Toyota Rav4 vs Rav4 Prime

In terms of the Toyota RAV4 vs RAV4 Prime debate, there’s more to making the right decision than just wanting to embrace change.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is a relative newcomer to the automaker’s lineup. Give the decision some thought before heading to the dealership.

Which One Is the Better Choice in 2024?

Introduced in 2021, the Toyota Rav4 Prime combines the best of both worlds as a plug-in hybrid SUV. EV enthusiasts jumped on board immediately, but some drivers are still getting used to a changing world that no longer prioritizes combustion engines.

For those already comfortable with EVs and have the set up for home charging a plug-in hybrid, there’s little debate about which model to choose. Everyone else has to weigh options more carefully since it requires an investment to go electric, even with a hybrid.

Go With the Prime for More Get-Up-And-Go

Both the conventional Rav4 and the Rav4 Prime feature robust 2.5L 4-cyl engines. However, in the Prime models, the combustion engine is paired with an electric motor. The difference is impressive.

The traditional Rav4 produces 203 hp and makes it from 0-60 in around eight seconds. The Toyota Rav4 Prime uses the electric motor to churn out a more impressive 302 hp. The EV hybrid is quicker off the line, as well, hitting 60 mph in under six seconds.

The Rav4 Is Already One of the Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs

Even without the hybrid engine, the Toyota Rav4 is quite fuel-efficient for its class. The base powertrain setup gets 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, comparable to many smaller vehicles.

The Toyota Rav4 Prime does a bit better. The hybrid’s EPA rating gets elevated to 40 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. That may not seem like much of a difference but consider also that its all-electric mode can get drivers an extra 48 miles before they have to use a sip of gas.

The Rav4 Prime Takes Safety a Step Further

The traditional Toyota Rav4 comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 suite of safety and driver assistance technologies. Those technologies include adaptive cruise control, forward automatic braking, and traffic sign recognition.

The hybrid SUV’s designers included extra standard driver-assist features. Getting things like blind-spot monitoring, lane-tracing assist, and rear cross-traffic alerts in the regular Rav4 requires a trim upgrade. They’re standard in a Rav4 Prime.

What’s the Catch?

The Toyota Rav4 Prime gets better fuel efficiency, is more powerful, and can run on electricity alone. The hybrid SUV has a better array of standard features and even includes Amazon Alexa. So, what’s the catch?

The biggest thing the traditional Rav4 still has going for it is a lower price tag. The starting MSRP for a 2024 Toyota Rav4 is just $30,025, while that of a Toyota Rav4 Prime is much higher at $45,040.

Remember that the plug-in hybrid also needs to be charged. If a family already has a home charging station for use with another vehicle, that’s nothing to worry about. Drivers buying plug-in EVs for the first time must pay an electrician to install a dedicated 240V outlet.

For most drivers, those extra costs are worth it. After all, the EV is the future of transportation. There’s no better time to embrace the future than the present.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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