Current EV

Toyota RAV4 Prime

Plug-in Hybrid


Seats 5

33.5ft3 Cargo


18.1kWh Battery

For years, the RAV4 2-row crossover has been a top-selling model each month in the USA. It has consistently been one of Toyota’s bestselling vehicles, often by a huge margin. In 2019, the RAV4 wasn’t just the world’s best-selling SUV; it was also the 4th best-selling passenger car overall, selling 535,000 units in North America alone. Toyota’s ground-breaking SUV reached a 10M global sales landmark in February of 2020.

In its new Prime, Toyota offers a RAV4 green version that employs a hybrid drivetrain relying on a gas engine and electric motors that draw power from a plug and regenerative braking. reviewer Kelly Lin: “Toyota's biggest strength is its hybrid technology, and in our SUV-obsessed market, the RAV4 Hybrid has overtaken the Prius as the best-selling hybrid in the brand's lineup. The RAV4 Hybrid boasts several advantages over the standard RAV4, including a smoother powertrain and better fuel economy. Now, Toyota is introducing a plug-in version of the RAV4, one that's more powerful, more fuel efficient, and delivers impressive electric range. That makes the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime the crown jewel of the brand's SUV lineup.”

Its 42-mile EV range, its 600-mile total range and relatively low price tag have made the PHEV an instant smash hit. Demand is intense. At the moment, only a handful are available at California dealerships. Those that arrive in the showroom are instantly snapped up.

Due to “unforeseen battery supply constraints,” fewer than expected RAV4 Primes have gotten to the USA. Toyota hopes to get at least 5,000 to the United States through the end of 2020, with 20,000 more made available in 2021. The Primes reaching dealerships right now are being sold, in many cases, for a premium. With the demand enormous, dealerships are marking the cars up as much as $5K to $10K, and customers are paying the inflated prices, no questions asked.

There are 2 Prime trims, SE and XSE, both equipped with All-Wheel Drive and a fully-electric hybrid powertrain. Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system is considered one of the best on the planet. HSD replaces a normal geared transmission with an electromechanical system that uses two separate powerplants – a series of battery-powered electric motors and the car’s gas-driven combustion engine. They can work in tandem to drive the car or be used separately in isolation, depending on driving conditions and/or the driving mode chosen by the driver. Toyota does hybrid powertrains better than anyone else, and it really shows in the RAV4 Prime.

The Japanese automaker has used all the lessons it learned from it Prius hybrid car and applied them to its successful compact-SUV. One has to wonder why it took them so long to do this! They even applied the Prime moniker. No explanation why has been offered. Is it because they “primed” the RAV 4 for electrification? The obvious next step after creating a popular RAV4 PHEV would be stepping up to an all-electric version. Time will tell.

Lithium-ion cells for the Prime’s 18.1-kWh liquid-cooled pack are coming from a newly-formed joint venture between Panasonic and Toyota called Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Inc. Toyota is considered a pioneer and early leader of fuel-efficient hybrids, but for many years it ignored the transition towards EVs. With the industry in full swing now to pure electrics, that outlook has changed. The automaker has stated it wants to sell 5.5M electric vehicles by 2030. Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Inc. will be making all the batteries powering those vehicles.

The RAV4 Prime is one of many transition steps that Toyota will take to reach its 2020 5M EV sales goal. Unlike the two previous generations of RAV4s with plugs (one of them was a collaborative effort with Tesla), the 3rd generation 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid vehicle which sets lots of new standards. The most striking are its 42-mile EPA-Estimated EV Mode Range; a whopping 600-mile EPA-Estimated Total Driving Range; an EPA-Estimated Hybrid Mode MPG city/highway/combined of 40/36/38; and a 94 MPGe EPA rating. Combine these stellar ratings with 3 more facts – the compact SUV comes with scintillating 302 HP; it has what’s considered one of the best drivetrains available in the world; and the base model sells for under $40K – and you’ve got a major winner.

The SE trim starts around $38,100. The XSE trim starts at around $41,425. With a federal tax deduction of $7,500 and a California State Rebate of $1,000, the base SE can be had for under $30K.

Some of the main points that make Prime an exceptional value:

• With its 94MPGe EPA rating, the RAV4 Prime will save you thousands on energy compared to conventionally-powered crossovers in the same size class. says RAV4 Prime drivers will save $2,500 in fuel costs over 5 years compared to the average new vehicle. Your annual Prime fuel cost for electricity and gasoline will be approximately $750.

