Hybrids & Electrics

Dealer Markups on the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Are Insane

Would you pay extra for a Toyota RAV4 that’s able to pull off 0 to 60 times almost as quick as the Supra and get up to 94 MPGe? Would you pay over $10,000 more for it? Probably not. But that’s not stopping certain dealerships from jacking up the price on the new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime. And while it’s easy to say that the markups are due to “supply and demand” and the sheer rarity of the car, there’s no denying that the increased prices are just downright insane.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime will sell in limited quantities

The Toyota RAV4 is America’s top-selling, non-pickup vehicle (according to Car and Driver), and with 448,071 units sold in just 2019 along, we don’t doubt it. To put a little more icing onto that glorious sales cake, Toyota released the RAV4 Prime, a plug-in variant, that’s only going to be sold in a limited amount for its first year. How limited? Toyota only plans to sell 5,000 RAV4 Prime models. Which, if you do the simple math for supply and demand, there’s likely an exponential amount of demand for the minuscule supply, at least for this year.

Of course, dealerships are jumping at the opportunity. According to the folks at The Drive, there are dealers that are marking up the new RAV4 by over $10,000. That number in itself is appalling, but considering the RAV4 Prime starts at around $39,000, the extra bump in price would put it in 4Runner territory, which makes the deal not very compelling. The vehicle’s limited supply isn’t the only reason for the price gouge as it’s quite the performer as well.

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2021 RAV4 Prime
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

The RAV4 Prime is one of a kind

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime will be offered in two different trim levels: SE and XSE. However, the difference in trim levels mainly only lies in the available safety and comfort features. The real story is what lies under the hood. The RAV4 Prime is powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower and is mated to a 179-horsepower electric motor in the front and a 53-horsepower motor in the rear, both of which are supplied power via a large 355-volt battery. The dual-motor setup means that this rig does have an all-wheel drivetrain as standard and can also drive on electric power alone.

The RAV4 Prime’s EV range is rated at 42 miles and after that juice is used up, you can expect to achieve 40 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on highway (38 combined). That’s a pretty huge jump over the gas-only RAV4’s ratings of 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. But what’s more, the RAV4 Prime’s combined horsepower rating is 302 and even more impressive is it 0 to 60 time of 5.7 seconds, which makes it the second-quickest model in Toyotas lineup coming in right behind the Supra.

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toyota RAV4 prime plug
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

It’s worth the wait

While the 2021 RAV4 Prime might not be worth the current price, we can definitely say it’s worth the wait. Toyota should be selling more RAV4 Prime units in the coming years, so it would be a much wiser move to wait and get one at MSRP or at least a little lower. Just don’t expect massive discounts over the next year or so, as we predict the demand will still remain high.