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First-Ever RAV4 Prime Starts Under $40,000

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2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime
Photo: Toyota

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime, the first-ever RAV4 plug-in hybrid model, is arriving at dealerships this summer with a starting MSRP of just $38,100.

It represents a major step forward for the Japanese automaker. The RAV4 Prime is not only faster than any RAV4 in history: it’s also the most efficient. These two things typically don’t come together, but Toyota has been known to invoke the dark magics from time to time to make the impossible happen.

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In fact, with 302 horsepower and a 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.7 seconds, the RAV4 Prime is not just the fastest RAV4 ever, but also the fastest four-door vehicle in the entire Toyota lineup. Additionally, the automaker says it’ll go 39 miles on battery power alone, which is more range than any other plug-in hybrid SUV. It gets an estimated 90 combined MPGe, and if the battery is completely out of charge, the RAV4 Prime still gets 38 mpg. Who says you have to go small to be efficient?

The 2021 model will be offered at just two trim levels: SE and XSE. Standard features on the SE include heated front seats, an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support. It’s offered with an optional weather package that adds heating to various elements like the steering wheel, rear outboard seats, and windshield wipers.

The RAV4 Prime XSE meanwhile gets a standard moonroof, wireless phone charging capability, ambient interior lighting, a 9-inch touch-screen upgrade, and SofTex-trimmed seats, which is Toyota’s sustainable leather-like material. Options include the aforementioned weather package as well as a JBL premium audio system, navigation, a digital rearview mirror, perforated ventilated front seats, a head-up display, and a variety of other cool features.

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No matter the trim level, the RAV4 Prime gets the full Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of active safety technologies, which includes the automaker’s latest pedestrian-detecting automatic emergency braking system, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, and lane tracing assist. All models also get a standard electronic on-demand AWD system.

With all options and the delivery charge accounted for, a fully-loaded RAV4 Prime will set you back $48,305. That makes it by far the most expensive RAV4 you can buy, but the substantial powertrain upgrades alone may be worth the price of admission.