Toyota offers two different RAV4 options for the environmentally-conscious or fuel-efficiency focused buyer. In addition to the gas Toyota RAV4, there are the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Toyota RAV4 Prime, which is a plug-in hybrid new for 2021. While both are great options, there are a few reasons why you might prefer the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid over the Toyota RAV4 Prime.
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has more cargo space
While both the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime have a good amount of cargo space, the RAV4 Hybrid has a bit more. It comes in with 37.6 cubic feet, which increases to 69.8 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded down. The RAV4 Prime offers 33.5 cubic feet or 63.2 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded down.
The gas-powered RAV4 has the same amount of cargo room as the RAV4 Hybrid, which isn’t always the case for all hybrids and their standard versions. According to U.S. News, that is more than is usually found in an average compact SUV.
More color options
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has more paint color options as well as more interior color choices. Buyers can choose among 13 exterior colors for the RAV4 Hybrid or 11 for the RAV4 Prime. The RAV4 Hybrid can come in Blizzard Pearl, Blue Flame, or Lunar Rock, which is blue-green-gray. The RAV4 Prime is available in Supersonic Red, although that’s similar to the RAV4 Hybrid’s Ruby Flare Pearl.
Both are available in Magnetic Gray Metallic, Silver Sky Metallic, Super White, Blueprint, and Midnight Black Metallic. Both versions can come with two-tone exterior paint, featuring a color paired with a black roof. These colors can be used in combination on either RAV4: Silver Sky Metallic, Blizzard Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, or Blueprint. The RAV4 Prime can also pair Supersonic Red with the black roof.
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s interior color options are gray, black, or tan. Those options determine whether the stitching on the seats will be blue or brown. The RAV4 Prime has black seats with red stitching.
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid doesn’t need to be plugged in
At this stage, not everyone has easy access to an EV charger. The RAV4 Prime can go an estimated 42 miles on just electric power (and has a range of 600 miles when using the gas engine too), but if it’s too inconvenient to charge it up, then the RAV4 Hybrid is a better lifestyle choice.
The RAV4 Hybrid can go 580 miles on one tank of gas. It also takes just minutes to fill up on gas, while it takes 12 hours to charge the RAV4 Prime with a standard 120V home charging cable. A faster charge requires upgraded equipment.
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid costs less than RAV4 Prime
The 2020 RAV4 Hybrid saves buyers quite a bit up front. The RAV4 Hybrid offers three trim levels, and the XLE Hybrid starts at $29,645. The other two trims start at $34,300 for the XSE Hybrid and $36,880 for the Limited Hybrid.
The RAV4 Prime has two trim levels and starts higher than either of the Hybrid options. The Prime SE trim starts at $38,100, while the Prime XSE trim starts at $41,425. According to MotorTrend, the RAV4 Prime should be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit as well as additional state tax credits; however, those wouldn’t affect the purchase price.
While the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime offers a few extra features on its top trim and excellent fuel efficiency, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid may be a better buy for most people. It has a lot to offer, with more cargo space, more color options, freedom from plugging in, and lower prices.