2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
The RAV4 Prime is brand new for 2021. While it shares many qualities with the regular Toyota RAV4, which has been around for awhile, the 2021 RAV4 Prime is unique because of its electrified powertrain. This powertrain uses a 2.5-liter engine and a few electric motors. They all work together to generate over 300 horsepower. This makes the RAV4 Prime the most powerful RAV4 there is.
Note that the regular RAV4 has remained unchanged as it moves from the 2020 to the 2021 model year. This means that the Prime will generally feel like the 2020 and 2021 Toyota RAV4 from a stylistic standpoint.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
From the exterior, the two RAV4 Prime trims are slightly different. The Prime SE sits on 18-inch wheels, and the XSE trim uses 19-inch wheels. Both wheel versions have a five-spoke design. The XSE is enhanced by vertical LED accent lights that look very modern, and it's the only trim available with a two-tone exterior color. This two-tone look is quite eye-catching. Finally, only the XSE has a standard power moonroof.
Similar differences are found inside the cabin. The SE is certainly a well-appointed vehicle with a dual-zone climate system, heated front seats, and more features. The XSE, though, has even nicer amenities. They include SofTex seats instead of cloth ones, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and ambient lighting that comes in a cool blue hue.
From a technological standpoint, it may matter to some customers that the SE has an eight-inch touchscreen in comparison with the XSE's nine-inch touchscreen. Navigation and a premium sound system are only available on the XSE.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
It's clear that either trim of the Prime models would be a smart choice for people looking for capable SUVs that are efficient, practical, and stylish. The two trims both have the same type of mechanical components, though the Prime XSE comes with paddle shifters that may be fun and exciting to use.
Basically, it comes down to how much people want to pamper themselves. The Prime SE really does have it all, from an advanced infotainment system and safety package to comfortable seats and convenient amenities. However, the XSE takes things a step further. Plus, it has the moonroof that some customers might prefer.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
Toyota has built a loyal following for many reasons, one of which is its emphasis on technology. The company knows what today's consumers are looking for, and it has made strategic moves in this field.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen. It also comes with six speakers that do a good job of broadcasting sound and smartphone compatibility to make it easy to connect a smartphone to the vehicle's system. Amazon Alexa is another standard feature, and it gives people the ability to quickly look up all kinds of information. The infotainment system includes SiriusXM and all of its various radio stations. Multiple USB ports are in place, in recognition of the fact that many people travel with more than one device these days.
The XSE trim is upgraded with a nine-inch touchscreen. With this model, customers have the option of adding navigation to their systems. Navigation can be extremely helpful when people are driving through unfamiliar territory and/or want to stay updated on traffic conditions. If navigation is selected, the infotainment system will automatically come with 11 JBL speakers. The difference in audio quality can be noticeable.
How Does It Perform?
With a pair of electric motors and a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime can handle itself well. It's really quick off the line, and it can drive confidently even in rugged terrain, as it has 302 horsepower. Electric on-demand all-wheel drive is automatically integrated into every RAV4 Prime. This gives the vehicle the ability to make adjustments to power delivery based on the situation. If the rear wheels are having trouble, more power can be sent to the front wheels, and vice versa.
In addition, the RAV4 Prime is rated to tow 2,500 pounds. This is a greater towing capacity than the other RAV4s exhibit.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
Like many other Toyotas, the new RAV4 Prime is very reliable, and safety is a major advantage of driving this model. Every Prime trim comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This package includes several driver-assist technologies that can look out for potential problems, alert drivers about issues, and potentially take action. With these systems in place, it can be less likely that a driver would accidentally veer out of a lane or get involved in a frontal collision. Two other components featured in this model are automatic high beams and an adaptive cruise control system.
What's the Interior Like?
Inside the RAV4 Prime, there is plenty of space. Leg room up front is 41 inches, and in the second row, it's 37.8 inches. The rear cargo hold has a volume of 33.5 cubic feet. As with the other Toyota SUVs, the rear seats can be quickly lowered when more space is needed. Total cargo capacity is nearly 70 cubic feet.
Everything that a driver might need is within easy reach. There are several storage compartments in the cabin, including one in the overhead console. The seats can be trimmed in fabric or SofTex, with there being red stitching and heating elements built into the seats on all trims. Ventilation in the front seats and heating in the rear outboard seats are available.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
The RAV4 Prime is very similar to the RAV4 Hybrid. However, the Prime is a plug-in hybrid that can travel exclusively on electric power for limited distances. The Prime is more powerful than the hybrid is; this is likely to be an important factor for some potential buyers. Toyota actually makes a few other hybrid SUVs. Another two-row hybrid SUV made by the company is the new Venza. It's not a plug-in, but it does have a somewhat similar size and overall style to the RAV4 Prime.
Note: All Toyota RAV4 Prime lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.