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Toyota RAV4 Prime Will Costs Buyers About Half What A Tesla Model Y Will Cost

When Toyota's RAV4 Prime arrives this sumer it will cost buyers roughly half what a Tesla Model Y will cost. Here is the price breakdown.

Toyota's new RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will go on sale this summer. When it arrives, its SE trim will have a consumer cost in EV-target states after incentives of as low as $30,300. By contrast, the Tesla Model Y crossover starts at a price of $54,190. The cost to the consumer for these two green crossovers with similar capacities is about 56% lower for the Toyota RAV4 Prime.

Tesla pricing courtesy of TeslaTesla's Tricky Math
We priced out a Tesla Model Y Long Range, Dual Motor in white with a 5-passenger seating configuration. This is the least expensive way we could find to configure a Model Y using Tesla's online "order now" tool. It is difficult to find the actual price. Tesla carefully hides the true cost two ways. First, the site included "gas savings." This shows an artificially-low price for the vehicle. Second, Tesla seems to pretend that its destination charges are not part of the price. But they are. Everyone pays this cost and there is no "MSRP" for a Tesla. MSRP stands for "Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price." That term is meaningless when one purchases directly from the manufacturer. In this case Tesla.

Our image above shows the pricing we were able to uncover after some careful clicks of the mouse to reveal all of the costs Tesla wants to hide from consumers. If we've made any mistakes, please feel free to point them out. We did our level best to figure out the lowest cost to the buyer. With no federal tax credit available, and a price point above $50K, it is our understanding that this will be the price that a consumer pays Tesla for its Model Y.

Toyota RAV4 Prime AWD Pricing
The Least expensive Toyota RAV4 Prime is the SE trim. Here is the breakdown of the pricing in an EV-target state like Massachusetts:
RAV4 Prime SE AWD MSRP= $38,100 + Destination Charges of $1,200 = $39,300
Available Federal Tax Credit - $7,500
State Of Mass. EV Rebate - $1,500
Total Cost For RAV4 Prime SE AWD = $30,300

The XSE trim adds more features and has an added cost of $3,150.

Base Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Base Tesla Model Y - Features and Capabilities
Every RAV4 Prime trim comes standard with AWD as the Tesla Model Y Dual Motor AWD does. However, there are many differences between the two vehicles in terms of content. For example, Toyota offers standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is a feature not available in the Model Y. Both vehicles feature a wide array of driver-assist technologies. Tesla's is called Autopilot and Toyota's is called Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. Both can do things like keep the vehicle in its lane on the highway, speed up and slow down with traffic. Tesla markets its Autopilot as having more capabilities. Neither vehicle is self-driving and neither offers hands-off drive assist.

Driving Green Comparison - Model Y vs. RAV4 Prime
The RAV4 will have a range using only electricity of about 42 miles. That is more than enough for a typical 2-way commute or a day of in-town driving using only electricity. When operated as a hybrid, the RAV4 Prime is expected to earn a 40 MPG Combined EPA rating. The total range of the vehicle will be over 500 miles. The Model Y Long Range has a range of about 315 miles and earns a 121 MPGe rating. The RAV4 Prime is expected to earn a 94 MPGe rating. Annual energy costs for the two will be about the same. With today's low gas prices, the RAV4 Prime has an edge, but if prices return to a national average of about $3 per gallon, the two should have equal energy per year costs.
Tesla Model YCapacity Comparison RAV4 Prime vs. Model Y
The maximum cargo volume of the two will be nearly identical. The Model Y has 68 cubic feet. the RAV4 Prime is expected to have about 69 cubic feet. The passenger volume of the RAV4 Prime will be about 99 cubic feet. The Model Y has no specification listed for passenger volume we could find, but we predict it is about the same as the RAV4 Prime. Please tell us in the comments if you can find it anywhere.
Toyota RAV4 PrimePower and Performance Comparison Model Y vs. RAV4 Prime
The RAV4 Prime will use its 302 hp total power capacity to run from 0-60 MPH in about 5.7 seconds. The Model Y has better performance with 384 hp, more torque, and a 0-60 MPH run of about 4.6 seconds according to testing done by Motor Trend. As an aside, we noticed that Motor Trend ended up with the same starting price for the Model Y as we did ($54,190). The Model Y is a more performance-oriented crossover than the Toyota RAV4. However, with a 0-60 time of under six seconds, the RAV4 Prime is no slouch.

Ownership Costs, Warranty Comparison - Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Tesla Model Y
Toyota offers two years of included maintenance and emergency roadside assistance with its RAV4 Prime, as it does all of its vehicles. It also offers an eight-year drivetrain warranty that extends to 10 years and 150 miles for the vehicle battery. Tesla's warranty is 8 years and 100K miles with a limited battery warranty. Toyota's basic bumper to bumper warranty is 3 years and Tesla's is 4. With regard to owner warranty support, the two brands seem similar.

