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RAV4 Prime Toyota’s New Plugin SUV

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Written by Marco Carvajal

The new RAV4 2021 year model includes exciting new enhancements and a new hybrid-plugin version available, the RAV4 Prime that I am test driving.  The new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE is a new type of RAV4, just plugin your Prime to your electrical outlet and go places, using less hybrid gasoline energy and more electricity.

The RAV4 Prime is a car of the future, a Plugin Hybrid finally available as part of the 2021 RAV4 lineup. Toyota’s slogan “The ultimate power move” used on the RAV Prime expresses the mission of the Prime Plugin.

New 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Plugin

The new Plugin hybrid RAV4 Prime is available as SE or XSE. Both models offer great performance and a sportier look.  The Prime looks and feels more premium than the regular RAV4

This modern compact SUV represents what many car buyers are looking for, a plugin, hybrid, extremely efficient, economic, compact enough for the city, but enough space to upgrade from a regular car sedan into this small SUV, the Prime has a great design and style, new technologies and amazing performance.

The first-ever 2021 RAV4 Prime is the most powerful RAV4 ever made.  The ticket price is not cheap, with starting MSRP of around $39K to $41K for this futuristic SUV.  However, keep in mind that the RAV4 Prime is not a regular RAV4 it is a Premium Model.

The new Prime is fun and fast, with 302-combined net horsepower, advanced all-wheel drive, and exclusive design features that make it a cut above the rest.

Performace speed from 0-60 mph in a projected 5.7 seconds, makes the RAV4 Prime the fastest four-door car model made by Toyota.

RAV4 Prime more efficiency

The new hybrid plugin technology in the RAV4 Prime, produces an EPA-estimated 42 miles on battery alone on a single charge, making it the highest EV range of any PHEV SUV.  The RAV4 Prime also has up to an EPA-estimated 94 combined MPGe. It is very efficient.

Toyota RAV4

The Rav4 is the founder of the compact SUV segment. Toyota created a small SUV that started a very fast-growing segment for drivers who want a city SUV like the RAV4.  Today. several years after the creation of the RAV4, hybrid versions are taking over and becoming more popular with new car buyers.

The first RAV4 version we know was manufactured about 26 years ago in 1994. This first compact SUV for Toyota has been very successful since its beginning. Markets like Japan, the United States, and the European Union keep buying the Toyota RAV4 and the RAV4 Hybrid is not an exception on the sales success.

The Toyota RAV4 was the first compact SUV made by Toyota.  This small SUV was designed for consumers who wanted a vehicle that had most of the benefits of a regular SUV, such as increased cargo space, greater visibility, and the option of permanent four-wheel drive, along with easy maneuverability and efficient fuel economy similar to a compact car.

The RAV4 means “Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive”, however not all RAV4 are all-wheel drive, wtih most RAV4 4-wheel drive is optional.

The RAV4 is manufactured in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, and it has about 50 percent of its parts are imported from Japan.

There have been several generations and variations in the RAV4, the hybrid models highlight with feature increased performance, fuel efficiency, and a better driving experience using Hybrid technology.  The new Prime is part of the RAV4 5th Generation combining hybrid and plugin technologies.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

RAV4 5th Generation

The new RAV4 was completely redesigned in 2019 creating the 5th Generation RAV4. Its new version comes with more technology, better dynamics, improved design and style, and a higher level of performance.

The new 5th Generation RAV4 is built on a new platform, Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), and two new engines creating better performance and more power.

The RAV4 includes standard compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in all the RAV4 lineup.

The RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid were completely redesigned for 2019 with a better exterior look and a new interior with more technology. Satellite radio is standard throughout the line by 2020, with an optional paid subscription. Some RAV4 hybrids are equipped with premium JBL audio as standard equipment.

The RAV4 attracts people with its unique distinct design combined with a good reasonable price and great hybrid technology.

Toyota won 2019 Japan’s Car of the Year award with its RAV4.

The RAV4 2020 and 2021 include exciting new enhancements and a new plugin version available, the RAV4 Prime that I am test driving.  The plugin electric hybrid RAV4 Prime is a dream come true for Toyota fans who want to drive this car of the future.

Standard Electronic On-Demand All Wheel Drive

The Standard Electronic On-Demand AWD gives us one more reason to love the RAV4 Prime. Using a separate electric motor that powers the rear wheels when needed, the AWD system proactively powers on acceleration startup and also in reduced-traction conditions.  Then when driving off-pavement, AWD enhances hill-climbing performance.

Available in SE and XSE trims, the RAV4 Prime leads with the latest tech and safety features like standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

An available 9″ multimedia touchscreen and available Head-Up Display are optional features to enhance your Prime Drive.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

Engine and Performance 

The RAV4’s first-ever plug-in model has up to 302 horsepower with an ability to do 0-60 mph in a projected 5.7 seconds, which makes it the quickest four-door model in the Toyota lineup. It is a fast premium, sport and extremely efficient using electricity. It has up to an EPA-estimated 42 miles on battery alone on a single charge, making it the highest EV range of any PHEV SUV on the market. The RAV4 Prime also has up to an EPA-estimated 94 combined MPGe.

