- $22,930 - $28,340
- $27,750 - $35,300
- $37,000 - $43,300
- $39,995 - $45,545
- $38,100 - $41,425
Luxury hybrids offer impressive fuel economy, of course, but healthy power from their electric motors can also make them quicker than their gas-powered counterparts. Expect all the luxury trappings, along with better mileage and maybe even more oomph.
Redesigned in 2019
Redesigned in 2014
Redesigned in 2016
Luxury plug-in hybrid SUVs
Luxury PHEV SUVs offer improved fuel efficiency and limited all-electric range in refined packages. These premium vehicles don't sacrifice comfort or acceleration to earn their green cred.
Redesigned in 2016
Redesigned in 2020
Redesigned in 2018
Edmunds' experts test 200 vehicles per year on our test track. We also test them using a 115-mile real-world test loop of city streets, freeways and winding canyons. The data we gather results in our ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover performance, comfort, interior, technology, utility and value.
Browse other types
Video reviewsToyota RAV4 Hybrid Review — 2021 RAV4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid MPG, Price, Worth & More
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review — 2021 RAV4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid MPG, Price, Worth & More
MARK TAKAHASHI: The Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling passenger vehicles a few years running. Despite its best-seller status, though, it ranks a rather lowly seventh place among small SUVs on Edmunds. We like it for its high levels of comfort. It's easy to use. It's easy to drive every day. It has a pretty decent amount of cargo capacity, too. It is held back, though, by the fact that it is only offered with one engine and it's pretty weak. We're also not fans of it's numb and disconnected steering wheel. And, well, the passenger seat up front has some comfort issues for some passengers. Now, there is the RAV4 Hybrid that ranks a little bit higher. It's in fourth place among all hybrids in that particular class. So it stands to reason that this might actually do even better. Because this is the all new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime. Obviously, the Prime in the name is the big deal. And, no, it doesn't mean you're getting free shipping from Amazon with this RAV4. It's like the Prius Prime, which is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. That's what this is, too. Prices are going to start right around $40,000 for the base SE trim when it goes on sale in the summer of 2020. This is the top trim XSE with a few options that cost about $2,500 more. But with the options, probably tack on another $3,500 on top of that. Sure, it gets a little expensive. But you have to realize that it actually qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax refund. It comes in about $5,000 more than the regular RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid, which is actually priced pretty similarly. Like every plug-in hybrid, it has on one side, a gas filler tank and on the other, a charge port. Now, that charge port sends juice to an 18.1 kilowatt hour lithium ion battery pack that's mounted under the floor. Charge times vary, depending on which charger you have. But with a quick charger with 32 amps, Toyota says it will charge fully in 2 and 1/2 hours. More likely, you'll have a 16 amp charger available. And that takes about 4 and 1/2 hours, which is probably fine if you're using it as a commuter and you're working in the middle of the day. That battery pack sends power to three motor generators, one that drives just the rear wheels and two up front to help with power as well as scavenging some energy back when you're slowing down. It's made it to a 2.5 liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Combined, they put out 302 horsepower. That's 83 more horsepower than the RAV4 Hybrid and 99 more horsepower than the standard RAV4. With those specs, it makes it the second quickest vehicle in Toyota's lineup. Now, besides the plug-in badge and the Prime badge, there isn't a whole lot distinguishing the Prime from the regular RAV4. You have this vertical accent light here and some red painted struts underneath. It all points to being, maybe, a little sporty. But there's only one way to find out. Let's go for a spin. I'll admit that right off the top I was a little hesitant with this test because in some of the press releases, Toyota was sort of hinting that this is the fun, performance-oriented RAV4. And it's really not. But we'll get to that. It has 302 horsepower. And Toyota claims it'll hit 60 miles an hour in 5.7 seconds. And that was confirmed while we were at the test track, where we actually got it to do 0 to 60 in only 5.6 seconds. But just because it hits 60 miles an hour in that time doesn't mean that it's sporty or fun. Because it's not. Sure, it'll get up a lot quicker and hit highway speeds way faster than the regular RAV4, which takes 9.1 seconds to reach 60 miles an hour. Of course, performance doesn't mean just going in a straight line fast. It has to break. And it has to handle well, too. And the RAV4 Prime does not. I turned a few laps on our handling course and it was a sloppy, hot mess. Wow. I mean, it's been a long time since I've driven anything that kind of soft and gooey. But, yeah, just heading into a slight bend, not even a real hard braking turn, I started getting warning lights and beeping. This car just isn't meant for having fun in. And that's fine, most crossover SUVs aren't. Now that we're stopped, let's do a full launch and regular kit mode, not sport mode. So here we go. Boom. Now, it's not exactly pinning me to the seat. But it is a lot more decisive than the regular RAV4. This actually has several different personalities, too, depending on what drive mode you're in. Now, in ECO mode, it takes a lot of whatever excitement is there and just kind of balls it up and throws it in the trash. It's slow. It's a little lethargic. It doesn't react very well. But if you're all about efficiency, that's the mode you want to drive in. In Normal mode, it kind of splits the difference between the EV mode and the Hybrid mode, trying to give you the best of both worlds. So it doesn't feel so weak. But at the same time, it's trying to make that battery last as long as possible. And then there's full EV mode, where the engine is disabled. And there's also a final charge mode. Now, this is a little bit of a weird one because in certain areas around the world, traffic is limited to EVs at certain times of the day. So central London, sometimes there are restrictions. And EVs can get around that. So if you need some battery and you're coming into London or whatever city might have restrictions, you hold down the charge button and the gasoline motor actually charges the battery. It takes a while, though, I tried it a little bit on the highway last night. And it really doesn't start charging until you get to some regenerative braking when you start slowing down. But in the 20 miles or so I drove, I gained about 5% of battery, not bad. Whatever the RAV4 prime lacks in excitement, it makes up for in efficiency. And that's the whole name of the game, right? 