We’ve all heard and seen the many horror stories about massive dealer markups over the past 18 months. Images of huge markups tacked onto the window stickers of popular models circulate like wildfire on social media and we all interpret those as the final sale prices of the vehicles in question for everyone. But what if that’s not actually true? In the case of one of America’s top-selling electrified crossovers, the Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV) a new poll suggests that most people pay MSRP or slightly more or less.
As you can see from the poll results, most shoppers who responded to the poll say that they paid MSRP. In other words, they paid the window sticker price without a markup or “market adjustment fee” by the dealer. Of the votes cast, this was overwhelmingly the top result.
Related Story: Huge Dealer Markups May Not Be What They Seem
The next largest pair of poll answers are Under MSRP and +$2K. If you add these to the MSRP grouping the remaining poll answers are basically a rounding error. Just a handful say they paid more than $2K above MSRP. One owner says they paid $20K over MSRP. We believe the respondent because we’ve seen secret shopper images showing a $20K markup on the RAV4 Prime by one California Toyota dealer.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime outsold the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, Hyundai IONIQ5, and Jaguar I-PACE in 2021. During the past year, the RAV4 Prime was at times the second fastest-selling new vehicle in America according to data mining conducted by iSeeCars. The only electrified crossover we are certain outsold the RAV4 Prime is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Unlike many electrified vehicles, Toyota did not restrict its sales to just the CARB-compliant ZEV states. Deliveries from dealers of new RAV4 Primes have happened in 35 of the 50 U.S. states. Our Toyota contact tells us that the RAV4 Prime, or its equal with a different name, has been sold in 40 countries globally since its introduction about 17 months ago.
Related Story: Poll: Most Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Buyers Paid MSRP Or Less
We take polls like this one seriously when they are conducted in relatively large, well-run Facebook owner and fan clubs. Can they be wrong? Of course they can. They can also be right. With very very few automakers ever offering up average transaction prices by model, it is hard to fact-check such “data.” However, if you are a member of some of these clubs and participate in the many conversations, you quickly realize that the clubs are a fairly good barometer of what’s happening with the ownership experience.
Did you buy a RAV4 Prime this year? If you have not responded to the poll in the Facebook club, feel free to do so, or add a comment below. If you do comment, please tell us the state in which you purchased your R4P.
Image of Toyota RAV4 Prime by John Goreham. Poll screenshot courtesy of Facebook and Jim R.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin