2019 LA Auto Show: Toyota Unveils Electrified Performance RAV4

November 20, 2019 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

Toyota debuted a performance version of its RAV4 crossover at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday, adding an electric drive system that amps up horsepower and torque.

The 2021 RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid that can travel nearly 40 miles on electricity alone. But it will also shoot from 0-to-60 mph in 5.8 seconds. It is second in acceleration only to Toyota’s new Supra sports car in the automaker’s lineup. The acceleration also beats luxury crossovers such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC. The German crossover clocks in at 6.1 seconds.

By unveiling the plug-in RAV4, Toyota is expanding its offering for what has become the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. that isn’t a pickup truck.

Here’s everything to know about the 2021 RAV4 Prime:


As a plug-in hybrid, the RAV4 can drive on electricity alone. When its charge runs out, a gasoline engine kicks in and provides power. Such vehicles typically get state and federal environmental credits and rebates. They also get access to carpool lanes in some states.


Toyota is holding pricing for the RAV4 Prime until closer to the sale date in summer 2020.

2021-rav4-prime-interiorWith the electric-only mode, the vehicle will have an equivalent of 90 mpg. It will have an electric-only range of 39 miles. That is the highest electric range of any plug-in hybrid currently for sale. It also means the new vehicle will be eligible for a $1,000 rebate in California, where it is expected to sell well. The state is raising its all-electric range for eligible plug-in hybrids to 35 miles from the present 20-mile requirement.


Compared with the regular RAV4 Hybrid, the Prime has more powerful motor-generators, a newly developed high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery and a booster converter. That adds up to an 83-horsepower jump in total system output over the RAV4 Hybrid and a 2-second improvement in 0-to-60 mph time. The 2021 RAV4 Prime uses a differently tuned version of the RAV4 Hybrid’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine. The combination electric/gasoline drive system tops out a 302 horsepower.


Toyota will equip the RAV4 Prime with an extensive list of standard features. They include heated front seats, an 8-way power, blind-spot alert, leather-trimmed steering wheel, power liftgate, an 8-inch touchscreen, and Amazon Alexa, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

2021-rav4-prime-interiorThe RAV4 Prime XSE adds a standard two-tone paint scheme that pairs a black roof with select colors, 19-inch alloy wheels and LED accent lights. Additionally, it includes the RAV4’s first paddle shifters, a moonroof, SofTex synthetic leather seats, wireless smartphone charging, ambient lighting and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated garage door opener. There also is a 9-inch touchscreen.


The RAV4 Prime has Toyota Safety Sense suite of active-safety technologies as a standard feature. That includes automatic emergency braking, pedestrian alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist and automatic high beams.

2021-rav4-prime-interiorThe XSE Premium Package adds rear cross-traffic braking and front and rear parking assist with automated braking.


The vehicle comes with a three-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Additionally, the battery warranty is 10 years from the original date of first use, or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. The warranty is transferrable from owner-to-owner.

John O'Dell November 17, 2019
Ford unveils its Mustang Mach-E, a crossover for drivers who want an American muscle car vehicle that doesn’t run on gasoline fuel.

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