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Tips to Get Your 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Faster

One of the hottest vehicles in recent years, 2021 RAV4 Prime, is about to reach consumers. But how do you get one? Here are some tips to help.

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People are already lining up. Well, at least their curiosity and interest are lining up to get their hands on the all-new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

Billed as the fastest and most powerful RAV4 of all time, excitement is at a very high level. I say this because I get at least five to ten questions about RAV4 Prime each day from readers of my Torque News / Toyota News column and viewers of my Toyotajeff YouTube channel.

People want to know more about it. And they want to buy one.

Comments on 2021 RAV4 Prime

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE Supersonic Red profile view back end rear end

Tommy asked, “What are your thoughts on the production volume of the upcoming RAV4 Prime?”

“Hi Jeff, with RAV4 Prime high demand, do we have to pay more than MSRP to get it?” Wondered Yuan.

Wei wrote in. “How can I pre-order a RAV4 Prime? I have heard that only one RAV4 Prime per dealer in US.”

“I went to my dealership and got on a waiting list. They had me leave a $500 non-refundable deposit but said they had no idea if they would get one soon.” Said a nervous Barbara.

These are just some of the messages I get. They all have a common theme, though. How to get a Toyota RAV4 Prime.

2021 RAV4 Prime Price

My first suggestion is that you must know what pricing will be to know if you are on the right path for the right vehicle for you. I recently wrote a story detailing pricing and color choices for 2021 RAV4 Prime, but here is the gist.

SE trim level has a factory MSRP of $38,100 and XSE factory MSRP is $41,425. Buyers can choose an optional Premium Package that is loaded with valuable features for $5,760 extra.

My advice is to plan on paying MSRP or several thousands of dollars more than MSRP if you want one of the first RAV4 Prime models, or at least one this year. This is how it was with RAV4 Hybrid last year. It was how it was with the Supra launch. Expect it here as well.

2021 RAV4 Prime Release Date

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE interior 9-inch multimedia RAV4 Prime Apple CarPlay

Exactly when the first units will reach retail dealerships across the country is more of a fluid guessing game at this point. I have recently heard dates that ranged anywhere from late June to August for the first ones. I feel there will be some concrete details on release date within the next couple weeks.

I suggest working your timeline backward from this loose range. It might be time to visit dealerships.

How many RAV4 Primes will dealers get?

I feel it is best to go with the concept that most dealerships will get one total unit for all of 2020. Some will get more. Here is what I mean by this.

Toyota USA is divided up into many different selling regions. According to sources, Toyota will be placing allocation preference on states and “regions with higher natural demand for plug-in vehicles first.” This is aimed at meeting regulatory ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicles) requirements.

Earlier this year I heard from a Toyota source to expect around 5,000 RAV4 Prime units to be spread across all Toyota dealerships for all of 2020 calendar year. Since the number of total Toyota dealerships in the country is about 1,200-1,500, the math can pretty much speak for itself.

I hope this number of vehicles to be produced has increased in the past couple months.

Visit your local Toyota dealerships

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE Supersonic Red profile side view alloy wheels

Every Toyota dealership in the United States will have their own way of handling RAV4 Prime business. Some have a waiting list already established. Some know they must create a waiting list but have not done so yet.

Most dealerships will require a pre-order deposit to hold your position in line. This is commonplace with hard-to-get vehicles. Deposit amounts to expect will more than likely be anywhere from $500 to $1,000. Many will tell you this is non-refundable.

I suggest you visit (or contact) your local dealers to learn their RAV4 Prime process for pre-orders. Trust me on this one – expect that many dealerships will not have their waiting list or processes set up yet. It may be frustrating at first.

Keep this in mind. Dealerships do not know exactly what they will be getting yet. They do not know what trim level. They do not know what colors or extra options they will be allocated. But it is important to get your name on the list.

Get your 2021 RAV4 Prime specs ready

Speaking of colors and trim levels and options, I suggest you begin writing down your preferences. Learn whether you want the SE or XSE. Find out if you need the additional Premium Package. Ask yourself what colors you would be comfortable with, and what colors you would not accept at all.

