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2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE vs XSE: How to Choose the Right One

Compare 2021 RAV4 Prime SE vs XSE trim levels. Some features may surprise you.


Toyota is about to hit a major league home run with its upcoming 2021 RAV4 Prime. Already the best-selling SUV in America, RAV4 is swinging for the fences with its new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

RAV4 Prime will be the fastest and most powerful RAV4 in its proud history. 302 horsepower. 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds.

How about an electric charge travel distance of up to 39 miles? Or fuel efficiency of 90 MPGe.

This should give Prius Prime a run for its money.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime logo

These are incredible statistics and potential buyers are very interested. I feel there will be a shortage of the RAV4 Prime based on the volume of questions and comments I get about this model on my Torque News / Toyota News page and my “Toyotajeff” YouTube channel.

Today we focus on trim levels. When Toyota RAV4 Prime reaches dealerships sometime this year, it will be offered in two different trim levels: SE and XSE.

Time to compare them.

2021 RAV4 Prime SE

Some of these standard feature differences between both Prime grades will make complete sense, as clearly the XSE is the higher trim level, and as such will have more technology and gadgets.

No pictures are available yet for SE. Sorry ladies and gentlemen.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid logo

Released 2021 RAV4 Prime specs offer a glimpse of what to expect, though. Look for 18-inch machine finished alloy wheels. Other exterior highlights are a unique front grille design with a lower front spoiler, piano black accents and painted rear diffuser.

Since there are only two trim levels for Toyota RAV4 Prime, the SE will come with more standard equipment than, say, a RAV4 LE version.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in charger

Heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, blind spot monitor, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power liftgate, and a 7-inch multi-information display are interior features you may be looking forward to.

No more standard 7-inch multimedia screens either. The SE RAV4 Prime offers standard 8-inch multimedia touch screen that utilizes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa.

This is bigtime folks.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE Supersonic Red front end

With the XSE, people interested in RAV4 Prime can expect to see more luxury features than on SE. Black SofTex seats with red stitching highlight the sporty interior, for starters. Also look for moonroof, Qi wireless charging, ambient lighting, and auto-dimming rearview mirror with homelink.

For the first time ever in a RAV4, the RAV4 Prime XSE comes with 19-inch alloy wheels that really make a statement. Look for the trademark “RAV4 XSE” two-tone black roof that you see on popular XSE Hybrid currently.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime interior seats black interior

One way to tell XSE apart from SE is the presence of vertical LED accent lights on XSE front end. SE does not have these.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE interior cabin

Other RAV4 firsts are paddle shifters and a 9-inch multimedia touch screen (same size as Avalon TRD).

Option Packages for 2021 RAV4 Prime

SE will have an available Moonroof and Weather Package to add in a few goodies. This included moonroof, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, and windshield wiper de-icer.

VIDEO: Compare RAV4 Prime vs RAV4 Hybrid and also compare Prime SE vs XSE.

An optional XSE Premium Package offers the most comprehensive “extra features” I think I have ever seen in a Toyota.

These additional available pieces include heated/cooled front seats, heated rear seats, panoramic moonroof, Premium Audio with dynamic navigation, JBL speakers, head-up display, memory driver’s seat, digital rearview mirror, 5-door smart key, power passenger seat, and bird’s eye view camera.

That was a mouthful. My fingers are tired from typing all about this Premium Package.

The question is, what do you think?

Time for your thoughts on RAV4 Prime

Are you a fan of RAV4 Prime, and if so, would SE or XSE be a better fit for you and your family?

I will be writing about a RAV4 Prime review as it gets closer to release date.

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I reveal pics and specs of 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid.

Follow Jeff Teague on social media:

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Peter (not verified)    May 18, 2020 - 1:37PM

Did they also fix the shrinking fuel tank issue which affects all new hybrids in 2019 and 2020?

Me (not verified)    May 20, 2020 - 9:45PM

I don't even want most of the stuff they're throwing at the xse, or even in the option package on the SE though I'll probably have to put up with it - I really don't want a moonroof, but deicing wipers would be really useful, and I'd like a nav system even though the builtin ones are way over priced - just a lot more convenient than having to deal with a portable one. I also want an all around camera view. I'd much rather put the money into more battery...

Dan (not verified)    May 29, 2020 - 4:54PM

I wonder if you can get the weather package separate from the moonroof for the PRIME SE like you can with the Hybrid XLE. That is a dealbreaker for me :/