremely cheap. 

Technological know-how bonanza

On that notice, I’m not likely to even further bludgeon a deceased equine, but as I have talked about lots of times prior to, I have a tendency to discover Toyota’s multimedia offerings to be unattractive and illogical, and that is regretably nonetheless correct in the RAV4 Primary XSE. But it’s not all poor news.

This infotainment method is at the very least fast, and the pill-style nine-inch screen it’s splashed throughout is huge and easy to attain, as it’s mounted significant on the dashboard. Lower-stop SE products attribute an eight-incher. With all that display true estate, Apple CarPlay (which, alongside with Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility comes typical) is super easy to use, showing up pleasant and massive.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

The RAV4 Primary provides a lot of features and facilities. 


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If you nonetheless need to have additional screens in your life, never fret, for the reason that all Primary products attribute a reconfigurable seven-inch display nestled in the gauge cluster. It can be obvious and easy adequate to cycle by the different menus for factors like gas financial state and the vacation odometer. If that is not adequate, XSE products can even be equipped with a ten-inch colour head-up display, which initiatives applicable driving info onto the windshield. This product is bundled with the $3,765 quality package deal, which also will get you the aforementioned 6.6-kW charger, ventilated front seats and an great electronic rearview mirror. The latter features but yet another screen behind the glass wherever a video feed from the reversing digital camera is displayed to deliver a a lot broader field of check out behind the auto.

That package deal also incorporates a 360-degree digital camera method, which can be handy for certain parking cases — in idea at the very least. For some cause, this attribute, and even the RAV4’s typical reversing digital camera, are appallingly poor, super gritty and tricky to see on the infotainment screen. This is significantly unusual for the reason that the electronic rearview mirror, which is accessible on XSE products, looks good, offering a obvious, crisp image.

When it comes to highly developed driver aids, Toyota Basic safety Sense 2. is typical equipment on the RAV4 Primary, bringing factors like automated crisis braking and street-sign recognition to the table. Lane-retaining help is bundled, also, and works fairly very well, even if it feels a little bit comfortable-handed. It would not lock you into the center of the lane fairly as strongly as competing techniques do, ensuing in additional wandering. You also get adaptive cruise control, even though it’s alternatively middling. On the freeway, it’s good, seamlessly adjusting auto pace to match bordering vehicles, but in stop-and-go targeted traffic it can be fairly jerky.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Like other associates of the RAV4 family members, the Primary design is fairly handsome. 


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Pounds and (popular) sense

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is slated to commence arriving at dealerships in all 50 states later this thirty day period. Maintaining factors basic, it will be made available in two trims: SE and XSE. My best-shelf tester arrived equipped with all 3 accessible possibilities deals, factors that inflate its price tag tag to proper around $forty nine,000 which include $one,one hundred twenty in shipping fees. That is a steep price tag to shell out for what is a mainstream compact crossover SUV, even so, that figure does not contain any prospective discounts. The RAV4 Primary might be qualified for up to $seven,500 in federal tax credits, plus other discounts made available by person states. Of training course, you can save a massive chunk of modify by having an SE design. They kick off proper around $39,195. That is nonetheless a little bit pricier than Ford’s entry-amount Escape plug-in hybrid, which commences at approximately 35 grand, but the RAV4 does have additional electric power and a nicer interior, plus  Toyota enjoys a greater reputation for extensive-expression good quality and resale worth.

Punchy and economical, the Primary is very easily my pick of present day RAV4 litter. The addition of a plug-in hybrid powertrain has created a excellent SUV even greater. If you can handle the upcharge, this is the RAV4 to get.