Final Analysis - Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Tesla Model Y
The RAV4 Prime has an edge in energy costs, an edge in total range, and has infotainment options important to us that the Model Y does not offer. The RAV4 platform in non-PHEV trims is already a Top Safety Pick now based on IIHS testing, so we suspect that the RAV4 Prime will prove to be at least equally-safe to the Model Y. The Model Y has not been tested by IIHS. These two vehicles will serve different buyer demographics, but there may be some overlap. Both are very green crossovers with very similar size and capacity specifications. The RAV4 Hybrid was outselling the Tesla Model Y prior to the recent market upheaval. We suspect that Toyota will sell every RAV4 it chooses to produce, and do so without any special incentives. The RAV4 Hybrid has had a waiting list for a year. As always, Tesla's products have no lack of buyers.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime arrives at dealers in about 6 weeks. The Tesla Model Y has a delivery after order placement of about 6 to 8 weeks. Which of these green crossovers would be your pick? Tell us why in the comments below.

John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career to chase his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

Images courtesy of the manufacturers' media support.


Doug Danzeisen (not verified)    June 3, 2020 - 10:02AM

With the federal tax credit, the Toyota reputation for long term durability and parts availability the RAV 4 really wins over the Model Y in my needs analysis.

Vyom (not verified)    June 4, 2020 - 4:40AM

In reply to by Cachon (not verified)

Toyota is price gouging on RAV4 prime by tweaking few things. Plugin can't be tgis expensive.

It ain't luxury car either. 45k can be max with all options.. compared with Mazda CX5 or Honda CRV.

Fani (not verified)    June 3, 2020 - 4:27PM

Not compelling arguments. One is from an industry creator with the Model Y and other is same old same old polluting noisy car with costly oil changes and thousands of engine parts and not standing out, no software appeal or upgrades or cool factor.
No one looks at cars and goes "wow look, a Toyota rav4 prime" while everyone goes "wow,look a Tesla Model Y, the dream car of the future ".

One is a dream aspirational file and other is a polluting old tech.

Yeah, interesting article but there is no contest between Model Y and this thing. There's ample argument for Y vs Ford Mustang MachE but its laughable imo to compare to Toyota Rav4 Prime.

John Goreham    June 4, 2020 - 9:03AM

In reply to by Fani (not verified)

The electric crossover vehicle industry was created by Toyota in 1997 with the release of the first all-electric (BEV) RAV4 EV. This was prior to Tesla's founding. The first-gen RAV4 EV used similar battery technology to the GM EV-1, which was launched in 1996. The second generation of the RAV4 EV was released in 2012. Toyota's second-gen RAV4 EV was a collaboration with Tesla and used its battery technology. The broader green vehicle industry was created by Toyota in 1997.

David Hoots (not verified)    June 4, 2020 - 9:32AM

In reply to by Fani (not verified)

Totally agree. When I bought my Model 3 SR+, I put the RAV4 prime in my comparison spreadsheet, and the fuel mileage and maintenance cost alone made it less affordable. And let's face it, even with the RAV4's upgraded audio package, the sound quality, infotainment interface and autopilotish tech will be laughable against even my SR+. It will be AWD though, which is why I considered it.

Mike (not verified)    June 4, 2020 - 11:50AM

In reply to by Fani (not verified)

Totally agree. I have a 2003 honda civic hybrid and am looking forwyto getting away from gas engines. I still get about 36 mpg for a 17 year old hybrid. Not much has changed in 17 years. Its sad the auto industry does not want to get away from a gas engine... 4 mpg more and a slightly bigger car not worth trading up for that. Waiting for the cybertuck.....

John Goreham    June 4, 2020 - 5:32PM

In reply to by Mike (not verified)

The new Corolla hybrid and Honda Insight both earn a 52 MPG rating, so about 50% better fuel economy than you report in 17 years, have more power, more room, and are safer than the 2003 Civic hybrid, at about the same cost when adjusted for the value of the dollar. Cybertruck looks like fun.

Mike (not verified)    June 6, 2020 - 1:16PM

In reply to by John Goreham

That's estimated MPG. In 2003 my honda was rated to get 48 mpg. The carolla is rated 52 mpg as you state. Its a 4 mpg difference. And yes im sure its safer than 17 a year old car. Mich has advanced in safety just not in mpg. True, its bigger safer gets estimated 4 more mpg. Real wold use on highway might get 45 right now in 17 years or 223000 miles later that will drop to the 30s like mine has. Yes my car has 223000+ miles on it has a 1.3L engine and struggles but will go to 100 mph and mpg is like 20 ish..... Lol still my point not much has changed in hybrids in 17 years..... Plug in hybrids are amazing if i lived on an island like Hawaii..... Just not where i live....