• Low maintenance costs. Toyota has designed the PHEV to be VERY inexpensive to maintain. 100K mile maintenance costs for the gas engine are estimated to be as low as $600.

• The RAV4 is a Top Safety Pick. As one of Toyota’s flagship vehicles, with enormous family and young driver popularity, its safety ratings are crucial. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have given the RAV4 good marks for crashworthiness. The IIHS even named it a Top Safety Pick for 2020. Toyota has been an aggressive adopter of driver-assistance and safety features. A prodigious list of RAV 4 Prime’s standard safety features are listed below this review. Three of the key ones; automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and standard adaptive cruise control. The plug-in comes with 8 airbags, which include a driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, a driver knee airbag, a front passenger seat-cushion airbag, and front and rear side curtain airbags.

• The vehicle has many features you won’t find in any EV, including Tesla’s Model Y. (See the list below.)

• The car will get many commuters to the office (and home) without using a drop of gasoline. With most owners charging their RAV4 Prime at night, they’ll start off each morning with 42 miles. Consider Prime’s all-EV range of 42 miles a sweet spot similar to what owners of the discontinued Chevrolet Volt experienced; many Volt drivers reported using almost no gas during their entire ownership. This continues to be the case with drivers still operating Volts.

• In Hybrid or Auto modes, the car sprints to 60MPH in under 6 seconds, which is fast for a crossover. Believe it or not, the 2021 RAV4 Prime is speedier than every other car in the current Toyota lineup, except for the Supra! For an SUV, that’s amazing.

• Following extensive test drives, multiple reviewers are saying the RAV4 Prime’s EV miles match up to what’s promised by Toyota and the EPA, and sometimes exceed it. Finding out that your PHEV exceeds both the manufacturer’s range ratings and EPA-tested range ratings is a major bonus!

• The car comes standard with AWD. The rear wheels use their own electric motor; a technology that Toyota has pioneered and perfected to be one of the best in the automotive industry. The e-motor on the rear axle (there are a total of 3 on the vehicle), is part of the PHEV’s standard All Wheel Drive system, which accurately shifts power across all four wheels to ensure optimal traction, handling and performance. The AWD system reduces understeer during cornering to create enhanced steering stability. Off-pavement, when the car is in Trail Mode, AWD enhances hill-climbing performance by braking any spinning wheels and sending torque to the grounding wheel.

• Cargo space is exceptional; a Car and Driver test drive team was able to load in 10 carry-on sized suitcases behind the second row and 22 carry-ons with the rear seat folded.

• For passengers who love bringing along their devices for the ride – tablets and phones – there are 5 USB ports – one USB media port in the front storage tray, and 4 additional USB charge ports (2 in the front center console, and 2 rear-seat ports on the back of the center console). That’s a lot, compared to many new cars that have just one USB port.

• Warranty and maintenance coverage is considered excellent. All RAV4s come with a comprehensive warranty matching what’s provided by rivals Honda and Nissan, but the RAV4 e-models come with a lengthy protection plan for their hybrid components. Hybrid Systems are covered for 96 months/100,000 miles. Hybrid Batteries are covered for 120 months/150,000 miles. Far from the norm, Toyota's complimentary scheduled maintenance policy stretches for two years or 25,000 miles.

• Toyota cars, especially the RAV4, have one of the longest industry legacies of reliability, durability and quality.

Prime SE comes standard with heated front seats, an 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, blind-spot monitoring, a leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob, a power tailgate, a 7.0 inch multi-information display, an 8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system which includes Apple CarPlay integration for your iPhone, Android Auto for compatible Android devices, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and SiriusXM (a 3-month All Access trial is included).

XSE models include a power moonroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, wireless phone charging, ambient lighting, vertical exterior LED lighting accents, black roof, SofTex upholstery, chrome inside handles, and an auto-dimming mirror with integrated garage door opener.

Using a normal 120V outlet, the car’s 3.3-kilowatt onboard charger takes around 12 hours to fully charge the car’s lithium-ion battery. Connecting the car to a 240 volt charger brings the time down to 4.5 hours. Reducing charging time even further can be accomplished with the purchase of the XSE trim’s $3,765 Premium Package, which includes the installation of a 6.6kW onboard charger, supplying a charging time of just 2.5 hours. reviewers say: “You can’t go wrong with any RAV4, really – it’s a very solid crossover all-around. But the Toyota RAV4 Prime is unquestionably the best of the bunch. It’s the most powerful, offers the most range, charges relatively quickly, and, even in the base SE trim, still has a lot of features – not to mention it’s just very nice to drive. The RAV4 Prime is definitely the one to get.”

