2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime's Official EPA Numbers Are Surprisingly Good
One would think the compact, plug-in hybrid SUV segment would be
filled with competitors. But that's far from the truth. If you're
looking for a compact SUV with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, you're
really only left with two choices – the recently introduced Ford Escape
PHEV and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Toyota RAV4 Prime Takes The Lead
Automakers have been focusing on the subcompact segment with vehicles like the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid, and Mini Cooper SE Countryman All4. That's why when Toyota announced the RAV4 Prime last November, it was an exciting time. Now, there's even more reason to get excited for the SUV, as the EPA released its official figures for the SUV.
As a recap, the RAV4 Prime has the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's found in the RAV4, but the plug-in hybrid system has been tuned to churn out 302 horsepower. Toyota claims the RAV4 Prime is the most powerful RAV4 model the automaker has ever built. It's also one of the quickest with a zero-to-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds. While performance is a nice thing to have, it's not the number one reason consumers would purchase a RAV4 Prime. Instead, it's all about efficiency.
At the time of launch, Toyota claimed the RAV4 Prime would be rated at up to 90 MPGe and have an all-electric range of 39 miles. Those were impressive figures, but the EPA's official figures paint the plug-in hybrid SUV in an even better light than originally thought. In the EPA's testing, the RAV4 Prime managed to travel 42 miles on electricity and was rated at 94 MPGe combined.
Compared to the competition, those are excellent figures. The Ford Escape PHEV can travel 38 miles on electricity before the gas engine kicks in and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a 22-mile electric rating. While the RAV4 Prime's combined fuel economy rating of 94 MPGe bests the Outlander PHEV's 74 MPGe rating, it still trails the Escape PHEV, which is rated at 100 MPGe. Still, the RAV4 Prime has more total range than those two SUVs, being able to travel 600 total miles.
Good Luck Finding One
These are excellent figures for Toyota and shoppers interested in picking up a RAV4 Prime. Unfortunately, there are a few downsides. A report from Electrek claims that Toyota only plans to bring 5,000 units of the 2021 RAV4 Prime to the U.S. That's an incredibly small number of vehicles. The automaker claims it's due to a limited supply of components needed to develop its new lithium-ion battery.
Furthermore, TorqueNews claims that Toyota will only sell the RAV4 Prime in ZEV states. At the moment, only 12 states qualify as ZEV ones. The other 38 states, presumably, won't get any RAV4 Primes to sell to consumers.
These two restrictions will greatly affect consumers' ability to purchase the new model, which is a shame, because it looks a promising vehicle to help people get on board an electric future. Reports indicate that the second model year (2022) will see Toyota increase the number of RAV4 Prime models that can be sold in the country to 20,000. That's better, but still not great.
With federal and state incentives still in full effect for Toyota, the RAV4 Prime could be a great deal for the few consumers that manage to snag a model. Pricing for the SUV will start at $39,220 and sales are expected to begin this summer.
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