The fifth-generation Toyota RAV4, on the market for barely a year, is going more places than it has ever gone before. The arrival of the first-ever RAV4 TRD Off-Road model was announced earlier this year, and today, at the Los Angeles Auto Show,
It just happens to also be the first-ever RAV4 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). And so, in addition to an ability to do 0-60 mph in a projected 5.8 seconds, which is the second quickest acceleration time in the Toyota lineup, it can drive an estimated 39 miles on battery alone on a single charge, which is the highest EV range of any PHEV SUV on the market.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime, a 2021 model that will arrive in summer 2020, breaks ground as the most powerful and quickest RAV4 ever while also being the most fuel-efficient.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime builds on the RAV4 Hybrid, which is currently the most powerful and most fuel-efficient model in the line with sales up 72% over last year and currently the best-selling hybrid vehicle on the market. The RAV4 Prime amplifies both performance and efficiency, reflecting Toyota’s 20+ years of hybrid vehicle leadership.
With more powerful motor-generators, a newly developed high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery and a booster converter, the 2021 RAV4 Prime yields an 83-horsepower (hp) jump in total system output over the RAV4 Hybrid and has the most horsepower in its segment.
Sporty and Sportier
Toyota engineered the 2021 RAV4 Prime for the performance-oriented driver and is therefore offering it in the sporty SE and XSE grades.
The SE’s equipment is quite comprehensive, with standard heated front seats, 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, 7-in. Multi-Information Display, Blind Spot Monitor, a leather steering wheel and shift knob, power liftgate, and Audio with 8-in. touch-screen and Amazon Alexa, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
Inside, XSE steps up the sport, luxury and tech with RAV4’s first-ever paddle shifters, along with moonroof, unique SofTex synthetic leather seat surfaces, wireless smartphone charging, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated garage door opener and the largest multimedia screen in any RAV4 ever. The standard Audio Plus system comes with a 9-in. touch-screen and there is an available Premium Audio that includes Dynamic Navigation and JBL speaker system.
How Does It Do That?
Toyota hybrids have for years demonstrated high performance with low fuel consumption, and now the 2021 RAV4 Prime makes one of the strongest cases yet. The RAV4 Prime uses a differently tuned version of the RAV4 Hybrid’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine. It produces the same 176 hp as in the hybrid, but with 168 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 2,800 rpm vs. the RAV4 Hybrid’s 163 lb.-ft. at 3,600-5,200 rpm.
The RAV4 Prime’s enhanced heat pump HVAC system, based on Prius Prime’s and tailored to fit RAV4 Prime, contributes to an increasing EV range, as energy consumption for cabin temperature control can significantly decrease EV driving range.
The RAV4 Prime employs the same version of Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD) as the RAV4 Hybrid. In both models, a separate rear-mounted electric motor powers the rear wheels when needed, including proactively on acceleration startup and also in reduced-traction conditions.
With available paddle shifters, the driver can “downshift” to increase the regenerative braking in steps, which fosters greater control when driving in hilly areas, for example.
All Toyota RAV4 models come equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which groups a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
- Automatic High Beam (AHB)
- Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
- Road Sign Assist (RSA)
The XSE Premium Package adds Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) and Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking (PA w/AB).