Thursday, August 5, 2021
Auto Shows & Events New 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime: A 302-hp Super SUV Breaks Cover In...

New 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime: A 302-hp Super SUV Breaks Cover In LA

Toyota is pulling out all the stops with the new 2021 Toyota RAV4 PHEV.


  • 302-horsepower PHEV
  • 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds (about 6 seconds flat to 100 km/h)
  • 60-km 100% EV range on a full charge
  • Most fuel-efficient RAV4 ever at estimated 2.6 Le/100 km
  • Arrives next summer

This is a prime (pun intended) example of what happens when Toyota decides to roll up their sleeves and deliver a serious blow to all would-be competitors. The new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is not only the most efficient SUV in its segment but has also entered the rarified air of the most powerful and quickest. Kind of nuts when you think about it.

The new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is the plug-in hybrid version of the current RAV4 hybrid, which we are huge fans of. Plug-in hybrid limitations and issues aside (we’ve touched on this in nearly all our reviews on existing PHEVs), the new RAV4 combines petrol power, a rear electric motor and a decent-sized battery for a combined best-of-all-worlds driving experience.

The RAV4 Prime relies on the RAV4 Hybrid’s 2.5-litre 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, albeit a revised version. It generates the same 176 horsepower as the hybrid, but its 168 lb.-ft. of torque (5 more than the hybrid) comes in at a lower 2,800 rpm.

The powerful motor-generators are fed by a newly developed high-capacity 17.8 kWh Lithium-Ion battery. All told, the electrified elements provide an extra 83 horsepower for a grand system total of 302-horsepower.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime was engineered for performance hence why it will be offered in SE and XSE trims. Standard features are numerous and include 18-inch wheels, revised front and rear fascias, power driver seat, 7-inch display and loads more. The XSE gains 19-inch wheels, a two-tone paint job, an 8-inch screen and a suit of other luxury elements. From here, an available Premium Package really ups the ante with paddle shifters, perforated and ventilated SofTex front seats, and so on.

All that remains is pricing. Given the level of kit and technology, we suspect the SE will start in the $48,000 range, or about $5,000 more than the RAV4 Hybrid Limited. The XSE will surely cross the $50,000 mark (another first for the RAV4) with the Premium package adding a further $2,000. For comparison, the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GT S-AWC starts at $51,498.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime – Toyota

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime – Toyota

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime – Toyota

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime – Toyota

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime – Toyota

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime – Toyota

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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