You typically wouldn’t look at the Toyota RAV4 and think “performance,” would you? They’re solid, efficient crossovers with four-cylinder engines and hybrid powertrains that offer up to 40 mpg, in the case of the RAV4 Hybrid. These days, though, even the gasoline model offers north of 200 horsepower, as does the electric motor-assisted version. But neither of those are the quickest RAV4 you can buy, thanks to the new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime.
With 302 horsepower, the RAV4 Prime is the quickest version of its crossover Toyota’s ever built. More to the point, it’s one of the quickest Toyotas you can currently buy, at least on paper. In this video, Tommy goes over all the features that come with the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime, which will go on sale this summer at prices starting around $40,000.
Toyota first announced the plug-in RAV4 at last year’s LA Auto Show, and we will have driving impressions on the Prime coming up on July 1, so stay tuned for more updates!
More changes under the skin
Apart from the Prime and plug-in hybrid badging, there’s no visual indication to set the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime apart from its siblings. The key difference is the presence of two “fuel” doors on this model. The one on the driver’s side is for gasoline, and the other is the J1772-compliant charging port. That allows you to charge the RAV4 Prime using either the included 110-volt cable or on a Level 2 AC charger. Toyota has not disclosed exact charging times yet, but we will have a Loveland Trials EV test coming soon to get a better idea of living with the Prime as an everyday vehicle.
Like the RAV4 Hybrid which also offers all-wheel drive capability, the RAV4 Prime has its electric motor in the rear handle power to that axle, while the gasoline engine sends its power to the front. The difference here is that thanks to putting out over 300 horsepower, the combined hybrid system manages to push the Prime from zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds, which easily makes it the quickest crossover in its class.
Once you get to the interior, you get a fairly standard-looking RAV4 treatment. Most of the controls are the same as the standard model or the hybrid, with the exception of some notable buttons on the center stack. You have the option to change between the car’s hybrid and electric modes, as well as the ability to have the gasoline engine charge the battery pack and work out for itself the most efficient way to operate. This SE model offers extremely supportive and comfortable cloth seats, while also featuring heated front and rear outboard seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, USB ports and a 7-inch display screen in the gauge cluster. In short, most of the options you’d need from a RAV4, with the XSE offering more luxurious features.
Check out another video below for a closer behind the scenes look, and tune in on July 1 for driving impressions on the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime!