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Toyota’s electric future is upon us, but are we ready for it? Toyota has produced one of the most exciting plug-in hybrid vehicles of the year, the 2021 RAV4 Prime. The 2022 Toyota bZ4X is coming next year, and it’s sure to shock consumers. Which Toyota SUV is the better buy? It’s time for 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. 2022 Toyota bZ4X.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a game-changer

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a groundbreaking plug-in hybrid vehicle. On top of being one of the plug-in hybrid SUVs with the most electric range, it is also one of the most powerful hybrid vehicles on the market. Toyota is a pioneer in producing hybrid vehicles.

Despite the Toyota Prius’ unpopularity, it was a pivotal stepping stone on the road to the electric future. The RAV4 Prime is the next phase in Toyota’s hybrid technology. It starts at $38,350, but the hybrid SUV is eligible for a $7,500 federal EV tax credit. After the tax credit, the RAV4 Prime’s price becomes $30,850.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime gets a whopping 40 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway. It has an electric-only range of 42 miles. The plug-in hybrid SUV uses a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and motors to make a massive 302 horsepower. Not bad for a compact SUV.

The RAV4 Prime also offers superior styling, tech, and comfort to the average RAV4. The aptly named Prime is the RAV4’s true potential realized. It combines power with great fuel economy, dismissing the stigma that hybrid vehicles are always underpowered.

The 2022 Toyota bZ4X is the future of Toyota SUVs

The 2022 Toyota bZ4X is the first of Toyota’s Beyond Zero initiative to debut. According to Car and Driver, the bZ4X will get between 200 and 300 miles of range. Today, electric vehicle range above 200 miles is considered average.

The bZ4X is likely to come in different trim levels that offer a longer range similar to the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV. A price for the bZ4X has yet to be released, but experts estimate that it will start at around $40,000. After electric vehicle tax incentives, the bZ4X’s true price will be much closer to $32,500 or less. The front-wheel drive option will make 201 horsepower. The all-wheel drive option will make 215 horsepower.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. 2022 Toyota bZ4X

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime on display during the AutoMobility LA event, at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on November 21, 2019. - The four-day press and trade event precedes the Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs November 22 through December 1.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime | Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

From the limited information released about the bZ4X, it appears that the RAV4 Prime is the more powerful Toyota SUV. The RAV4 Prime is built using one of America’s most popular SUVs as a starting point.

The 2022 Toyota bZ4X, on the other hand, is completely uncharted territory. Though aspects of the electric SUV may be reminiscent of the RAV4, it is a completely new nameplate and platform. When it comes to the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. 2022 Toyota bZ4X, the former offers the comfort of familiarity. For that reason, it is the better option for buyers still skeptical of electric vehicles.

The RAV4 Prime’s familiarity and power make it a better choice than the bZ4X, at least until more information is revealed. Both SUVs are playing their role in Toyota’s electric future. Will the bZ4X take the lead when it is released, or will sales lag behind RAV4 Prime sales?


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