Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Toyota RAV4 Prime
Credit: Toyota https://pressroom.toyota.com/get-the-first-ever-2021-rav4-prime-starting-at-under-40k-msrp/

Cars

Toyota RAV4 Prime: 302 HP, All Wheel Drive, Under $40,000

The Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV has 302 horsepower, 42 miles of range, and a price below $40,000.

We don’t write about plug-in hybrids much anymore here at CleanTechnica. When the topic comes up during our weekly tofu roast at CleanTechnica’s chromium and carbon fiber headquarters, people tend to snicker up their sleeves at the idea of a battery-operated car that needs a gasoline engine to keep it charged up.

Toyota RAV4 Prime

Credit: Toyota

5 years ago when public chargers were as rare as octogenarians at a Dead & Company concert, the idea had some merit. Banish range anxiety. If your battery goes flat on the road from Fargo to Minot, let those trusty pistons get you home safely. Today, PHEVs just seem like artifacts of the electric car revolution that got left behind on the side of the highway.

Now, Toyota has brought forth what may be the best plug-in hybrid ever — the 2021 RAV4 Prime. With electronic all-wheel drive standard, the car starts at $39,200 including a $1,200 destination charge. That makes it the most expensive RAV4 ever, but the onboard battery means it qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, bringing the post-incentive price down to $31,720.

For that amount of money, buyers get one of the quickest midsize SUVs on the road. Not the quickest, to be sure, but enough to put a smile on your face. Toyota says the RAV4 Prime will sprint to 60 mph (97 kph) in 5.7 seconds, which is pleasingly sprightly performance.

According to Autoblog, the drivetrain for the RAV4 Prime starts with the same 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle, gasoline four-cylinder engine as the regular RAV4 Hybrid, except in this case, it has been retuned for more grunt. Instead of 163 ft-lb of torque at 3500 rpm, the new engine has 168 ft-lb of torque at 2500 rpm. Horsepower is the same at 176. A new, more powerful electric motor brings total horsepower up to 302.

Toyota says the battery — whose size is undisclosed — provides 42 miles (68 km) of range, which is respectable and a far cry from the days when certain German manufacturers used to get all googly-eyed over PHEV models that could only travel 10 miles (16 km) or fewer on battery power alone. Of course, all that power on tap is only available if drivers remember to plug the car in at night. (We can almost hear all the angry people at Toyota service departments complaining their cars lost a bunch of performance after an hour or so of driving.)

The current RAV4 Hybrid, with 219 horsepower, has an EPA rating of 41 city/38 highway/40 combined (66/61/64 km). The RAV4 Prime is rated 94 MPGe (40 KPLe), but the EPA has not issued city and highway estimates yet. Suffice to say the Prius Prime, which has less performance, is rated 133 MPGe (57 KPLe), 55 city/53 highway/54 combined (89/85/87 km). The RAV4 Prime should come in somewhere between the Prius Prime and the RAV 4 Hybrid.

The new PHEV SUV will come in two trim levels. The SE is the base model but is no strippo special. It lists for $38,100 plus the $1200 transportation fee. The uprated XSE comes with a 9-inch touchscreen, upgraded audio, wireless device charging, a moonroof, and a two-tone exterior paint scheme. It lists for $42,545.

The SE comes with a wimpy 3 kW onboard charger, but customers can upgrade to a 6.6 kW charger. The warranty on the battery is 10 years/150,000, which should allay most fears among people who still worry about the cost of replacing a battery in an EV.

All in all, the RAV4 Prime offers substantial performance — it’s 2 full seconds quicker to 60 MPH (97 kph) than the regular RAV4 Hybrid — for an attractive price after incentives. Let the good times roll, or Motto tanoshimou ze, as they say in Japan. Look for it in showrooms this summer.

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 

Advertisement
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

The race is on to build the solar-powered Evs of the future, and it looks like graphene and TMDs could get the ball rolling.

Batteries

In addition to electric vehicle battery plants that are already in operation in the United States, 13 additional plants have been announced and are...

Cars

Has the sleeping giant finally awoken? Toyota is the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world, but it has stubbornly refused to embrace the...

Agriculture

The basics of physics and economics have a way of winning arguments against lobbyists eventually, so the hydrogen problem will be eliminated.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.