Toyota is adding a new RAV4 model to the crossover’s lineup for 2021 in the form of the new RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid.
It produces a total system output of 302 horsepower, making it the most powerful compact SUV from a non-luxury brand. Toyota says it’ll also go from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds, which should be in contention for quickest alongside the high-output 2020 Ford Escape. The RAV4 Prime shares the same 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder as the regular RAV4 Hybrid, but it’s tuned differently. Its 176 horsepower is the same, but it produces 168 pound-feet of torque at 2,800 rpm versus 163 lb-ft at 3,600-5,200 rpm. Toyota says that greater grunt in addition to more powerful electric motors means you’ll be able to notice a definite difference in low-speed driving. The fact that the Prime is a full two seconds quicker from 0-60 would certainly back that up.
The RAV4 Prime will come standard with 18-inch (19-inch available) wheels, heated front seats, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and multiple electronic driver assist features. These include adaptive cruise control, collision warning with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, and a driving mode selector complete with a Trail mode for rough terrain.
It also rides on exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels, the largest ever offered on a hybrid RAV4, with a unique two-tone design. Vertical LED accent lights give the XSE a unique look, while the optional Adaptive Front Lighting System with headlamp auto-leveling partially aims the beams into turns as the driver steers.
Inside, the XSE comes with the RAV4’s first-ever paddle shifters, along with a moonroof, unique synthetic leather seat surfaces, wireless smartphone charging, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated garage door opener, and a nine-inch touch-screen. An optional premium package adds dynamic navigation, JBL speakers, ventilated seats, a head-up display, heated steering wheel, panoramic moonroof, digital rear-view mirror, memory driver’s seat, four-way power passenger seat, kick-type power rear liftgate, and more.
The regular RAV4 Hybrid is already a significant success, as its sales are up a whopping 72% over its predecessor, according to Toyota. The company also says the RAV4 is now its best-selling hybrid.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime will arrive in dealers in summer 2020, with pricing to be announced at a later date.