2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE Supersonic Red profile view
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Controversial Toyota RAV4 Dealer Markups Leave Fans Torn

Fans speak out about dealer market adjustment prices on Toyota RAV4 and other models.

I recently wrote a Torque News story about a Toyota RAV4 and its adjusted dealer price.

To be specific, this is a 2021 RAV4 Prime XSE in Supersonic Red.

Toyota RAV4 Prime Price

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE Supersonic Red profile view front end

Dealerships have the freedom to sell most vehicles for whatever pricing they deem appropriate. Most times these cars, trucks, and SUVs can be sold for a discount.

With the vehicle shortage continuing longer than anyone would have hoped for, many vehicles are currently sold at a premium, or at a “market adjustment price.”

What prompted my first story was a posted picture by a member of “Toyota Rav4 Club.” This is a passionate and fiercely loyal Facebook online forum of over 86,000 RAV4 owners and fans.

I recommend you join this club if you like Toyota RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime.

The window sticker of this specific RAV4 Prime XSE includes a $40,000 “Dealer Added Markup.” Final selling price: $96,442.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE window sticker

Personally, I find this specific example outrageous. However, with today’s automotive supply and demand, less available cars mean higher prices. If someone agrees to purchase at this price, then so be it. It was clearly a good enough price for them to agree to buy.

RELATED: My colleague John Goreham offers another perspective on huge dealer markups that is a really interesting read.

Ultimately, it is a person’s choice whether or not to buy their ideal vehicle at that price. Not for me to say.

Fans Speak Out on Toyota RAV4 Prices

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE Supersonic Red profile view front end

Again, just because dealerships across the nation post vehicles at higher prices, people can choose to buy or not buy. Nothing is being forced on consumers.

If people do not feel this is a good time period to purchase a vehicle, I suggest they wait it out until the pendulum swings more in their pricing favor.

My initial story sparked many emotions in people and their comments were eye-opening.

Ken wrote. “Anybody paying "dealer added markup" is a sucker. Cars depreciate eventually. For the price of this Prime you can buy a Tesla or a Lexus. What fool would pay $96,000 for a Toyota.”

“My markup at Toyota of Portland was only $2999............but they did throw in a clear front end bra.” Added Charlie.

Tom commented with a sardonic edge. “I too have run into the "market adjustment" sticker. Almost every dealer said it was non-negotiable. Some dealerships are rather smug about it. I cannot way for the day when they are kissing a** to sell a vehicle and I can remind them!”

Parker is a salesperson and has an offer. “The dealership I sell cars for is selling all Rav4 Primes for $10k over, regardless of color, trim and optional equipment. Even have a Supersonic Red XSE on its way! If you’re in Colorado and want one message me.”

ATran made a recent purchase. Congrats ATran! “Just bought 2021 RAV4 xse hybrid out the door $47,400.00. That was a rip-off. I would say most “Car Sale Person” are heartless…”

Please remember ATran, that was probably your choice to be “ripped off” as you call it. Why did you purchase if you thought you were being ripped off? But hopefully you love your new SUV – the RAV4 Prime XSE is incredible.

“I thought it was outrageous when I bought my 2021 Rav4 Prime XSE in May that most dealers had a 10k markup! I found a dealer that didn't add a markup, that is why I purchased when I did. I absolutely love my car but wouldn't pay 96k for it!” Thanks for your comments, Heather. Congrats on your new RAV4 Prime – I love everything about the Prime.

More Toyota RAV4 Comments

2021 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid Blueprint front end

Forrest gave insight from his recent dealership visit. “Went to dealership today. 8,000 markup on 2021 Rav4 XLE.”

Jeff had a very positive experience. “I think we had divine intervention in being able to purchase a 2021 Rav4 XSE for $53,000 and to do it in Ohio! A non-green state. It’s a long story how this happened but IT HAPPENED! Way below that $96,000 sticker vehicle!!”

“I purchased a new 2017 Rav4 Limited Hybrid in May of 2017. I paid $33K for it and was given a 0% APR loan. It now has 42,000 miles on it. I was offered $32,500 for it this morning from a National Car Selling Chain. A straight purchase, not a trade-in. I'm selling it to them tomorrow after I get the title from my safe deposit box. I was offered 8 grand more than I paid for it for my 2018 TRD Off Road Tacoma. The Tacoma will now be my daily driver.” Thanks for your insight, James.

And my personal favorite comes from Tim. “I don’t understand why people feel they have to buy now as opposed to waiting. Just wait it out and then these insane prices will be back to normal. Nobody is forcing them to do it now.”

Time for your Toyota RAV4 Comments

Thanks for reading my stories. I really appreciate it.

Do you have a personal story or experience while researching or buying a new or used vehicle lately? Was yours a story with a happy or a sad ending?

Remember, there are many fantastic dealerships trying to help you purchase and it is a challenging time for them as well. Salespeople are working harder than ever and have less vehicles to sell and less resulting commissions to help their families.

As someone who was a car salesperson for nearly 15 years, I know what they are going through. Please keep in mind they probably want this vehicle shortage to end sooner than later even more than you do.

See you next story when I discuss when 2022 Tundra arrives and show you how to get yours as soon as possible.

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Don’t know what the rush is to get a car is unless you absolutely need one. It’s not a commodity like toilet paper but it sure is being treated as such. Went to my dealer for a service and they had ZERO new cars and a bunch of used cars from other makes. When this nonsense eventually dies down I do hope many of these dealers go under for deceptive practices. I’m afraid it will be a while and even when the chip shortage ends they’re doing to keep at this practice of “market adjustment”. Only way they can make money hand over fist so no reason for them to go back to normal.
Being a Subaru Sales Consultant, I can say I enjoy working for a dealership that still does business as normal with no dealer added markups. What is frustrating for me is when a client comes in and tries to talk down the price in the current market. There is not enough vehicles right now for us to be giving them away for less than MSRP. Please respect the dealerships that are not marking up!
I would agree with you on that. In this market I certainly wouldn't be trying to negotiate much if any below MSRP. Having said that, it would be Snowing in Hell before I would agree to pay a dealer Market Adjustment above MSRP. I would either drive my current vehicle another year+ or find an older used Honda or Toyota to hold me over until the new car market normalizes.
I like the mentioned comment from “ken - you can buy a Tesla or a Lexus for $96. Only a fool would buy a Toyota for $96k” he must not know that Lexus = gussied up toyota…… they’re are one in the same. Many of their makes an models share entire platforms and power trains with completely interchangeable parts.
I was able to find a 2021 RAV4 Prime SE in Maryland (I live in Raleigh, NC) for 3K over MSRP. This was about $500.- less than other dealers in the Baltimore area. I’m flying up next week to pick it up. I wasn’t to worried about the mark up at 3K but wouldn’t have gone any higher. After the 7500.- tax credit I will end up just under 40K for the car. Super excited, and want to thank you Jeff for all the awesome videos you make about the RAV4. Wish I could have bought it from your dealership as we have purchase Toyotas there before.
I think the dealerships are writing there own funeral elegies. They are just selling cars for Tesla. I will enjoy it when they start going out of business.
The markups are so outragous I got a Lexus NX 450+ at MSRP guess that's a win win for me....