It is important to be flexible if you want to get your RAV4 Prime faster. You may find in two months your dealer calls you saying they have just been allocated “a Silver Sky Metallic XSE RAV4 Prime with no Premium Package.”

If you informed the dealer that you would be happy with either Silver Sky, Blizzard Pearl or Blueprint you might just be the lucky chosen one to take that one. However, if you said you only wanted Blizzard Pearl, you will still be waiting on the waiting list.

Flexibility is the name of the game here folks.

Time for your thoughts on 2021 RAV4 Prime

I will write a 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime review as soon as one is available. Keep in mind that this will offer drivers 302 horsepower and allow people to travel at least 39 miles on one single electric charge. Fast and fuel-efficient.

What do you think so far? Will you be one of the first people in line or will you wait it out a little longer?

My feeling is that the more demand people show initially in Toyota RAV4 Prime, the more units Toyota will produce. That is a pretty basic principle of supply and demand, right?

I will keep you updated as new information becomes available. Please bookmark my Torque News / Toyota News column for the latest.

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I talk about 2021 Toyota Corolla Updates.

Follow Jeff Teague on social media:

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Khaled (not verified)    June 3, 2020 - 12:34AM

Stop the pumping!!
Who said that people are lining up for the 2021 RAV4 that's 6k more expensive?
Car sales are hit hard by COVID-19, and all the cars are in sale and manufacturing are competing for customers
tips to get this gem faster?
LOL .. thanks for the tip!

Ed (not verified)    November 12, 2020 - 1:41PM

In reply to by Khaled (not verified)

Agree. in a few years, one will be able to get the car below MSRP. One may not qualify for the $7500 but there will be more auto manufacturers will have similar vehicles and performance. Just give it time.

Brian Litton (not verified)    June 5, 2020 - 10:30PM

My guess is eventually I will be able to preorder online. Do you have any information on when I can preorder?

I’m sure the virus delayed delivery a few months but I’m excited to order and Toyota has not provided any information.

Scott (not verified)    June 10, 2020 - 7:02PM

Thanks for the article. I just went to my dealer today and put a deposit on one.

1) Put $1000 deposit. Fully refundable and it says so in bold writing on the bottom of the receipt.
2) No time frame on when production will resume or when they will hit the dealership
3) I live in a suburb of a major city, and according to them, they didn't have a list yet but I was #1 on the list. (Not sure I totally believe that)

But the folks I spoke to at the Toyota dealership were surprised that I was so quick to put a deposit down.

So what's the deposit get me?
1) When production continues, I get to come in and choose the specs on my vehicle (upgrades, color, etc)
2) Priority purchasing

Hope this helps your readers.

Justin S (not verified)    June 11, 2020 - 1:57AM

How long do you think until the Rav4 Prime is readily available? Late 2021? 2022? I'm curious. I have a Rav4 Hybrid now but was hoping to get the prime once it is not selling above MSRP, etc.

Brian Litton (not verified)    June 11, 2020 - 11:37AM

In reply to by Justin S (not verified)

Toyota originally said the RAV4 Prime would be available in the summer of 2020 (this month) but that was before the virus and not sure if that slowed production.

I’ve been contacting my local dealership since February to see if I could preorder or build online but so far nothing.

I also have a RAV4 Hybrid which I will trade in for the Prime and have been saving my money to get it as soon as I can.

Alex Ashton (not verified)    June 11, 2020 - 9:49PM

Pure shill. This may do better than some other models, but people are HURTING from COVID-19. No one in "lining up" to buy new vehicles starting at $40K.

Brian Litton (not verified)    June 13, 2020 - 10:00PM

In reply to by Alex Ashton (not verified)

I’ve been saying since I heard the RAV4 Prime was coming out. I spent $37,000 for the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid and it’s been a great ride but I want the plug in hybrid. Even though I live off of my army retirement, I’ll just save as much as I can until I can get it.