Flash Drive

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Model Tested: 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE AWD SUV

The new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SUV looks like other RAV4s except that it has an extra energy door for the plug-in charging cable.

Engine: 2.5-liter I-4 plus plug-in hybrid, 302 net horsepower and 168 lb-ft torque

Transmission: ECVT automatic, all-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 94 MPG-equivalent, gas only 38 MPG, all-electric range 42 miles

Base Price: $41,425

As Tested: $49,776


Impressive fuel economy—our best was 47.3-mpg

All-electric range of 42 miles

The electric port is on the right rear quarter panel. Otherwise the Prime looks like other models of the popular RAV4.

Quick acceleration with electric motor boost

All-wheel-drive, all-weather capability

Excellent safety features including blind spot monitor

Drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport

Separate control for Trail driving

Separate control for Auto EV and EV charge hold


Spacious, well-appointed interior

Optional panoramic glass roof greatly brightens interior

The RAV4 interior is spacious and well appointed. The optional panoramic roof is great.

Stretch-out front row legroom

Driver power lumbar support

Heated and ventilated front seats (3 temps)

Heated steering wheel

Very low rear floor hump

Large adults fit fine in back seat

Excellent head room front and back


Very helpful surround cameras for parking

Big infotainment screen

The back seat is very adult friendly.

Medium size console bin and front door bins

Power liftgate with foot motion activation

Liftgate opens super high

Flat cargo deck

Split folding seats fold almost flat

Open storage ledge above glovebox

Medium size glovebox, but no lock

Rear door bins are just bottle notches

Two large seatback pouches

The power liftgate opens extra high and has foot motion activation.

WOW Factors:

Strong acceleration

Big doors for easy in/out

Great head up display

Power liftgate

Qualifies for tax credit incentives


The plug-in feature comes at a premium over regular hybrid

Heated seats don’t have an auto off feature

Hard plastic visors

The dashboard, infotainment screen and controls are all well positioned and easy to access.

Bottom Line:

The new for 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE AWD has all the great features that make the whole RAV4 line a success with the added plug-in hybrid function. The all-electric range is approximately 40 miles, which should be sufficient for most daily commutes and/or homemaker errands. On longer trips the regular hybrid features help deliver impressive fuel economy.