The standard Electronic On-Demand AWD, the Dynamic Force 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower 4-cylinder engine is paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission. The transmission uses direct-lock up in gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter producing great shifts and better performance.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE Highlights:

  • MPG 40/36/38
  • EPA-estimated 42 miles on battery alone on a single charge
  • EPA-estimated 94 combined MPGe.
  • 2.5L 4-Cyl. Plug-in Hybrid
  • 302-combined net horsepower
  • Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters
  • SofTex-trimmed seats with sporty red stitching and fabric seat insert
  • 8-way power-adjustable front driver’s seat with lumbar support; 4-way adjustable front passenger seat with seatback pocket
  • 18-in. 5-spoke super-chrome-finished sport alloy wheels
  • Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic 3-spoke steering wheel with silver accent and audio controls
  • LED projector headlights with chrome bezels, Automatic High Beams, and auto on/off
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control system with dust and pollen filter, front center vent flow controls, and rear-seat vents
  • Vertical LED accent lights
  • Power Moonroof
  • 9-in. Multi-Information Display (MID)
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • 8 airbags
  • Sirius XM
  • 5 USB Ports (Three located in the front and two in the backseat)
  • Power Back Door
  • Smart Key/Push Button

Trims and Pricing for RAV4

Prime SE

$38,100 Starting MSRP

Prime XSE (the one I am test driving)

$41,425 Starting MSRP

Exterior style

The Prime version is available two-tone exterior paint scheme pairing a black roof with select colors, including the striking new-to-RAV4 Supersonic Red. The exclusive two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic with Ice Edge Roof combination accented by dark gray front and rear lower fascias, and standard front LED fog lights.

Interior style

Standard features include a front-row moonroof and heated 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory and 2-way lumbar support. Optional premium comfort content includes ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a larger, panoramic moonroof. The available hands-free power liftgate opens with a wave of a foot below the rear bumper. The available hands-free power liftgate opens with a wave of a foot below the rear bumper.

Safety Features

Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), standard on all 2021 RAV4 models, groups a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beam (AHB), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Rear Cross-Traffic Braking (RCTB) system are standard on the higher grades, including the RAV4 TRD Off-Road.

Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking (PA w/AB), an additional safety option, includes audible and visual warnings, and in certain conditions may automatically apply the brakes when there is a possibility of contact with a stationary object or vehicle.

RAV4 Prime comes standard with a driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System. Eight airbags total in this safe SUV.


The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is considered the best-selling SUV in the US and in the world. Toyota’s fifth-generation RAV4 has a modern and practical layout and it features a very attractive modern exterior design. The new RAV4 Prime is especially appreciated for its power, speed and economy. It is equally suited for different types of roads and terrain something difficult to find in a plugin vehicle.  Priced around $40K is not the most economic SUV, but it is worth it is value with all the new technology, features, performance, and style you receive with this premium RAV4.

The RAV4 Prime includes sportiness and comfort, the RAV4 Prime also gives all the CUV-style features and practicality you can ask for. Toyota engineered the new 2021 RAV4 Prime for the performance-oriented driver who wants the premium style and a very fast hybrid electric plugin compact SUV.

2021 Rav4 Prime

The post RAV4 Prime Toyota’s New Plugin SUV appeared first on AutomotorPro.com.

Follow Marco Carvajal:
Marco Carvajal has many years of experience in the editorial world, in the entertainment industry including events, cars, music and other fields. He also has wide experience in business, e-business and e-commerce. He is actively involved in the development of AutomotorPro.com and other affiliated car publications, from marketing and business management, to the editorial department as a contributing writer and editor for other writers. His passion for automobiles, travel and art, supports the development of AutomotorPro.com in an original and unique way, as a leader in the automobile editorial industry, nationwide in the United States and international territories. Marco graduated from the University of Miami, in addition to additional studies at other universities and institutions. In the field of business, he has created several enterprises and multinational projects related to publishing and entertainment. As a writer, the number one goal for Marco Carvajal is to be able to communicate clear information easy to understand for our subscribers, in an easy language, very detailed, about automobiles and lifestyle. He also likes to show a different perspective, with innovative style, about the information and characteristics of each car, mostly oriented to the daily life, about what each person may want learn about each car, thinking on the practical daily use of cars in real life. Marco Carvajal tiene muchísimos años de experiencia en el mundo editorial, en la industria del entretenimiento incluyendo eventos, autos, música y otros, así como gran experiencia en los negocios, e-business y e-commerce. Se envuelve activamente en el desarrollo de AutomotorPro.com, desde aspectos de mercadeo y manejo de negocios, hasta el departamento editorial donde también escribe y edita artículos de otros escritores. Su pasión por los autos, viajar y el arte, le ayudan a AutomotorPro.com a desarrollarse de una forma original y única, como un líder en la industria editorial automotriz a nivel nacional en Estados Unidos y otros territorios internacionales. Marco se graduó de la Universidad de Miami, además de haber realizado estudios y cursos en otras universidades e instituciones. En el área de negocio ha fundado varias empresas y creado varios proyectos multinacionales en el área editorial y del entretenimiento. Como escritor, la meta número uno de Marco Carvajal es lograr transmitir información sobre automóviles fácil de entender para los lectores, en un idioma sencillo, los más detallada posible. Además de lograr mostrar un lado diferente e innovador sobre la información y características de cada auto, principalmente orientado a lo cotidiano, a lo que cada persona puede aprender sobre cada automóvil, pensando en la vida diaria, en el uso de cada auto en la vida práctica.
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