Quoting reviewer John Goreham: “The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE plug-in hybrid vehicle is impressive on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin.” reviewer William Clavey says: “It’s called the RAV4 Prime, and it's fair to say it's the model's ultimate form; a plug-in hybrid compact CUV that offers 40 mpg and can –somehow – outrun a Subaru WRX in the quarter mile. Customers recognize what Toyota's offering here, too. Demand for the RAV4 Prime is already so intense that dealers in certain states have tried slapping $10,000 markups on it, shenanigans you'd more expect to find surrounding high-hype cars like the new Supra. How’s that for market domination?”

CURRENT EV believes the 2021 RAV4 Prime will be a popular model for the rest of 2020 and long into next year.

Revised May 2021



  • EPA-estimated mileage estimates (hybrid mode mpg city/highway/combined): 40/36/38
  • 2.5-Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder engine with Sport, ECO, Normal, EV, HV, Auto EV/HV, Charge, Trail drive modes; 302 combined net hp; 177 hp @ 6000 rpm; 165 lb.-ft. @ 3600 rpm
  • Electric motor: power output (front/rear) 179/53hp (134/40kW); torque (front/rear) 199/89 lb-ft
  • Battery 355.2V
  • D-4S Dual Injection (direct-injection and port injection) EFI with Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i)
  • Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV)
  • Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
  • 3.3kW onboard charger for SE and XSE trims; 6.6kW onboard charger (XSE option)
  • Lithium-ion battery / 355.2V
  • Reinforced unitized steel body
  • Independent MacPherson strut front suspension with stabilizer bar; multi-link rear suspension with stabilizer bar
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS); power-assisted rack-and-pinion
  • Power-assisted ventilated 12.9-in. front disc brakes; 12.5-in. ventilated rear disc brakes with Star Safety System
  • Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) system with integrated regenerative braking
  • Electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) with sequential shift mode
  • Engine oil cooler, automatic transmission fluid cooler and hybrid system cooler
  • Towing capacity: 2500lbs
  • Basic Warranty: 36 months / 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain: 60 months / 60,000 miles
  • Hybrid System: 96 months / 100,000 miles
  • Hybrid Battery: 120 months / 150,000 miles


