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Why Owners Chose The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Over the RAV4 Prime

If the Toyota RAV4 Prime gets better gas mileage, why is the RAV4 Hybrid more popular? Owners say it’s not because of the price.

Although the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime gets better miles per gallon than the RAV4 Hybrid, why are people still opting for the RAV4 Hybrid? This is something in which the answer is not so black and white. A regular RAV4 Prime is about a few thousand more expensive than the RAV4 Hybrid. If you take into consideration the insane market adjustments that dealers are adding, you may be paying way more than you anticipated.

However, if we take a look at what true owners say, it has almost nothing to do with price differences, but rather convenience. On Facebook’s Toyota RAV4 Hybrid group, Suzan Irwin asked, “why did y'all choose the Hybrid over the Prime? Trying to decide.” To that she got an influx of different reasons which all had one thing in common, it was all about convenience. See it’s really easy to drive on half a gallon to the gas station, fill up, maybe grab a stale hot dog, and then carry on. We have been doing that since the birth of the automobile.

Why Owners Chose The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Over the RAV4 Prime

However, just like my phone, I feel like I would forget to plug in my car after I get back from work or maybe not pay attention to my electric range. Because the RAV4 Prime is not 100% electric, it doesn’t really make EV driving your number one priority. We are so accustomed to filling at a gas station that plug-in hybrids are mostly treated as regular cars. Let’s take a look and see what other owners had to say.

Heather Wrek wrote, “I had a Prius Prime for 3 years and plugged it in maybe 5 times total. I just never had anywhere to plug it in and the miles per plug-in wasn’t really worth it.” My 2012 Prius is not a prime however Torque News has reviewed the Prius Prime years ago. One thing I remember is that we only plugged it in whenever we were low. It wasn’t like your phone where you would charge it even if you still had a good battery left.

Another huge factor is mostly Canada and the southern U.S is the unavailability of the RAV4 Prime. We recently wrote an article on how long it took to get your RAV4 Prime in Canada. In conclusion, it averaged around 2-3 years. Even then you would still be getting the 2022 model and not a 2024 or 2025. Juan Rodriguez said, “Because the prime was/is nonexistent here in Houston. And is not worth the price, I mean dealers are asking Lexus price for these things.” Again, with the markups. A lot of experts have been saying that if we just say no to the markups on a large scale, these prices will go back to MSRP.

So, whether or not it’s a matter of functionality, convenience, price, and availability, the RAV4 Prime is still a great car. For those who wish to have a plug-in hybrid, it’s a great SUV that will give you a huge boost in MPG and your wallet will thank you later.

What do you think? Would you get the Hybrid or plug-in? Let us know in the comments below.

Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.


Boon (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 2:43PM

I have had a Prius Prime for almost 2 years now and have forgotten to plug it in once. I have hardly had to buy any fuel, would love to get a RAV4 prime but they're not available and I will not pay these insane prices for a used one

Warren (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 2:44PM

Bought a 21 hybrid Rav4 just before the car shortage began in Feb 2021. Loved the car but when my CRV was totaled last summer I put a deposit down on a Prime SE which has very few features compared to the XLE premium we have so, I opted to pay a bit more for the XSE . However, the XSE was and still is not available and if you can find it it’s $10,000 over sticker and by then hybrids were also pretty much non existent. After thinking about it the 42 miles on a charge is minuscule and the car would need to be charged every other day to make it worth while. So, like others posting, it is not convenient and ultimately I opted for a used car to tide me over until this crazy market cools if it ever does. When the plug in hybrid gets 100-150 mills to the charge , which they eventually will ,then it will be worth getting one. Still don’t like the idea of fully electric vehicles unless they get 500-600 miles on the charge. Then it’s convenient and drivable to most places.

Wayne (not verified)    October 28, 2022 - 8:59PM

In reply to by Warren (not verified)

They have the battery packs that will take you back and forth from California to New York 2 times complete trip they will be available to all Leon Misk has developed what your wishes are! You can buy stock in these companies and get rich quick. It’s been on you tube. Your first Prius that is a hybrid made all the sense but the gasoline tank was like 12 gallons after learning how to drive my Prius I could get over 55 miles a gallon.

JD (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 2:50PM

Just got a RAV hybrid, took 4 months, wanted a prime but they are not available within 18+ months. Completely stops that as an option to even consider.

Bill (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 3:07PM

I love my Prime. I have a level 2 charger at home and have no problem plugging it in when it's in the garage. I've been getting as much as 50 miles of electric driving, and basically use only electric driving for local runs.

