Last month Toyota teased us with news of a brand new RAV4 model that will be both fuel-efficient and powerful. While news has been intentionally vague and mysterious so far, much more should be known in just a couple days. The 2021 RAV4 plug-in hybrid will debut this Wednesday, November 20th, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
As the big reveal gets closer to happening, I get more and more excited to hear what I think I will be hearing (if that makes any sense at all). After all, the Toyota RAV4 is already America’s best-selling SUV. It is dependable, big on safety and technology, and it looks great. Add in the extremely popular RAV4 Hybrid and you have the makings of a vehicle that will continue to set records.
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This rampant speculation has me wondering, though, how the 2021 RAV4 plug-in hybrid will compare to Toyota’s 2020 Prius Prime.
What makes 2020 Prius Prime so special?
The 2020 Prius Prime has benefits to drivers both as a commuter car and a longer road trip vehicle. Since it can operate both as a traditional hybrid (combination of gasoline and electric) and as a plug-in vehicle, the opportunities for versatility here are endless.
Imagine a person’s typical work day of 9am-5pm. Imagine also that they live within 20 miles of work. Prius Prime has a driving range of about 25 miles to take advantage of all-electric mode. They can plug in their Prius Prime while at work, which takes about 5 ½ hours to fully charge (just over 2 hours if they have a Level 2 charging setup). Then, at the end of the day, they can drive home in all-electric mode. This has the makings of incredible gas savings here, my friends.
Another consideration is how far someone can drive on one tank of gasoline. With the 2020 Prius Prime this is about 640 miles. That could potentially get me from where I live in Raleigh, NC to my home state of Michigan without having to refuel even once. Mind blown.
The 2021 RAV4 plug-in hybrid is coming
According to Toyota’s press release on the 2021 RAV4 plug-in hybrid, “the new RAV4 plug-in hybrid will be celebrated by its spirited acceleration, nimble handling and impeccable style”. It also promises this will be the most powerful RAV4 yet.
The current 2020 RAV4 gasoline engine delivers 203 horsepower while RAV4 Hybrid produces 219 horsepower. Before it stopped V6 production many years ago, the 2012 RAV4 V6 engine gave drivers 269 horsepower to work with.
To make this 2021 plug-in hybrid the most powerful RAV4 yet, I would love to see output numbers closing in on or even surpassing 300 horsepower. I would also be thrilled to see an all-electric driving range of at least 50 miles. That would definitely generate plenty of buzz in the automotive world. It is so hard to say, though, what will happen.
Time for your thoughts on 2021 RAV4 plug-in hybrid
Again this is all speculation, at least until Wednesday when we all get to see the big reveal. What are you most looking forward to with the 2021 RAV4 plug-in hybrid?
Also, what criteria will this new plug-in need to have to make you a serious buyer?
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Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I detail the towing capacity for all 2020 RAV4 trim levels.
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