  • Dual zone automatic climate control system with dust and pollen filter, and rear-seat vents
  • Backup camera with projected path
  • Bird's Eye View Camera —includes Perimeter Scan, overhead 360-degree view in low-speed Drive and Reverse, and curb view (XSE option package)
  • 10-in. Color Head-Up Display (HUD) with speedometer, navigation arrows and Hybrid System Indicator (XSE option package)
  • Digital speedometer and instrumentation with analog hybrid system indicator, battery level meter and fuel gauge; 7-in. digital Multi-Information Display (MID) with customizable settings, odometer, tripmeters, clock, outside temperature, rear-passenger seatbelt indicators, hybrid energy monitor, battery charge meter, fuel economy information, trip timer, shift-position and scheduled maintenance indicators, and warning messages
  • Fabric-trimmed seats with sporty red stitching and embossed seat inserts; heated front seats; 8-way power-adjustable front driver's seat with lumbar support; 4-way adjustable front passenger seat with seatback pocket
  • SofTex-trimmed seats with sporty red stitching and fabric seat inserts; heated front seats; 8-way power-adjustable front driver's seat with lumbar support and seatback pocket; 4-way adjustable front passenger seat with seatback pocket (XSE option package)
  • 60/40 split reclining fold-flat rear seat with center armrest and cup holders
  • Heated front seating
  • Black carpet flooring with driver-side footrest
  • Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic 3-spoke steering wheel with silver accent and red-stitching; controls for audio, Multi-Information Display (MID), Bluetooth hands-free phone and voice-command; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
  • Turn signal stalk with headlight controls and one-touch 3-blink lane-change turn signals
  • Wiper control stalk with front and rear window wiper controls
  • Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever with red stitching and sequential mode
  • Soft-touch dash and armrests, with red-stitched dash accents
  • Red-accented interior, including red stitching on dash and seat, and black anti-slip in-dash storage trays
  • Black fabric-trimmed headliner
  • Smart Key System on front doors and liftgate with Push Button Start; remote keyless entry with lock, unlock, panic and power liftgate with jam protection functions; and remote illuminated entry
  • Power windows with auto up/down and jam protection in all positions
  • Rear liftgate window defogger
  • Day/night rearview mirror
  • Overhead console with maplights, sunglasses storage and Safety Connect button
  • Sun visors with sliding extensions and illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Center console with covered storage compartment, 2 cup holders, drive mode, Electric Parking Brake (EPB) and automatic Brake Hold controls, and front storage tray
  • Passenger-side glove compartment
  • Rear cargo tonneau cover
  • 5 USB ports—one USB media port in front storage tray, and 4 additional USB charge ports (2 in front center console, and 2 rear-seat ports on the back of center console)
  • One 12V/120W auxiliary power outlet in front instrument panel storage tray, and one 12V/120W auxiliary power outlet in cargo area 
  • Front reading lights, overhead dome light and rear cargo area light
  • Blue ambient illumination for in-dash shelves, center console cup holders and in-front footwells
  • Front door storage pockets with bottle holders
  • 2 front and 2 rear cup holders; 2 front and 2 rear bottle holders
  • Electric Parking Brake (EPB) with Brake Hold feature
  • Multimedia: Audio—8.0-in. touchscreen, 6 speakers, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay & Amazon Alexa compatible, USB media port, 4 USB charge ports, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, and SiriusXM with 3-month All Access trial. Connected Services— Safety Connect with 1-year trial, Wi-Fi Connect with up to 2 GB within 3-month trial.
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0)—Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and Road Sign Assist (RSA)
  • Star Safety System—includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST)
  • 8 airbags—includes driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver knee airbag, front passenger seat-cushion airbag, and front and rear side curtain airbags
  • 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions; driver-side Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) and Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR) on all passenger seatbelts
  • Front and outboard second-row seatbelts with seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) includes lower anchors on outboard rear seats and tether anchors on all rear seats
  • Child-protector rear door locks and power window lockout control
  • Front and rear side-impact door beams
  • Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with direct pressure readout and individual tire location alert
  • Safety Connect – includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification. A one-year trial subscription is included at no additional cost.
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking (PA w/AB)
  • Vehicle Proximity Notification System (VPNS)
  • Trailer-Sway Control (TSC)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Anti-theft system with engine immobilizer


  • Prime SE: 18-in. 5-spoke black-painted and machined sport alloy wheels including temporary spare
  • Prime XSE: 19-in. 5-spoke black-painted and machined sport alloy wheels including temporary spare
  • LED projector headlights with chrome bezels, Automatic High Beams and auto on/off
  • Adaptive Front-Lighting System—LED projector headlights with chrome bezels, automatic level and pan controls, Automatic High Beams and auto on/off
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)/accent lighting
  • Vertical LED accent lights
  • LED taillights and stop lights
  • Black diamond-patterned front grille
  • Color-keyed upper and black-painted lower front bumper, overfenders, rocker panels, and rear bumper with black insert
  • Color-keyed upper and black-painted lower front bumper, overfenders, mirrors, roof, rocker panels, and rear bumper with black insert
  • Two-tone exterior color
  • Silver-painted front lower spoiler
  • Color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with turn signal and blind spot warning indicators, and folding feature
  • Black-painted heated power outside mirrors with turn signal and blind spot warning indicators, and folding feature
  • Color-keyed outside door handles with touch-sensor lock/unlock feature on front doors
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof with one-touch open/close (SE option package)
  • Panoramic glass roof with front power tilt/slide moonroof (XSE option package)
  • Low-profile black roof rails
  • Roof rack cross bars
  • Height-adjustable power liftgate with jam protection
  • Active grille shutters; aerodynamic underbody panels with vortex generators, front and rear wheel spats, and integrated rear spoiler
  • Privacy glass on all rear-side, quarter and liftgate windows
  • Dual chrome-tipped exhaust
  • Acoustic front side windows
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers and intermittent rear window wiper
  • Rain-sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers with de-icer function and intermittent rear window wiper (SE and XSE option package)
  • Color-keyed roof-mounted shark-fin antenna
* Information and statistics pertaining to cars on this page are subject to change.
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