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The Toyota RAV4 is arguably one of the key cogs in Toyota’s massively powerful sales machine. Along with the Prius, Corolla, and the Camry the RAV4 plays a big role in keeping the lights on for the Japanese auto giant. 2021 aims to being more magic to the RAV4 formula with the unveiling of the all new RAV 4 Prime which not only brings more power to the utility, but also better fuel economy as well.

Just like the Prius, adding Prime to a model’s moniker denotes plug-in capability in Toyota speak, with the RAV4 being the latest recipient of this treatment. In the case of the RAV4, the added juice brings some impressive numbers to the table. Horsepower for instance goes up from the rather paltry 219 horsepower offered by the hybrid all the way to 302 horsepower. This translates to a 5.8 second 0 to 60 time which is the second quickest in Toyota’s vehicle lineup, and is only beaten by the Toyota Supra. But wheras the Supra is all about laying down numbers at the track (at the cost of fuel economy,) the RAV4 Prime’s fuel economy will arguably be its biggest trump card. The model is expected to achieve 90 MPGe and travel up to 39 miles on electric power alone before the gas engine intervenes. That’s a sizable improvement over the Prius Prime’s 25 mile EV range, and is also the best figure in the PHEV SUV segment.

The exterior and interior of the RAV4 Prime does not change very much when compared with its siblings, with only minor badging, trim, and some equipment differences separating it from its lesser cousins. The main differences are found in some of the performance equipment, with the carryover 2.5 liter Atkinson four cylinder being hooked up to an all new high capacity lithium ion battery pack as well as an all new booster converter that helps bump the electric motors power by 83 horses. Toyota claims that it mounted the battery pack in the floor, which does not impede too much on the 37.6 cubic feet of space, and even creates a lower center of gravity at the same time.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is expected to go on sale this coming summer, and is only available on SE and XSE trims. Toyota has not announced official pricing at this point, but look for it to be a healthy premium over the $28,100 wielded by the hybrid model. Depending on how it is equipped, the RAV4 Prime could be a very good value candidate especially for financially conscious green car buyers.


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