New RAV4 Prime will cost about $10,000 more than RAV4 Hybrid, $1,000 more than Highlander Hybrid
2021 RAV4 Prime about $3,000 more than Outlander PHEV
Plug-in hybrid SUV to offer 302 horsepower and 42 miles of pure electric range (67 kilometres)
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime will be priced at $39,220 US when it goes on sale this summer. The price includes a destination charge for $1,120.
Although Canadian pricing for the new RAV4 Prime plug-in SUV hasn’t been announced yet, converting the US pricing would put it at roughly $54,000.
We’ll get back to that in a second, but first let’s talk about the specs. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime features a plug-in hybrid engine that pairs a 2.5-litre, Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine to two motor generators and a 17.8-kWh battery. The larger battery has enough juice to power the RAV4 Prime over 42 miles, or 67 kilometres.
*Update: the Toyota RAV4 Prime launched in Japan with an 18.1 kWh battery. At time of writing it’s unclear if the same battery will be offered on the North American RAV4 Prime.
The hybrid engine develops 302 horsepower and powers the 2021 RAV4 Prime to 100 km/h in about 6.0 seconds and 60 mph in 5.7 seconds.
The specs are impressive, no doubt about it. The price is certainly representative of those specs, however.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is roughly $10,000 more than a RAV4 Hybrid and $1,000 more than a Highlander Hybrid. Those two can’t drive more than a few metres on electric power alone, sure, but will consumers feel the price difference needed to step up to the Prime is justified?
On the one hand, the RAV4 Prime’s range is very impressive. It may be $3,000 more than the Outlander PHEV, but it almost doubles the all-electric range.
Moreover, the power and performance difference between the RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime certainly explains the gap in pricing. The 2021 RAV4 Prime is kind of in uncharted territory. It doesn’t really have any competition except maybe the German compact plug-in SUVs (Mercedes-Benz GLC 530e, Audi Q5 TSFIe) and even they can’t match its range.
The bigger question is how much the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime will cost in Canada. Converting the US price gives us $54,000 which would make the RAV4 Prime ineligible for Federal government rebates.
We think Toyota Canada will price the RAV4 Prime base model near the $45,000 mark to be eligible for an iZEV rebate. The rebate would then apply to higher trims as well as long as they are priced below $55,000. That would align the RAV4 Prime’s Canadian pricing with the Highlander Hybrid, like in the US.
Because it’s battery’s capacity is superior to 15.0 kWh, the RAV4 Prime will get the full $5,000 rebate from Canada and the maximum provincial rebate in Quebec and British Columbia.