Rav4 is the US best-selling crossover SUV. This is a versatile and reliable unit, that will offer many attractive features. One of them is a hybrid engine. The recent update made it the most efficient unit in the segment, with fuel economy above 40 mpg. It was a challenge for all other carmakers. First, Honda matched output with its CR-V, and now Ford Escape can return up to 45 mpg. Improvements on the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid bring a plug-in system. It promises better records and some electric-only mileage.
The PHEV version will be called Prime. The rest of the lineup remains unchanged and all trim levels will be there for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, as well for the standard model. Power is coming from the four-cylinder unit. Stunning gas mileage numbers are followed by improved performance compared to the petrol versions.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Engines Specifications
Standard edition with a gasoline engine is taking power from a 2.5-liter inline-four unit. This engine is producing 200 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, returning 31 mpg combined and up to 35 miles per gallon on the open road. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid takes the same unit and mates it to electric motors. These are enhancing power outputs to 220 hp and fuel economy is 41/38 mpg for city/highway. A small battery pack is under the rear seat, but it doesn’t harm overall comfort and interior space. Toyota pairs the drivetrain with an all-wheel drive through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
For some while, this was the best output in the class. Honda launched a hybrid version of the CR-V with 42 mpg. Also, the upcoming Ford Escape will be able to make 45 mpg on the open road. So, easily, all the rivals are beating the standard set by Toyota. But, the Japanese company has a response.
Rav4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid
Again, a 2.5-liter petrol engine is a source of power for the Toyota Rav4 Prime. This time, the company upgrades its hybrid version to get more miles of it. But, the PHEV system also increases power output to 300 hp. This is more than most compact crossovers can do. Porsche Macan tops this, but it is a luxury model. The mileage is not affected by increased weight thanks to the electric battery mounted under seats. Another advantage is a lower center of gravity, which will boost handling and maneuvering, especially in corners. Subaru’s Boxer engine is well-known for this. We still don’t know the range of the Rav4 Prime, but a pair of electric units could bring more than 40 miles in a single charge.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Trim Levels
The offer for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid starts with the same trim level as its sibling with a conventional engine. The LE package comes with the Safety Sense 2.0 bundle and Android Auto is finally available for the vehicles by the Japanese carmaker. Apple CarPlay was included a year earlier. A 7-inch infotainment screen is at the center of the dashboard, and this version uses a hybrid gauge cluster. Al-wheel drive is standard for all trims with electrically-supported models. Standard equipment for the LE version is grille shutters, 17-inch wheels with 5-spoke rims, and dual-zone climate control.
The XLE bundle adds 8-way power seats, push-button start, and more USB ports. Also, the safety is improved with blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic warning. The next hybrid trim level is XSE. This was the first option of the Highlander SUV. Now, this version brings a sportier ride, thanks to the unique suspension setup that includes sport tuning. Larger wheels with special design will draw attention, as well as two-tone paintjobs prepared for this version. Front seats are heated and this function is available for rear seats only on the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited. Top of the lineup package comes with a premium JBL audio system and navigation. Instead of a previous display, an eight-inch touchscreen is at the center of the dashboard. Unique details and accents will make this version look as luxurious as Lexus NX.
Price and Release Date
We will have to wait to see the Covid-19 outburst to calm down before the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid shows up. Whatsoever, the company didn’t plan the new crossover to arrive before the final quarter of the season. Expectations are that things will go back to normal in a few weeks. It won’t disturb the development of the new crossover. Toyota is working hard on improvements and not only the new Prime version, which is already confirmed for the upcoming season. A more efficient hybrid might also appear, but the company is not bragging about it yet. Definitely, Toyota will have to respond to the new Ford Escape hybrid. The Blue Oval company prepares the PHEV version of this vehicle, which will appear in the first half next year. The base price of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid will remain under $30,000 and the Prime version will add around $1,000.