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The green movement is ramping up, and automakers are churning out more hybrid vehicles. The problem is that some of those vehicles aren’t exactly on the affordable side. In fact, many green vehicles cost more than their gas-guzzling counterparts, making it difficult for some consumers to purchase one.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime falls into this category. It looks great, has incredible ratings, but still turns most drivers away because they can’t afford the payments. Or can they? Green Car Reports might just have a way for you to buy the RAV4 Prime without having to take out a massive loan.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime has gotten a lot of attention from critics. Kelley Blue Book gave it a near-perfect score with 4.8 stars out of 5. 

That’s because there is so much to love about the RAV4 Prime. One of the biggest reasons is the fuel economy, which is even better than Toyota predicted. The RAV4 Prime gets 38 MPG or 94 MPGe. If you’re going purely electric, then you get 42 miles.

The RAV4 Prime also offers AWD standard, making it perfect for areas that are prone to bouts of bad weather. This is all possible due to the 4-cylinder engine that is combined with a more powerful lithium-ion battery pack and three motors (two on the front axle and one in the rear). The Prime gets 302 hp, and also wins the award for the fastest RAV4. It can go from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, which is fast by any standards.

While the RAV4 Prime is not all great, the cons aren’t that terrible. The RAV4 is a favorite of the off-road community, but Prime isn’t your best choice if you want to hit the trails.

It has a very limited off-road capability, and is more fit for the pavement. Other cons include a rather annoying tone when backing up and the lack of leather seating.

It’s better than the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Given that both the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and the Prime are both hybrids, some consumers may be wondering what’s the difference, and more importantly, how it affects their wallets. The short answer is that the Prime has a bigger battery. And while bigger doesn’t always mean better, in this case, it does.

The RAV4 Hybrid gets an estimated 41 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. It also has a much weaker engine. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine only gets 219-hp. This is paired with three electric motors and a CVT transmission.

The RAV4 Prime is also taking on Tesla. One of its other competitors is the Tesla Y, and the Prime once again out ranked this fully electric vehicle. Not only is the Prime cheaper, but it also offers more room, and a smoother ride.

You mean it’s not that expensive?

The 20201 Toyota RAV4 Prime on display
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime unveiled and on display | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Yes, $39,220 is a rather high price for Toyota. It might even be enough to make some consumers walk away, but there is a silver lining here, and it comes in the form of a tax rebate.

The Federal government is offering a $7,500 tax credit that will cut the price down to $31,720, according to the Department of Engery. And let’s not forget that most state governments have a program set aside for electric cars that will cut the price down even further.

This varies from state to state, so you’ll have to look up your local laws for all the details, but the price of the RAV4 Prime might just be cut down even further. 

There are also other benefits to owning a 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime. In some places, the RAV4 Prime is eligible for High Occupancy Lane (HOV). It also gets an overall range of 600 miles between filling up your gas tank and recharging the battery. Given these incentives to go green, what was once a high priced vehicle is now shockingly very affordable. 


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