Dick Crownover (not verified)    August 17, 2020 - 9:12PM

In reply to by Kevin (not verified)

Lol, I look at the Tesla Model Y, and, yeah, I think, "ugly".

But as I drive my 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid today, I think, "ugly".

Let's face it: hatchbacks are ugly, whether made by Toyota or made by Tesla.

However, one is a dead-end technology and the other one is a transcendent technology.

My decision is, get out of ICE as soon as I can.

I've sold my Toyota Tundra and Mercedes 550SL this past weekend and I'll ditch my RAV4 as soon as I take delivery on my Model Y. I have ordered a Cybertruck, but that's about 20 months away.

Looks are one thing, and critical to some, my utility is the bottom line for me.

Timothy Parker (not verified)    June 10, 2020 - 4:46PM

In reply to by Fani (not verified)

Every time I see a RAV4 Hybrid go by, I feel a bit of envy. Though a Tesla is notable, it is not desirable. Tesla does not invoke a "wow, cool" response, more of a "hmm, electric .. looks bland, don't want one of those." The RAV4 exudes possibilities and adventure. The Tesla none of that. The RAV4 Prime will achieve most of the environmental benefits of a pure EV while allowing your adventurous side to run free without restraint. The RAV4 Prime is for the next 10 years, then the balance might change. The Tesla is for city driving and freeways -- how boring!

David Hoots (not verified)    June 3, 2020 - 5:43PM

We will have to see, but I wonder if they will reserve the 5.7 seconds package for the XSE version. That one to be apples to apples with the Model Y you listed would have to be fully loaded, which will cost $47,185 plus delivery, but before the tax credit.

Also, why is the Massachusetts rebate included in here.. The Model Y gets that too right?

John Goreham    June 4, 2020 - 9:10AM

In reply to by sb (not verified)

Valid point about many Americans owing no federal income tax. . However, what do you "think" the percentage of new vehicle buyers' tax situation is? EV tax credits are a popular discussion point on all mainstream EV forums. To say they are unimportant to many buyers is insincere or naive. Elon Musk and Tesla's paid Washington lobbyists have lobbied for EV tax credits and other taxpayer supports for EVs. And continue to do so.

Attila (not verified)    June 4, 2020 - 8:16AM

RAV4 Hybrid has had a waiting list for a year? There is plenty of inventory where I live. I am not ready for an EV because I want the ability to go long distance without waiting hours for a recharge, so the RAV4 Prime is a better choice for me, but this article looks like it was written by Toyota. As David Hoots wrote, why show a State rebate for RAV4 but not Tesla? Plus, at 0-60 4.6 seconds, the Model Y is in a different league altogether. As others have written, the Tesla cool factor totally trumps Toyota.

Brandon Fortino (not verified)    June 4, 2020 - 12:39PM

In reply to by Attila (not verified)

If you want to go with a hybrid more power to you. I almost bought a Volt but the maintenance and costs of the gasoline engine eventually lead me to a Bolt for my wife and Model Y for me. If you do a lot of off-roading or are far from highways than the RAV4 makes a lot of sense.

I just want to correct the statement that it takes hours to charge an EV. My wife's Bolt fully charged in 45 minutes from a nearly empty battery at a CCS DC charger. A Tesla will charge to 80 percent in 15 minutes at a Gen 3 supercharger. Though there are not many right now.

Typically you always charge at home overnight and a DC CCS or Supercharger is for very long trips. Charging at home is the highlight of any EV ownership aside from the low maintenance, fuel (electricity) costs, and crazy performance.

Brandon Fortino (not verified)    June 4, 2020 - 12:47PM

In reply to by Attila (not verified)

If you want to go with a hybrid more power to you. I almost bought a Volt but the maintenance and costs of the gasoline engine eventually lead me to a Bolt for my wife and Model Y for me. If you do a lot of off-roading or are far from highways than the RAV4 makes a lot of sense.

I just want to correct the statement that it takes hours to charge an EV. My wife's Bolt fully charged in 45 minutes from a nearly empty battery at a CCS DC charger. A Tesla will charge to 80 percent in 15 minutes at a Gen 3 supercharger. Though there are not many right now.

Typically you always charge at home overnight and a DC CCS or Supercharger is for very long trips. Charging at home is the highlight of any EV ownership aside from the low maintenance, fuel (electricity) costs, and crazy performance.

