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The Toyota RAV4 Prime is changing the way people look at hybrid vehicles. The aptly named Prime is a superior Toyota RAV4 in many ways. Here’s why the 2022 Toyota bZ4X will be an even better buy than the RAV4 Prime.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is awesome, but better things are ahead

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime left an impact on the automotive industry that won’t soon be forgotten. Toyota was the first major automaker to mass-produce a hybrid vehicle, so it’s no surprise that it was also the company to seemingly perfect the modern hybrid vehicle. The Toyota Prius may not be everyone’s favorite, but the RAV4 Prime modifies everyone’s favorite.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is the best hybrid variation of one of America’s most popular SUVs. The Prime is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that can be charged like an electric vehicle. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine. The RAV4 Prime makes a mighty 302 horsepower with the help of dual electric motors.

The 2021 RAV4 Prime gets an astounding 40 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway. It has a class-leading electric-only driving range of 42 miles. The RAV4 Prime starts at $38,350.

The 2022 Toyota bZ4X offers more long-term value

A silver 2022 Toyota bZ4X electric SUV is on display.
The 2022 Toyota bZ4X | VCG via Getty Images

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is about as close to a Toyota electric SUV as you can get at the moment. That being said, there are better alternatively-fueled Toyota SUVs on the horizon. The RAV4 Prime may seem awesome at the moment, but don’t get caught up in its amazing fuel economy.

The 2021 RAV4 Prime may reduce emissions and save you dollars at the pump, but the 2022 bZ4X is on a whole other level. The bZ4X is part of Toyota’s Beyond Zero initiative. It is the first of many Toyota electric vehicles and has a lot more to offer than just being shinier and newer than the Prime.

A combined 38 miles per gallon may seem great at the moment, but imagine fully charging your 2022 Toyota bZ4X for under $20. The RAV4 Prime may have a refined interior but the bZ4X has a new design language. Its platform was developed in collaboration with Subaru. Newer doesn’t always mean better, but Toyota is betting big on the 2022 bZ4X bringing the wow factor to usher in the age of the EV.

The Toyota bZ4X has the potential to last much longer than the RAV4 Prime. The Japanese automaker aims to have the bZ4X’s battery retain 90% of its total capacity after 10 years of use. This means that Toyota’s new electric SUV could potentially last for decades with proper maintenance.

The Toyota bZ4X might actually be the cheaper SUV

A person stands on the passenger's side of a silver 2022 Toyota bZ4X electric SUV.
The Toyota bZ4X | Toyota

Since the 2022 Toyota bZ4X uses a new, more complex powertrain and platform, assuming it would cost more than Toyota’s RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid is a safe bet. Though the bZ4X may have a higher sticker price, it can be eligible for federal and local electric vehicle tax incentives.

According to Car and Driver, the 2022 Toyota bZ4X could start at around $37,000. If the electric SUV is eligible for EV federal and local tax credits, its true price could be much closer to $31,000 for the base model. The United States government and many major automakers are incentivizing electric vehicle purchases in hopes that EVs will one day become ubiquitous and drastically reduce carbon emissions.

Even though the 2022 Toyota bZ4X is the newer and more unique SUV, it will likely be several thousand dollars cheaper than the RAV4 Prime. Save some bucks and experience the first of Toyota’s exciting new Beyond Zero initiative with the historic bZ4X.


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