42 miles is what they claim as EV range on a full battery. On our evaluation loop, I got it to switch over at 48 miles. That's pretty damn good. Of course, there were a lot of hills. And climbing hills is going to deplete your battery. But you make it all back on the way down with all that regenerative braking. All in all, it's a great plug-in hybrid. It has the right range. It's pretty easy to drive. There aren't any weird hangups. So unless you're looking for the excitement that you might think comes with the RAV4 Prime, this could be your plug-in of choice. It might not be the most exciting thing to take on a backwoods canyon or twisty road. But it's perfect for what we're doing now, which is stopping and going and stopping and going and stopping and going in traffic. From the driver's seat, there's not a whole lot that's different with the RAV4 Prime versus the regular RAV4. Now, we get some cool little red stitching here to denote it's a little more powerful, a little sportier than the regular RAV4. That's about it. In a lot of ways, this is more like one of the top trims out of the RAV4 lineup because it comes with almost everything. Now the XSE comes with these nice, simulated leather SofTex upholstery, as well as a nicer dash topper as well. This infotainment screen is really well placed and huge. And it's super easy to use. It really minimizes distraction while you're driving down the road. Now it is only a touch screen. There's no other controller down here, which is actually just fine by me. Down here we have the drive select controls. So you can switch between full EV or charge mode or whatever is floating your boat at that moment. Materials quality is pretty good for the class, at least it's way better than what we would have expected just five or 10 years ago. Everything is nice and soft touch where your elbows will touch. And it's well padded where your knees might come into contact as well. As far as storage goes, well, it gets pretty high marks, even against the top rated Honda CRV. Right here in the dash, there's a cutout for the passenger to put their phone or other personal effects. This top trim also has a wireless charging pad. There's a USB port there, as well as two right here in the center console. And this bin, it's pretty deep. It's pretty wide, wider than most, actually. And the same goes for the door pockets and cup holders. Overall, you're not going to have too much of a problem finding a place for all your stuff. When it comes to seat comfort, the driver has just enough adjustments to find that ideal position. The front passenger seat has fewer adjustments. And we've had a few complaints from people who have sat there for more than just a few hours. Of course, as a small SUV, the back seats are vitally important, too. So let's take a look. Just like the regular RAV4, the RAV4 Prime has plenty of space for me in the back seat. I'm 5 foot 10 and I have way more headroom than I need. And that's even considering that we have this panoramic sunroof, which generally cuts down on headroom just a little bit. I have plenty of space for my feet under the front seat in front of me. And that's set for me. So I can actually sit behind an adult. Although, most people don't call me an adult anymore. Shut up. Plenty of room in front for my knees as well, so, yeah. Someone taller in the 6 foot range would easily fit back here comfortably. There's even enough support just for my thighs, which is kind of rare back here because some manufacturers will lower the seat cushion just to get a little more headroom-- not the case with a RAV4 Prime. When it comes to cargo capacity, a RAV4 Prime loses just a little bit to the regular RAV4. With 33 and 1/2 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats, it's about 4 cubic feet less than the regular RAV4. But, I contend, that's still plenty enough space for all your stuff. And as an added bonus, it's really easy to flip the rear seats back with these latches right here. Plus, there's a household power outlet right there. The RAV4 Prime is a great plug-in hybrid SUV. On our evaluation loop, it exceeded its 42 mile EV range by returning 48 miles, easily. And once we were done with that charge, it still returned a decent 34 miles per gallon under gas propulsion or gas hybrid propulsion, really. It competes really well against its main rivals, the Kia Niro as well as the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid. For that reason, I think it'll gain a really favorable position in Edmunds rankings. For more information on the RAV4 Prime and all of its competition, head on over to edmunds.com. To see more videos like this, hit Subscribe.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid with around 40 miles of pure EV range. It's also the second-quickest vehicle Toyota makes, right behind the Toyota Supra. Mark Takahashi explains why and what else you should know about this compact SUV.
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review — 2021 RAV4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid MPG, Price, Worth & More
- 2020 Polestar 1: Reviewing Price, Technology, Specs & More
- 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid: First Impressions From Behind the Wheel
- 2019 Toyota Prius vs. 2019 Honda Insight - Hybrid Comparison Battle
- Best Hybrid Cars for 2019 & 2020 -- Top-Rated Hybrids and Plug-In Hybrids
- 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid First Drive
- 2019 Toyota Prius AWD First Drive
What are the best hybrids on the market?
What is the top-rated hybrid for 2019?
What is the top-rated hybrid for 2018?
What are the best used hybrids to buy?