With 42 miles of electric driving and a hybrid gas engine, this may be the best plug-in on the road.
‘What’s the most fuel efficient SUV on the road?’ is a question I get a lot. A LOT. And until recently it was hard to answer because all SUVs were by definition not very fuel efficient.
But over the past few years automakers have upped their game, adding a plug-in hybrid to some of the most popular SUVs on the road. While many of them are luxury SUVs like the Volvo XC90 or the Porsche Cayenne, more accessible vehicles were limited. It’s a small group of these, which includes the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Subaru CrossTrek and the Ford Escape. And now, the Toyota RAV4 Prime. And, with the exception of the Ford Escape, most get less than 20 miles to a charge (the Escape is rated for 30).
A few years ago Toyota introduced the “Prime” concept with the Prius Prime: This popular hybrid was given a plug, a larger electric motor, luxe features and rolled out to people who want a premium experience, peace of mind and to be the first to own new technology.
Related: 2020 Toyota Highlander 3-Row SUV: It Starts with 35 Amazing Hybrid Miles Per Gallon and Then, Gets Better
Toyota RAV4 Prime Sets the Stage For More EVs
EVs are the future; there’s no denying it. So we as car buyers are going to have to get used to the idea. With the Toyota RAV4 Prime making its way to dealerships this summer, this might be the ideal time, and it’s a smart way to go. With the success of the RAV4, Toyota’s best selling model, and the popular hybrid version, which accounts for 21% of RAV4 sales, this compact SUV is perfect for Toyota’s next electrified vehicle.
And, it’ll be nicely loaded: RAV4 Prime is only available at the RAV4’s top trim levels. Toyota learned with Prius that early adopters tend to also demand more features and updated technology, so Toyota is loading the Prime with truly prime options. These include:
- 302 horsepower
- 42 miles all electric driving; then the hybrid gas engine kicks in and should get at least 41 MPG city/38 highway
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Head up display
- Toyota SafetySense +
- Off road mode
- Tax credits can return cash to buyers bank accounts: The RAV4 Prime is expected to qualify for up to $7500 in federal credit and for state credits, too
- Top of the RAV4 line with starting price of $38,100 for the SE model and $41,425 for the XSE model
Electric, Hybrid, Gas: The Best of All Worlds Under one Hood
In keeping with electric cars, the RAV4 Prime features regeneration paddles that let you recoup unspent energy and store it in the car’s battery. You can use the paddles to slow the car on a steep downhill descent or to slow as you approach an intersection and while you do that, add mileage range to your battery (we LOVE this about electric cars).
And, the Prime promises to be sublimely quiet. Not only is it silent in electric mode, but it’s been upgraded in the noise and insulation department so when you’re driving in all electric you won’t hear road noise; overall it should e quieter than other models.
We love the Toyota RAV4 for its comfort and capability under any circumstances. And now, not having to go to the gas station, maybe not at all? That is delightful and worthy of the name Prime.