Timothy Parker (not verified)    June 10, 2020 - 4:56PM

In reply to by Attila (not verified)

I find the fascination with acceleration to be utterly juvenile. How often does anyone need a 0-60 acceleration of 4.6 seconds? Never! A great vehicle is one that allows YOU to excel, to do, to explore, to expand. With Tesla, it's all about the car, with a RAV4 or other SUV, it's all about what it allows me to do and be. With the RAV4 it's about ME, with the Tesla it's about the CAR, kind of like an Apple watch. "Look everyone, see my Apple watch? Isn't it cool? Hey, over here, see my watch!"

David Hoots (not verified)    June 11, 2020 - 11:57AM

In reply to by Timothy Parker (not verified)

For a lot of people quicker acceleration means easier getting on and off the freeway or passing when needed. It would way that allow me to do more than just taking it rock climbing... That said.. given the RAV4 has 1.5 inches more ground clearance, BUT the Model Y has actual AWD, not some rear drive assist system. I am guessing future testing will prove that the Model Y is more capable on snow, but the RAV4 is betting off-roading where ground clearance actually matters. Are you really buying a RAV4 PHEV for that though? - wouldn't you just get a Jeep or a old FJ Cruiser with 4WD (not AWD) for that?

Timothy Parker (not verified)    June 11, 2020 - 6:23PM

In reply to by David Hoots (not verified)

The RAV4 is not a serious off-road vehicle, though it would suffice for terrain that is not too rough. I would more likely be using it on back-woods or desert rough roads where extra ground clearance makes a difference in where one is willing to go. Also, many of those back-country areas are poorly serviced by charging stations, and there are areas where you just can't go with an EV, at least not yet. It's hard to see the model Y and think that it's anything other than a road car ... and good roads at that. As for acceleration, will you be trading in your Tesla for the Hummer EV with a 0-60 time of 3 seconds? I would be happy with a CT if it wasn't so damn big. If Tesla would produce a smaller 2-person version with a 6-foot bed and 400 miles of range, that would definitely catch my attention.

Kelvinbushan (not verified)    June 5, 2020 - 8:14AM

Tesla is in a class of it own. Try to valet both cars and see which one is sent to the back of the lot. Infotainment the Tesla winds hands down, given the user the ability to play Netflix Hulu YouTube and internet access. Not to mention loads of games and even karaoke for when you're traveling with a group of friends. The Toyota is basically a regular car with a battery which equals more complications and more money to the dealer and manufacturer. And they wonder why all Tesla owners are in love with their vehicle there's a reason for that...

Mike (not verified)    June 5, 2020 - 3:06PM

In reply to by Paul meade (not verified)

Mine is not a plug in hybrid. No one really drives less than 30 Miles to work. Unless you live on an island your going to drive. Carbon footprint of the rav is nonsense. Take it on a road trip and your using the gas engine only. Unless it charged as you drive which i doubt. So ultimately it's really not much better or more efficient than my 2003 HCH. It might get 45mpg real world.... Mine was rated 45. Real world about 36 ish.... It's my daily driver picked it up for dirt cheap. My job is 73 miles one way.... I use a ride share program so i don't drive it there everyday still... No point in spending 30+ grand on the rav.....

Sunfuels (not verified)    June 5, 2020 - 10:33AM

Just want to say that this "article" was so blatantly biased towards the Toyota (downplaying performance difference, no mention of upcoming more affordable Model Y trims, not mentioning maintenance at all, using a MA rebate that only applies to a small portion of shoppers and helps the Toyota, using MA electricity rates, some of the highest in the country, bringing up apple carplay, but ignoring all software advantages of the Tesla, I could go on) that I am removing Torquenews from all my feeds. This sure looks like a paid advertisement for Toyota disguised as an article.

John Goreham    June 6, 2020 - 8:00AM

In reply to by Sunfuels (not verified)

Well, in fairness, Sunfuels, we dedicated an entire paragraph to the performance advantage of the Model Y and state that it has such an advantage in the story. And we do include maintenance in the story in the paragraph discussing ownership costs and warranty. The story was written in Mass, one of the handful of ZEV states, so it is hard for us not to use the data for such an EV friendly state. Sorry to see you go. We hope you will reconsider.

Kelvinbushan (not verified)    June 6, 2020 - 5:49PM

In reply to by Sunfuels (not verified)

You are 100% correct !!! They mentioned nothing about just coming near someone's Tesla in the parking lot activate all 8 cameras to stop vandalism. watching full movies in the car is like going to a drive-in theater. charging convenience while taking a trip is 10 times better. I could go on and on but The Tesla wins hands down