The fast-selling, compact Toyota RAV4 continues with the upgrades after the recent redesign and the next model year brings the new electrified version. Toyota expands an already significant number of RAV4’s options with the plug-in hybrid Prime version. The new RAV4 variation promises an extensive all-electric range and comes with a significantly more powerful powertrain than the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The model features also unique styling cues.
The RAV4 Hybrid continues to the new model year in the same form. The model received several upgrades for the 2020 season including Android Auto smartphone integration and standard power driver’s seats. The RAV4 Hybrid should again be available in LE, XLE, XSE and Limited trims. The plug-in hybrid RAV4 Prime will go on sale in SE and XSE trims.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and PHEV: Design
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and PHEV versions share the same styling language with the rest of the model’s lineup with a few exceptions.
The new RAV4 Prime has the same rugged body shape as other versions but comes with several specific styling cues. The model starts with the SE trim treatment and comes with the sporty 18-inch wheels mixed with the specific grille and piano-black accents. The XSE version goes on sale with unique 19-inch wheels and vertical LED accent lights.
The hybrid version will continue in the same form as the current version. The RAV4 Hybrid will be available in more trim options with different wheel styles and sizes. The model comes with the unique bumpers and grille style. Both Hybrid and PHEV variants will be available with contrasting roof paint.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and PHEV come with well-designed and comfortable cabins. Toyota equips also both versions with modern tech and safety features.
The RAV4 has a wide, horizontally oriented dash with the touchscreen sitting above the air vents. Depending on the trim option, the model uses specific trim inserts and materials.
Every electrified RAV4 comes with at least 7-inch touchscreen and Apple Car Play and Android Auto integration. Toyota’s active safety suite is also part of every RAV4 and there are systems such as adaptive cruise control, active lane control, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high beams. The model can also be equipped with blind-spot monitoring and surround-vision cameras.
The new RAV4 Prime SE gets 8-way power-adjustable front seats, a power liftgate, an 8-inch touchscreen, a 7-inch digital instrument panel, a blind-spot monitor, etc.
The XSE versions of both models will come with the heated seats, leather-simulated upholstery, wireless charging, ambient lighting, etc. There will also be a 9-inch touchscreen, premium JBL sound system, heated steering wheel, a head-up display, navigation and more in the Prime version.
The top-end Limited version reserved for the hybrid model will come with the upgraded upholstery and comfort features.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and PHEV: Powertrains, Efficiency
Every fourth-generation Toyota RAV4 starts with the 2.5-liter inline-4 petrol engine but while the conventionally-powered RAV4 uses an 8-speed automatic transmission, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid switches to the continuously variable transmission. The hybrid version uses the inline-4 engine and front electric motor to power the front wheels while the rear-mounted electric motor provides better all-weather capability when needed. The net output is 219 hp.
When it comes to efficiency the RAV4 Hybrid manages 41 mpg city, 39 highways and up to 40 mpg combined.
The new plug-in hybrid Prime version employs also a 2.5-liter petrol engine combined with two electric motors for the permanent all-wheel-drive capability. The petrol engine makes 176 hp but the net output is 302 hp. The model has also a larger battery pack in the mix compared to the hybrid version. The 17.8-kWh battery promises an all-electric range of 39 miles. EPA rates this model at 90 MPGe.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and PHEV: Release, Price
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and PHEV versions should bolster the model’s market share further. The models will go on sale this summer.
The next RAV4 Hybrid should again start at about $28, 000. More power and better efficiency from the RAV4 Prime will be at disposal at a greater cost starting from low-to-mid $30, 000.
The RAV4 Hybrid competes with the analogs of the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Subaru Crosstrek. The RAV4 Prime is an alternative to the Ford Escape, Kia Niro, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, etc.