April 20, 2024


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2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime first drive review: High performance, low consumption

Never feel that gasoline-electrical cars are anything but monotonous and sluggish? Nicely, it really is time to improve your tune, since the RAV4 Prime is the 2nd-quickest Toyota immediately after the Supra sporting activities auto. With 302 horsepower on tap, this plug-in hybrid SUV can zip from a standstill to 60 mph in as very little as five.seven seconds, a time that is legitimately swift. And many thanks to enough small-conclude electrical torque, it feels even fleeter.

Providing that robust efficiency is a 2.five-liter 4-cylinder motor, an Atkinson-cycle device borrowed from the RAV4 Hybrid but retuned for Prime time. With no going way too considerably into the complex weeds, it really is augmented by a trio of electrical motor-turbines, two in the entrance transaxle assembly, and a third at the rear. The latter delivers on-need all-wheel drive by turning the aft tires. Serving as an electron reservoir is an eighteen.one-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, mounted under the major-cabin ground in a way that does not detract from passenger house. It really is cooled working with air-conditioning refrigerant and is backed by a ten-calendar year/150,000-mile guarantee. Drivers are more shielded from fix charges by a individual, eight-calendar year/100,000-mile warranty that addresses other hybrid parts.

That generously sized battery helps provide a preliminary EPA efficiency score of 94 miles for every gallon equal (MPGe) and an electrical-only vary estimated at 42 miles. Driving it carefully and with the local climate management off a great portion of the time, I managed to coax forty five miles out of the RAV4 Prime when operating solely on electrons. Truthfully, I expected a very little a lot more thinking of I was driving really conservatively and the situations ended up perfect, with temps in the upper 70s. Still, Toyota has delivered on its vary guarantee.

As for efficiency, operating this motor vehicle about 50% on energy and then 50% on gasoline the moment the battery pack was depleted, I averaged an indicated forty five.three mpg, though that figure is most likely deceptive since authentic-globe financial state is dependent drastically on the ratio among these two working modes. If, for instance, you drive 50 miles and 42 of them are all electrical, the ordinary gasoline financial state is going to be significantly larger than if you get a 600-mile highway trip burning fossil gasoline the complete way.

The occasions, they are a-chargin’

Hook the RAV4 Prime up to an ordinary one hundred twenty-volt residence outlet, and it normally takes about 12 hours to entirely replenish the battery pack. Plug it in to a 240-volt line with sixteen amps of juice, and that time drops to about four.five hours. Still, if that is not speedy adequate, XSE styles with the quality deal (a $three,765 upcharge, which also involves the $815 weather conditions deal and the $one,620 audio deal) can recharge in as very little as 2.five hours if you have accessibility to a six.six-kilowatt, 240-volt outlet.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

As community charging stations come to be a lot more and a lot more widespread, it will be a lot easier and a lot easier to reside with an electrical motor vehicle.

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Immediately after depleting the battery during tests, I found a nearby ChargePoint public station. Hooked to a Level 2 outlet operating at six.six kW, the motor vehicle obtained thirteen miles of EV vary immediately after about forty five minutes of charging, proper in line with Toyota’s 2.five-hour declare.

Despite in essence inventing the contemporary hybrid, this is Toyota’s to start with plug-in SUV. There is no scarcity of equivalent crossover SUV styles available currently, but they’re primarily at the upper conclude of the market place. There usually are not way too numerous immediate opponents to the RAV4 Prime. Subaru’s Crosstrek is one particular, but it only offers 17 miles of electrical vary. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a further, with an advertised 22 miles of juice. It really is conceivable you may cross-shop this Toyota with plug-in variations of the Kia Niro or even the Chrysler Pacifica, but none of these are a perfect in shape, both. Definitely, this RAV4’s number-one particular rival is the new Ford Escape PHEV, which offers somewhat a lot less electrical vary at 37 miles and has about ninety three a lot less horsepower, but at the very least it really is a contact a lot more productive at 100 MPGe.

Forceful still delicate-mannered

Driving the RAV4 Prime purely on energy is a great experience. It really is punchy, easy and approximately silent. As with other EVs, there is tons of small-conclude torque, which makes this Toyota leap off the line when you nail the accelerator. Its enthusiasm does wane at larger speeds, but its efficiency is even now solid, in a position to hit 60 mph in about 9.2 seconds. However, this vehicle’s efficiency shines most when pushed as a hybrid. Toss that inner-combustion motor into the mix and this RAV4’s sprinting talents make improvements to by leaps and bounds, with its -to-60-mph time dropping by approximately 40%.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Powerful and productive, what a lot more could you check with for?

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When navigating corners, the Prime feels like it has a contact a lot more body roll than the RAV4 TRD I reviewed recently. This is most likely since of its softer ride, which is partly due to hundreds of extra bodyweight. At about four,three hundred lbs . in XSE trim, this motor vehicle is about 500 lbs . heavier than the bulkiest RAV4 Hybrid, many thanks to its significantly more substantial battery pack. To accommodate that added mass, the vehicle’s chassis has been retuned. The steering is gentle to the contact, though it really is not as crisp as in other RAV4s. The Prime is, on the other hand, extremely peaceful inside many thanks to laminated entrance aspect glass and added audio deadening, alterations that make for a serene driving experience. Braking feel is also praiseworthy. This plug-in SUV’s pedal has pleasant bodyweight to it and is straightforward to modulate, with no discernible weirdness when transitioning from regenerative to friction braking.