Brad abernethy (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 3:43PM

If and I say IF the Rav 4 prime was made in Canada, I would consider it. I bought my Rav hybrid because of fuel economy and the fact it was made in Cambridge, Ontario. It's a great car. I have also met people who bought the Rav fully electric vehicle, ten years ago..those that did also love the car.

Douglas Dick (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 3:46PM

I am on waiting list for Rav4 hybrid. Dealership in MB Canada is not even taking orders for the Prime. That being said, in addition increased vehicle cost, I would have to upgrade house service to accommodate plugin in garage. So hybrid is better option at the moment.

Mark (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 3:59PM

If you never plug it in, what's the point of haiving a prime? I plug mine in every day. I have had both the XSE Hybrid and XSE Prime Premium. Who ever wrote this article must have been smoking crack!! While I did love my Hybrid, I like the XSE Prime Premium much better. First of all because of the options I couldn't get on the XSE Hybrid. With the XSE Hybrid I couldn't get the 360 camera, power passenger seat, A/C seats and auto leveling headlights, with the Prime I can. Advantage Prime. Plus 300hp and way better passing power. Again advantage Prime. I can go 40 miles and never use a drop of gas, advantage Prime. Currently the way I am using my Prime I am averaging over 100mpg. In my XSE Hybrid I averaged about 35mpg. Again, advantage Prime.

J Reuben (not verified)    June 17, 2022 - 9:11PM

In reply to by Mark (not verified)

Agree with your comments. Have the RAV4 Prime XSE PP and it’s great. With level2 charger at home it’s very convenient.
Compared to three hydrides, Camry and Avalon, the Prime is much better car and more convenient than gas hybrids.

Thomas Walker (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 6:36PM

When I finished scouting for a supplement to our EV, suitable for some off road, snow use, and range anxiety-free long distance travel, I decided the Rav4 Prime was best suited to the task. As others have noted, limited availability resulted in many dealers marking up the Prime's MSRP by $15k (I did find another willing to let one go for only $10k over MSRP). Not interested in such a fleecing, I searched until I found one for "only" MSRP! It was across the country from me, but I was fine with that. We're now closing in on 14k miles and, although my wife would attest to the stern assertiveness necessary to have done the deal, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

James (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 7:37PM

This article just proves that not every thought needs to be written or said.

"I would forget to plug in my car after I get back from work"
Any reasonable person wouldn't forget to plug in their car considering gas prices (and not to mention, using myself as an example, I'm averaging about 160mpg with my PHEV)

Theres also the fact that for ever one PHEV, Toyota is making about 20 Hybrids. The "choice" isnt really there for most.

Dave Jensen (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 7:45PM

We purchased a 2020 Prius Prime in July 2021. It had 16000 miles. It's computer showed that overall miles-per-gallon was about 73. We have faithfully plugged it in to recharge every time we return to our home and if available, at free charging stations wherever we might find ourselves. Now, at 21,000 total miles the computer shows we are getting 94 miles-per-gallon overall. This includes four trips of over 250 miles each. We rejoice that we have filled the gas tank only five times (ha,ha, only 9 gallons each time). What's not to like? We considered ordering the RAV plug in hybrid, but decided it was too expensive and waiting at least 8 months was not best for our needs.

Mona Frank (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 9:42PM

The prime is fast, efficient, quiet, and if I don’t have to give my hard earned money to the oil companies that are totally abusive, it makes me feel good. This car was worth the wait..we hardly use any gas at all..The cheapest place for electricity is Quebec, Canada where we live.

Jacob Thomas (not verified)    June 14, 2022 - 9:54PM

My wife and I bought a RAV4 Hybrid in 2021. The price between that and the prime was minimal to consider. The reality for us in that in Denver there are not many places we could plug it in and we currently live in an apartment and aren't willing to shell out $200/mo for a garage. We would have loved to get the prime if we had a garage or house we could charge from, that would make it worth it. And based on the housing market affording one seemed beyond the first 5 years of owning it. Could consider trading it in if circumstances change

Mark Dawson (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 9:21AM

I am at 3000 miles with my RAV4 Prime. No gas fill up in last 3 weeks. We spent the money for level 2 charge plug. All of our around town driving is electric. Daily charges increase electric utilities by $10/month. Love this car.

