Skip to main content

Lines seem to be out the door at Toyota dealerships as people are trying to snap up 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEVs. While Ford dealers aren’t quite seeing the same demand for the 2022 Ford Escape PHEV SUV. But that doesn’t mean the Ford plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is lacking. PHEVs are great because not everyone has easy access to a plug-in charger. For most around-town trips, the electric range of a PHEV is plenty, and you may find that you may never need to dip into the fuel tank. But what makes the Escape PHEV better than the RAV4 Prime?

The Ford Escape PHEV gets better mileage

According to the EPA, the Escape PHEV gets better mileage in a similar package to the RAV4 Prime.
Mileage Comparison | EPA

According to the EPA, the 2022 Ford Escape front-wheel drive gets a combined 105 MPGe, and 40 MPG on gas power. The RAV4 Prime PHEV gets 94 MPGe, however with 600 miles of total range thanks to its efficient gas engine. The EPA estimates that the annual fuel cost for driving the RAV4 Prime is $1,100 while driving the Ford would cost $1,050.

But the RAV4 Prime has a better range

A promotional shot of a red 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) side and rear
2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The RAV4 Prime, however, is a plug-in electric vehicle that has 600 miles of total range and can go 42 miles on electric-only power. In gas mode, the EPA estimates that the RAV4 gets a combined 38 mpg.  The RAV4 Hybrid, which also has a 2.5-liter 4 cylinder, gets 40 mpg combined. The Escape PHEV can only go 37 miles on electric power only.

The Ford Escape can be optioned to compete

The 2022 Ford Escape PHEV gets incredible MPGe, according to the EPA.

The 2022 Escape PHEV is the plug-in hybrid version of the 2022 Ford Escape. It doesn’t scream “I’m a hybrid,” and it looks nearly identical to the gas-powered Escape. It comes in four trim levels, including SE, SEL, Titanium, and Titanium Premium Package. The higher-level trims focus on upgrading the interior with nicer trim and some more options. The Escape PHEV comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot 360, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane-centering assistance, and much more.

The Escape PHEV starts at $35,190. The Titanium Premium package brings every option and makes the Escape as luxurious inside. Though it’s not perfect, it comes close inside to the RAV4 Prime’s options and starts at about $42,000. It has a total of 221 horsepower. Ford is expecting to update the Escape for 2023.

The RAV4 Prime PHEV is not your regular RAV4

Supersonic Red 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime driving on a coastal road
Supersonic Red 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. 2021 Ford Escape PHEV: Battle of the Plug-Ins

Toyota doesn’t mention the RAV4 Prime PHEV in the same breath as it does the RAV4 or RAV4 Hybrid. The RAV4 comes in three different versions. You can order a gas-powered version with a 203-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. The hybrid version has a 176-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric hybrid powertrain that makes a combined 209 horsepower.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is a different model and an entirely different driving experience. The RAV4 Prime has 302 horsepower and can keep up with a lot of sports cars. It comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, an extra available 9-inch multimedia touchscreen, a Heads-Up Display, and more. The prime was released for 2021 and hasn’t really changed much since. The RAV4 Prime XSE package, which comes with almost every available RAV4 option, is $43,625.