A comfortable and multipurpose interior

Inside of the RAV4 Prime, there is not significantly to get enthusiastic about, and that is a great detail. Just like the non-plug-in model, this Toyota’s cabin is one particular of the greater offerings in this segment, currently being attractively intended and made of top quality materials. My XSE tester is more gussied up with crimson stitching on the door panels, dashboard and somewhere else, additionally the seats are lined in SofTex imitation leather-based, which not only feels pleasant but makes a convincing argument that cow hides usually are not needed.

As in a lot more operate-of-the-mill RAV4s, the Prime’s rear seat is generously portioned and really comfortable, with great aid, additionally lots of house for knees and noggins. A pair of 2.one-amp USB-A ports provide riders relegated to the back, though the motor vehicle is equipped with a overall of five these retailers, additionally XSE styles element Qi wireless charging, so nobody’s telephone has to go devoid of juice.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

This Toyota’s infotainment process is pretty middling, but the substantial display is crystal clear, shiny and straightforward to reach.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

When it really is time to make an Ikea operate for a load of marginal top quality, affordably priced, flat-packed furniture, the RAV4 Prime makes an fantastic schlepper. It offers 33.five cubic feet of hauling house driving the 2nd-row seat, a figure that grows to a claimed 63.2 when the backrests are dropped. These figures are somewhat driving what the normal RAV4 and its hybrid counterpart present. They equally max out at sixty nine.eight cubes. All in, the Prime even now offers a few a lot more cubic feet of house than the Escape plug-in.

When there is lots to like about the Prime’s interior, a few issues could be improved. The chicklet-like local climate management buttons are basically way too compact to simply manipulate when driving, and some of the switches on the steering wheel feel amazingly low-priced. 

Technology bonanza

On that notice, I am not going to more bludgeon a deceased equine, but as I’ve outlined numerous occasions in advance of, I have a tendency to come across Toyota’s multimedia offerings to be unattractive and illogical, and that is unfortunately even now true in the RAV4 Prime XSE. But it really is not all negative information.

This infotainment process is at the very least speedy, and the tablet-design 9-inch display it really is splashed throughout is massive and straightforward to reach, as it really is mounted higher on the dashboard. Reduced-conclude SE styles element an eight-incher. With all that screen authentic estate, Apple CarPlay (which, together with Android Automobile and Amazon Alexa compatibility will come normal) is tremendous straightforward to use, demonstrating up pleasant and huge.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

The RAV4 Prime offers lots of capabilities and features. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If you even now require a lot more screens in your lifestyle, do not fret, since all Prime styles element a reconfigurable seven-inch screen nestled in the gauge cluster. It really is crystal clear and straightforward adequate to cycle by way of the numerous menus for issues like gasoline financial state and the trip odometer. If that is not adequate, XSE styles can even be equipped with a ten-inch colour head-up screen, which initiatives pertinent driving data on to the windshield. This merchandise is bundled with the $three,765 quality deal, which also gets you the aforementioned six.six-kW charger, ventilated entrance seats and an magnificent digital rearview mirror. The latter capabilities still a further display driving the glass exactly where a video clip feed from the reversing camera is shown to provide a significantly broader subject of look at driving the motor vehicle.

That deal also involves a 360-diploma camera process, which can be handy for certain parking scenarios — in principle at the very least. For some motive, this element, and even the RAV4’s normal reversing camera, are appallingly negative, tremendous gritty and tough to see on the infotainment display. This is especially unusual since the digital rearview mirror, which is available on XSE styles, seems to be great, giving a crystal clear, crisp graphic.

When it will come to highly developed driver aids, Toyota Security Perception 2. is normal equipment on the RAV4 Prime, bringing issues like automated unexpected emergency braking and highway-indicator recognition to the desk. Lane-keeping assist is incorporated, way too, and is effective really very well, even if it feels a bit soft-handed. It doesn’t lock you into the center of the lane really as strongly as competing systems do, resulting in a lot more wandering. You also get adaptive cruise management, though it really is fairly middling. On the freeway, it really is great, seamlessly modifying motor vehicle velocity to match bordering cars, but in prevent-and-go targeted visitors it can be pretty jerky.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Like other members of the RAV4 loved ones, the Prime model is really handsome. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Dollars and (popular) perception

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is slated to start arriving at dealerships in all 50 states later on this month. Holding issues uncomplicated, it will be supplied in two trims: SE and XSE. My top rated-shelf tester arrived equipped with all 3 available options offers, issues that inflate its price tag tag to proper about $49,000 together with $one,one hundred twenty in delivery fees. Which is a steep price tag to pay for what is a mainstream compact crossover SUV, on the other hand, that figure does not involve any likely bargains. The RAV4 Prime could be eligible for up to $seven,500 in federal tax credits, additionally other bargains supplied by person states. Of program, you can help save a huge chunk of improve by getting an SE model. They kick off proper about $39,195. Which is even now a bit pricier than Ford’s entry-degree Escape plug-in hybrid, which commences at approximately 35 grand, but the RAV4 does have a lot more ability and a nicer interior, plus  Toyota enjoys a greater popularity for extended-expression top quality and resale worth.

Punchy and productive, the Prime is simply my pick of present day RAV4 litter. The addition of a plug-in hybrid powertrain has made a great SUV even greater. If you can deal with the upcharge, this is the RAV4 to get.