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Toyota’s most fuel-efficient SUV is a historic nameplate for the Japanese automaker. The Toyota RAV4 Prime is the first-ever plug-in hybrid SUV from Toyota. The company is a pioneer in hybrid technology. Now, it’s leading the charge in PHEV tech as well with nameplates like the Toyota Prius Prime and Toyota RAV4 Prime. Here’s why the RAV4 Prime has a huge advantage over EVs.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime perfectly bridges the gap between ICE vehicles and EVs

A red Toyota RAV4 Prime small plug-in hybrid SUV is driving.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

The Toyota RAV4 Prime’s unique powertrain system is the best of both worlds. Toyota has taken over the world with the RAV4 small SUV. The Toyota RAV4 isn’t powerful or exhilarating, but it does have great fuel economy. So, how do you make a RAV4 that produces more power without sacrificing its gas mileage? Electric motors.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime uses a battery and electric motors to produce more power and allow the vehicle to travel without burning any gas. That’s right, no internal combustion for a limited range. So it isn’t a fully-electric vehicle, but it shares some of the benefits.

The RAV4 Prime also benefits from the practicality and reliability of an internal combustion engine. It’s an existential threat to EVs because why settle for one powertrain system when you could have a combination of both of the industry’s dominant systems?

There are still millions of drivers across the world that have extreme range anxiety. Aside from range anxiety, drivers also worry about the reliability and safety of battery-electric vehicles. Battery fire stories don’t help soothe those worries. The Toyota RAV4 Prime has a huge advantage over electric vehicles because it offers an alternative for consumers that want the perks of a more eco-friendly vehicle than an ICE model but fear EVs.

The PHEV’s powertrain system is incredible

The RAV4 Prime’s unique powertrain system allows it to produce an obscene amount of power for its size. The small SUV makes a whopping 302 horsepower. That’s nearly 100 more horses than the internal combustion engine RAV4.

Toyota’s first small plug-in hybrid SUV is incredibly powerful thanks to electric motors. The RAV4 Prime achieves 94 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent).

It has an electric-only driving range of 42 miles. So, it can travel for a distance of 42 miles running on just electricity when it’s fully charged. The Toyota RAV4 Prime can travel 600 miles between its gas engine, electric motors, and battery, making it the most fuel-efficient Toyota SUV.

Should you get a Toyota RAV4 Prime?

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime has a $42,340 MSRP. It’s worth the money for many drivers that want a more powerful and fuel-efficient version of the RAV4. Several major automotive publications call the PHEV the best compact plug-in hybrid SUV.

The RAV4 Prime is positioned to be a contender for the best small plug-in hybrid SUV for a long time. Are PHEVs the future of the automotive industry, or does the future still belong to EVs?


1 Clear Area of Improvement for the Toyota RAV4 Prime