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The Toyota RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid SUV model that is extremely powerful and fuel-efficient. The RAV4 Prime is many things, but it isn’t worth $100K. So why did a Toyota dealer try to sell the RAV4 Prime for over double its market value?

Why was a Toyota RAV4 Prime priced at over $96,000?

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is the creme de la creme of RAV4 models. It is the RAV4’s true potential realized thanks to a hybrid powertrain system. The RAV4 Prime is much more expensive than the average RAV4, but even a fully loaded model is nowhere close to $100K.

According to InsideEVs, a consumer looking into a RAV4 Prime was almost charged double what the SUV is actually worth after inquiring about the vehicle. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime starts at $38,350 for the Prime SE base model. The Prime XSE starts at $41,675. Its most expensive package costs $5,760. A fully loaded XSE should come out to around $47,435.

If you account for taxes and additional fees, the plug-in hybrid SUV could get pretty pricey. However, any price too far beyond $54,000 after taxes starts to seem fishy. The consumer who inquired about the RAV4 Prime XSE’s price was given a total price of $96,442 after a $40,000 dealership markup.

Dealership markups are meant to cover costs incurred by the dealership during the process of ordering a vehicle for a consumer. While some vehicles have to be specially ordered and can cost dealerships thousands in fees, a $40K markup seems a little severe. The sad reality is that massive markups have become an industry-wide phenomenon because of issues like semiconductor chip and vehicle supply shortages.

Is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE worth $47,435?

A red 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime.

Today, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 starts at around $26,350. So why are some consumers willing to pay upwards of $47,000 for another version of the popular compact SUV model?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime makes a whopping 302 horsepower using a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine and motor system. Its power is incredible for a compact SUV. The RAV4 Prime isn’t just the fastest RAV4 ever produced. It also boasts amazing fuel efficiency.

The RAV4 Prime gets 40 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway. It has an electric-only range of 42 miles.

Should you buy a 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Frederic J. Brown via Getty Images

The Toyota RAV4 Prime isn’t as costly as most consumers believe. Since it’s a plug-in hybrid, it is eligible for federal electric vehicle tax credits. The Prime SE’s true price becomes under $31,000 after the electric vehicle tax incentive.

The Prime SE is a great plug-in hybrid SUV option to consider once you can secure a hefty discount provided by the government. If a dealer mentions a markup, take a deep breath and head for the hills because chances are you can find a much better deal on a plug-in hybrid SUV.


Getting Your 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Might be Tough