As the automotive chip shortage and resulting vehicle shortage continues, people are doggedly continuing their efforts to buy cars.
One of the most challenging Toyota models to find is the RAV4 Hybrid. Well, and Toyota RAV4 gasoline SUVs too.
With gasoline prices steadily rising, the idea of owning an SUV that averages up to 40mpg combined is quite appealing. Plus, with 219 horsepower, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a relatively zippy ride with good acceleration.
And the cost to jump from RAV4 gasoline trims to equivalent RAV4 Hybrid trims is normally less than $1000. Very easy to justify this extra cost.
Things get a little complicated in the middle of a chip shortage, however.
2021 Toyota RAV4 shortage
2021 Toyota RAV4 Limited - Blueprint color
I encourage you to visit your local Toyota dealerships all over the country to see what inventory levels are like.
Most dealers probably have a limited supply of both Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid. Sometimes just a few at a time on the lot. Maybe one or two.
Often none at all.
Many people are resorting to pre-ordering their ideal car, trucks and SUVs. Wait times are generally reasonable but can be several months depending on each specific vehicle and the geographic region they live in.
And buyers are having quite the adventures looking and trying to buy.
People comment on Toyota RAV4
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE - Supersonic Red
My last Torque News story on the chip shortage brought several comments from buyers who have been searching far and wide for the perfect car.
Look at these eye-openers.
Tracy wrote. “We know first-hand about this situation. We looked at all over Western Washington for a 2021 RAV4 Adventure model in Lunar Rock paint. My wife started to become more and more emotionally invested in this with the more time spent looking. It turned into weeks and her search started taking her further and further. Then she hit 3 matches. One in Tallahassee, another in Chapel Hill, and a third in Dry Ridge Kentucky at Marshall Toyota. Within 24 hrs. of finally finding the one she wanted we were boarding a Seattle plane bound for Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport and taking a Lyft the last 40 miles to Dry Ridge. I was nervous about being so vulnerable to any sales tactics but it worked out great and had an epic road trip home.”
What a great story Tracy. Congratulations.
“Looking for a RAV4 Prime in XSE trim in greater Boston area. None to be found. Dealers have the odd SE white models, but nobody will let me test drive! One dealer said I could test drive "after we agree on numbers". Why should I have to endure a car purchase negotiation which is about as fun as a root canal if I can't even take the car for a spin to see if I like it first? Insane.” Said a frustrated Bill.
Jackee dealt with triple the headache. “Here's how our Rav4 XLE Hybrid buying experience has gone so far: Want to buy: 2019-2021 Rav4 Hybrid XLE in Lunar Rock. Going to be our beloved Element replacement. Quickly realized: Used units are going for higher than brand new MSRP. New plan: Order new for MSRP (~31,500) exactly as we want, either base or $1500 added option we prefer. Either way we'll take it. Local Dealer #1 - "Toyota is not making XLE Hybrid trim anymore, we have to bump you up to Premium." Sends Premium Hybrid spec sheet with $3200 options we did not want. Told it would be tough to get without any add ons. Total before taxes/dealer fees ~37k. Local Dealer #2 - Ask for XLE Hybrid, told they can build it for us no prob (although Toyota isn't making this trim anymore according to Dealer 1). Sends spec sheet with ~$3800 in options we did not want. Told car couldn't be ordered without it, no budging. Dealer #3, about an hour away - Ask for XLE Hybrid, tries to sell us on non-hybrid in different color. We tell them XLE Hybrid or nothing, back and forth with specing a build with options we do not want. Almost two hours later our patience runs out and we tell them we're leaving. At this point, they decide they can submit order how we want, as a matter of fact will do one completely base and one with options we want in case Toyota doesn't accept the optioned order we want. Didn't want/need to take a deposit. Told it would be a month before we hear if Toyota accepts the orders, so we are waiting now. We're aware there is a 2-6 month wait currently, and don't mind that part. Just want it how we want it. Why else would Toyota offer options if you can't build it the way you want.”
“I have an almost identical story. I’m also trading in an Element and want the Rav 4 hybrid in Lunar Rock. A dealership in San Diego said they had one coming in 2 months that had extras I didn’t want but I was willing to wait and make a deal. They called me within an hour of getting it and when I got there, they had added $6900 to the MSRP because it was in high demand. I had several choice words for them and was so disappointed and upset and left without the car wondering who would pay that!” Commented a flabbergasted Kat.
Tom went in a different direction for his match. “I just purchased a Toyota Venza hybrid which is a step up from a Rav 4. The dealership had them in stock and was ready to deal. The Venza also had a $1,750 rebate from Toyota. The car was equipped and rode like a Lexus. Very glad I expanded my options.”
Tom, I own a 2021 Venza Limited and I agree. It rides so nice. Plus, the seats are probably the most comfortable I have ever sat in. Congrats.
“Dallas area, definitely major shortages. I am picky on specs and color, so it was hard to find and then trying to get a good deal when it is a seller’s market is tough. Especially on a hybrid when gas prices are going up.” Added Mike.
D Camp added. “0 RAV4 Prime available in Midwest and RAV4 Hybrid very very low in stock.” Not surprising but frustrating still.
Yummi26 had a positive experience. “Hampton, VA. I got my 2021 Rav4 XLE Hybrid a month ago. I didn't know there was a shortage at the time. I only had 2 options, so I bought one and I'm happy with it.”
RELATED VIDEO: I give (hopefully) helpful tips on how to purchase during the chip shortage.
Stickybee2 had kudos for yours truly. “Jeff, thanks for your video. The steps you outlined about ordering a vehicle are spot on what my dealer has put me through to order my 4runner. Expected production date for my vehicle is week of May 21st. So excited but I have to be patient as you said. Thanks again!”
I am super happy you enjoyed my video and that it helped.
And, of course, there is always hindsight. “Wish I had followed thru on that Toyota Rav4 Adventure purchase earlier this year. That 20% discount from MSRP looks good now.”
Time for your Toyota RAV4 comments
Do you have a story to share about your car buying experience?
Another question I have. Have you decided to look at a different model or trim level or type of vehicle because of the vehicle and chip shortage?
Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I discuss something new for 2022 Toyota Prius.
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