Having driven the 2019 Toyota RAV4, I can definitively say it’s a Good Car. It’s comfortable, utilitarian and good at just being a car. That said, with 203 horsepower, it was a little underpowered. Clearly, Toyota aware of the issue, because the all-new, 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid now makes 302 HP. YOU GUYS. I never thought I’d see the day.
It has been suggested (by this website, no less) that 300 HP is the perfect amount of power. For something like a McLaren, the figure is laughable. But for a RAV4? It’s damn-near unheard of.
Toyota knows what big news this is, too. Its press release smugly calls out the 3.5-liter V6 that was offered in the 2006 to 2012 RAV4. That motor, despite being bigger in displacement and with more cylinders, only made 269 HP and had a combined MPG fuel economy rating of 21 highway and city.
The RAV4 Prime uses a tuned version of the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine. Combined with the electric motors, total system output is 302 HP, sent to all four wheels. It’s a plug-in hybrid and has an all-electric mode with an estimated range of 39 miles, which is very impressive. The combined fuel economy rating comes to a manufacturer-estimated 90 MPGe. Zero to 60 mph happens in a claimed 5.8 seconds.
The RAV4 Prime will be offered in SE and XSE trims. The SE is the sporty one and the XSE the more luxurious one with 19-inch wheels. In both trims, though, cabin space isn’t sacrificed by the bigger lithium-ion battery because it’s mounted beneath the floor. That means the RAV4 Prime also has a lower center of gravity.
The car also comes standard with a bunch of safety features, such as radar cruise control, automatic high beams, road sign assist and pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
No pricing was announced at this time, but it’ll probably be the range-topping RAV4. Currently, the RAV4 Hybrid starts at $28,100. Expect the RAV4 Prime to be a little more expensive than that.
The RAV4 Prime now joins the Camry, Avalon and Supra as Toyota models that can make over 300 HP. What a time to be alive.