William (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 10:24AM

In MPLS it’s May & dealers won’t even put you on a list for getting a RAV4 Prime. “Can’t get them”, they say. The auto news rags keep touting them but good is it if they aren’t really available???!

Jean M Donnelly (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 10:31AM

RAV4 Prime is perfect for my situation. We have a Level 2 charger in the driveway, and 59 solar panels on the roof. I rarely drive more than 50 miles per day, just plug in overnight and go to the gas station only about every 6-7 months unless we go on a long trip. Love it.

Kim (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 12:58PM

I’ve own both, a RAV4 XSE hybrid, and currently a RAV4 XSE prime. I prefer the prime because of the fact that I can plug it in and save on Fuel. Gas prices in my area or a 4.89 a gallon, and I can plug in my prime for much less than that, and I also have solar at my house as well. I feel it’s a better value in the long run.

Bizz (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 2:06PM

Nope. The hybrid is more popular than the prime because it was (still is?) near impossible to buy the prime for about a year. Wait lists of 300+ names on them at dealerships all over the country, each with a deposit down. In Washington state there were literal fights breaking out over them and for a while Toyota stopped selling primes anywhere in the state. I was calling random dealerships all over the country and when I’d inquire about buying a prime, they’d literally laugh at me over the phone. They’d say “On the other hand, I can sell you a hybrid model in any color you want.” Gee, I wonder why the hybrid model is more popular? This article is just wild.

andy (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 2:32PM

I'd treat it like a pure EV. The 40 mile range of the Prime would handle 90% of my driving. Only long trips would require gas. Still a moot point, because as you say, they are not available for 2-3 years, and in that time EV technology and the market will be far different.

Jerry Litzza (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 2:59PM

Sorry, this is wrong. We charge our Prime whenever we need it. It is ready every morning at 7:30 am. 100% of our local driving is EV. Gas is only used on highway parts of trips ... On The Highway!, all else is EV. Why would you buy a PHEV and use it as a Hybrid? This article presentation is just lazy ignorance.

Joy Goodie (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 3:05PM

DISCLAIMER: I had a prius prime before my rav 4 prime. I dont think I can go back. We also own a Tesla.My 10 gallon tank of gas gets about a month before I need to fill up. Most of my errands are within my 46 mile electric range so I average 100 miles to tank. MY commute is 80 miles so this is what kills me. YOU ARE MISSING OUT IF YOU DONT PLUG IN! IN Maryland we got the home charger for about $300 after rebate ($1100 cost) and I got a $7500 credit which makes it the same cost as the hybrid. Thinking about getting the fully electric car since I have gotten over my mile anxiety and more pumps are appearing.

Peter Levy (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 3:19PM

My wife has had a RAV4 Prime since early August 2021. She has put several thousand miles on. I've had to add gas conditioner to the tank because it is still at the three quarters full mark on the initial fill from the dealer. I am shocked at all the contributors who can't be bothered to plug theirs in, especially with the current price of gasoline.

Brian M (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 4:05PM

I'm trying to figure out if parts of this article are real. Who would buy a plug in hybrid and not plug it in? Who spends extra money and seriously says they "couldn't find anywhere to plug it in"? They all come with the wall charger that you just plug in when you get home.

The money I'm saving with my Prime over a hybrid right now is literally hundreds a month. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn't really get that great of fuel economy, so when I switched to the Prime, its like night and day on efficiency.

As for waiting 3 years for a Prime..... thats not a thing. No one that's ever been in the market for a Prime has ever waited 3 years......period. Then the quote went on to say something like a 24 or 25 model year? What?!? Like I said in the beginning, I'm trying to figure out if this article is even real or not and if it is, who the hell allowed this to be posted. Iv owned my Prime for almost a year now and have logged thousands of miles to and from work all on EV. Thousands and thousands of miles not going to a gas station, not paying $6 gal for gas and not having to worry about postponement of trips due cost. You can't compare the Prime to the Hybrids. Except for the looks, they are miles apart on just about everything else.

Driverincali (not verified)    July 7, 2022 - 10:42AM

In reply to by Brian M (not verified)

The problem is that not only are there no Primes in stock in California, if one becomes available it is over 50 k not anywhere near the 38 k msrp and the political pundits yak on about getting electric cars as if that is possible for regular budget people like need an extra car for the college students in the family.

Rick thogode (not verified)    June 15, 2022 - 4:11PM

I just bought a Rav4 hybrid. I would never buy a car you have to plug in. Too inconvenient!we are not ready for electric cars yet!!