Is this the ultimate Toyota RAV4 ever made?

Toyota introduced the RAV4 Prime in Los Angeles as the most powerful and quickest RAV4 ever built. At the same time, the Prime’s powertrain makes it the most frugal RAV4 out there, so it’s safe to say that Toyota check a lot of boxes with this one. He’s your guide on the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime.

Toyota RAV4 Prime: Powertrain

  • Total system output of 302 hp
  • 176-hp, 2.5-liter ICE
  • Two electric motors
  • 0-60 mph takes 5.7 s
  • 42-mile all-electric range
  • 94 MPGe combined
  • Electric on-demand all-wheel drive
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Exterior
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Toyota’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine found in the RAV4 Hybrid is at the heart of the Prime.

In there, it makes 176 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. Helped by two electric motors, the mill contributes to the overall system output of 302 horsepower. The Li-ion battery is mounted beneath the floor.

Notice how we mentioned two e-motors. The one in the rear (rated at 53 horsepower and 89 pound-feet of torque) is also a part of the RAV4 Prime’s electric on-demand all-wheel drive system. So it basically spins the rear wheels whenever there’s a need for more grip.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Exterior
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Elsewhere, Toyota’s literature claims that the RAV4 Prime can travel for up to 42 miles purely on electricity, while the average fuel consumption is a cool 94 mpge.

Oh, and for those looking for zest from the RAV4, know it can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. To put things into perspective, the 2006-2012 RAV4 fitted with Toyota’s 3.5-liter, 369-horsepower gasoline V-6 did the same sprint in 6.3 seconds and returned 21 mpg combined.

Toyota RAV4 Prime: Exterior

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Exterior
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The RAV4 Prime essentially flaunts the same mean looks we know from the standard RAV4. The blue badges let you know that you’re dealing with a hybrid and even the entry-level models pack 18-inch alloy wheels and a tweaked grille design rounded up by piano black accents.

Extra features include the Supersonic Red body paint (available with the XSE model), 19-inch alloys, and vertical LED accent lights flanking the front bumper.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Exterior
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2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime exterior dimensions
Wheelbase 105.9 in
Length 180.2 in
Width 73 in
Height 66.9 in

Toyota RAV4 Prime: Interior

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Interior
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The cabin topography inside the RAV4 Prime is not different than that of the regular RAV4. How you spec this space, however, lies in the grade you choose - we’ll discuss the two trims available for the Prime in the Price section.

Standard features, however, include an eight-inch multimedia system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa, eight-way adjustable driver’s seat, red stitching, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Interior
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Space-wise, the cargo area ranks up to 33.5 cubic feet, a slight drop from the standard RAV4’s 37.6 cubic feet rating.

The trunk is complemented by a handful of storage spaces and cubby holes found inside the cabin, including a generous bin found under the central armrest.

It’s also good to see Toyota stick to the good old buttons and knobs, which are ergonomically spread around the cockpit. The seats are back-friendly and you can even opt for SofTex upholstery, a solution that mimics leather.

Toyota RAV4 Prime: Price

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Exterior
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The RAV4 Prime range is split by two trim levels: SE (starting at $38,100) and XSE (starting at $41,425). Here’s what each of them has to offer.

Toyota RAV4 Prime SE

  • heated front seats
  • 8-way power driver’s seat w/ lumbar adjustment
  • 7-inch instrument cluster display
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Power tailgate
  • 8-inch multimedia display (Apple CarPlay + Android Auto + Amazon Alexa compatibility)
  • 3-kW on-board charger
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Exterior
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On top for the SE grade, customers can get the Weather & Moonroof pack (an upgrade that will demand $1,665 extra) which ups the ante with the likes of heated steering wheel and rear outboard seats and a rain-sensing windshield.

Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

  • 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels
  • LED accent lights
  • Paddle shifters
  • Moonroof
  • SofTex seat upholstery
  • Qi wireless phone charger
  • Ambient cabin lighting
  • 9-inch multimedia touchscreen
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Exterior
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The XSE grade can be further imbued via three packs: Weather Package ($815), Weather and Audio Package ($2,435), and Weather with Audio and Premium Package ($5,760).

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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