2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE 3

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime: Is This New Plug-In Hybrid Right for You?

  • The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime delivers over 40 miles of all-electric range.
  • Two trim levels are available and all-wheel drive is standard for both.
  • Buyers might qualify for extra incentives depending on where they live.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime arrives this summer as the first plug-in version of the popular SUV. Toyota designed the RAV4 Prime around the ideas of efficiency and performance while keeping passenger comfort in mind. Since the RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

While shopping for any vehicle, it is beneficial to understand your options and what each of them entails. Our goal is to help you feel more comfortable with the technology, features, and upgrades available for the 2021 RAV4 Prime. That said, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of the new RAV4 Prime.

Gas Mileage of The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime 

EPA ratings for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime come in at 40/36 city/highway and 38 combined with an MPGe of 94. The all-electric driving range is 42 miles, with a total cruising range of 600 miles.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Charging Times

The new RAV4 Prime features a 3.3 kW on-board charger, although a 6.6 kW unit is optional on the XSE.

Using a standard, at-home 120V outlet (12 amps), the RAV4 Prime will reach a full charge in about 12 hours with the 3.3 kW charger. A 240V outlet (16 amps) will cut that time down to about 4.5 hours. The 6.6 kW unit on the XSE can do the job in 2.5 hours with a 240V outlet (32 amps).

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE plug-in charger.
Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Does The RAV4 Prime Have AWD? 

As a matter of fact, it does! Using a separate rear-mounted electric motor, the RAV4’s all-wheel drive system powers the rear wheels automatically when needed. All-wheel drive (AWD) provides more grip during acceleration; it helps you navigate sharper turns and, perhaps most notably, is beneficial in bad weather. As we know well in Michigan, icy and snowy conditions are challenging to maneuver through.

While AWD won’t solve every problem, it can provide better traction to relieve some of the stress while driving during the winter.

Toyota says the RAV4 Prime can handle mild-off roading and hill climbing. If you happen to find yourself stuck or spinning your wheels, the driver-selectable Trail mode sends torque to the wheels with the most traction. If you really want to head into the high country, Toyota does make an off-road model of the RAV4, a vehicle we really enjoyed driving recently

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

What Engine Does The RAV4 Prime Have? 

Because it is a hybrid, the RAV4 Prime employs a multifaceted approach for its powertrain. Toyota uses an Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter four-cylinder (176 horsepower) alongside the electric motors and Lithium-Ion battery. The combination does the heavy lifting, ultimately producing a total system output of 302 horsepower. You wouldn’t think of a vehicle like this as speedy, but the RAV4 Prime can hit 60 mph in less than six seconds. 

Toyota reduces strain on the hybrid system through an upgraded HVAC system to increase the RAV4 Prime’s driving range. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Safety Features

The RAV4 Prime comes with Toyota Safety Sense. The standard package includes:

  • Road Sign Assist (RSA)
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
  • Automatic High Beam (AHB)
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)

The XSE Premium Package adds Rear Cross Traffic Braking and Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

RAV4 Prime Trim Levels

There are two trim levels available, the SE and the XSE. 

The SE includes 18-inch alloy wheels, black exterior accents, heated seats, seven-inch multi-information display, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob with red accent stitching, and an eight-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. Also included in the SE is a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and 3 kW on-board charger. 

The optional Weather & Moonroof Package ($1,665) comes with a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and rain-sensing windshield wipers with de-icer function.

XSE models include an available two-tone paint that pairs a black roof with different colors including a new Supersonic Red. The two-tone theme carries over to the 19-inch alloy wheels which complement the vertical LED accent lights. Moving to the interior, drivers will find SofTex seats, ambient lighting, a moonroof, and a Qi-wireless phone charger. 

The XSE’s standard audio plus system comes with a nine-inch touchscreen. If you want more, Toyota offers a Premium Audio package that includes Dynamic Navigation for three years and a JBL stereo.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE interior layout.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE interior layout. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

More Options & Pricing

Now that you have a general overview of the RAV4 Prime, we will outline some of the more specific packages and what they include below. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE starts at $38,100 while the XSE begins at $41,425. Add on another $1,120 for destination.

You may also qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit. Individual states have additional incentives that can either be applied at the time of purchase or via a rebate program, depending on where you live.

Emily Pruitt is fascinated by the current changes in the automotive industry, from electric cars and infrastructure, to fully autonomous vehicles. Outside of the automotive world, she can be found writing poetry or unraveling the latest mystery novel.

XSE Available Options

  • Weather Package ($815)
    • Heated Steering Wheel
    • Heated Rear Outboard Seats
    • Rain Sensing Wipers w/Wiper De-Icer
  • Weather and Audio Package ($2,435)
    • Weather package plus:
      • JBL Premium Audio
      • Dynamic Navigation with 3 year trial
      • Destination Assist with 1 year trial
  • Weather with Audio and Premium Package ($5,760)
    • Weather and Audio package plus:
      • AC (6.6kW) Enhanced Charger
      • Digital Rearview Mirror
      • 120V/1500W AC power outlet in the cargo area
      • Panoramic Moonroof
      • Kick-Type Power Back Door
      • SofTex-trimmed seats with sporty red accents and stitching
      • Bird’s Eye View Camera
      • 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat with seatback pocket
      • Smart Key System on all doors
      • Perforated Heated & Ventilated Front Seats
      • Parking Assist with Automatic Braking
      • Adaptive Front Headlight System
      • Head-Up Display

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE Gallery

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE Gallery

Photos & Source: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.