2021 Toyota RAV4
- Starting around $26,000 (estimated)
- Summer 2020
What to expect
- A powerful RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid debuts
- Part of the fifth RAV4 generation introduced for 2019
What is the RAV4?
If you don't count pickup trucks, the Toyota RAV4 has been the best-selling vehicle for several years running. Curiously enough, it's not one of Edmunds' top-ranked small SUVs, trailing our favorite Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson in a rather disappointing seventh place. Also a bit of a surprise is that we like the RAV4 hybrid quite a bit more than the standard RAV4, and we've ranked it fourth among all non-luxury hybrids.
For 2021, it's entirely possible the new RAV4 Prime could make a big impact in the plug-in hybrid category. It's not your typical plug-in hybrid, though, since it has a definite performance slant that's new to the RAV4. With more powerful electric motors powering the rear wheels and new lithium-ion batteries, the RAV4 Prime will have an estimated combined output of 302 horsepower. That makes it the most powerful RAV4 ever.
Toyota also estimates the RAV4 Prime will reach 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, making it the second-quickest vehicle in the lineup behind the GR Supra. To accompany the power, the Prime will feature a sport-tuned suspension and unique styling flourishes. In more pragmatic news, it should return 39 miles of electric range on a full charge.
When it arrives in dealerships this summer, the RAV4 Prime will be offered in SE and XSE trims and feature a two-tone paint scheme with a black roof. With any luck, we'll have more information and driving impressions before that happens, so check back here.
The Toyota RAV4 isn't normally equated with performance or excitement, but the new 2021 RAV4 Prime should change that. Even more surprising, this sporty variant of the small SUV is also a very efficient plug-in hybrid. Who says you can't have it all?