The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime — the wildly popular SUV reaches a new level
Price: We expect the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime to start at around $40,000.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a compact SUV with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This is just the beginning.
The RAV4 in general is one of the best-selling vehicles in the United States, having been extremely popular around the world for five generations. The RAV4 Prime naturally takes fuel efficiency to the highest possible level, but there is also another major attribute.
This is one of Toyota’s TMs,
faster and more powerful vehicles. The combined power of the engine and the two electric motors (thus creating an electric version of all-wheel drive) is 302 horsepower. It can sprint from standstill to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds.
It’s unlikely that many potential buyers of a new RAV4 Prime will consider drag racing away from the stoplights, but it’s good to have that kind of muscle in reserve. Especially when there’s no fuel economy penalty — quite the contrary.
There is also a hybrid RAV4. The difference between this and the Prime is the latter’s larger lithium-ion battery which can be recharged from an outside source and allows the Prime to cover a respectable distance just as an electric vehicle. In this case, 42 miles – the best of an admittedly small class.
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The Prime is often referred to as PHEV, which stands for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. No need to worry if the battery is low; there is still a combustion engine on board.
The non-hybrid RAV4 2022 and RAV4 hybrid models are each reviewed separately.
2022 Toyota Rav4 Prime Price
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE has a starting price of $39,800, plus a destination fee of $1,215. The plush XSE version of the RAV4 Prime starts at $43,125.
Despite the runaway success of compact crossovers in general, the number of competitors equipped with plug-in hybrid drivetrains is small. The 200 horsepower Ford Escape The PHEV has a range of 37 miles, is rated at 104 MPGe and starts at just over $33,000.
The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV might be worth the wait, slated for summer 2022. The current 2022 model is the latest of an outgoing generation, starting at just under $37,000, with 221 horsepower and a range of 24 miles. The new model should be significantly better than that.
All three plug-in hybrids have an additional trick. They are eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500, as well as any other state incentives. The price of a 2022 RAV4 Prime could be offset by $10,000, making it strong competition for the regular RAV4 Hybrid.
Before you buy, check out KBB.com’s Fair Buy Price to see what others in your area have paid for their new RAV4 Prime. This variant is only in its second year of existence, but like the rest of the Toyota portfolio, the RAV4 Prime will no doubt benefit from strong resale values.
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Driving the 2022 Toyota Rav4 Prime
Plenty of power and a sporty suspension that’s firmer than a base RAV4 might make the RAV4 Prime feel like a bit of a driving machine. That’s not really the case.
The RAV4 in general feels a bit heavy and this Prime plug-in hybrid has more hardware. However, the extra electric power makes for a good sprint away from a standstill, and the suspension does a good job of limiting body lean when cornering.
Overall, the 2022 RAV4 Prime is easy to drive. Its elevated stance and decent outside vision are enhanced by standard blind-spot monitoring. It can get a bit noisy on the highway, but that shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
Every RAV4, regardless of powertrain, has a spacious cabin with plenty of room for occupants in all positions. Well, other than that annoying little center rear seat. But even that is bearable for a short trip.
The cabin materials and the way they were put together are of good quality. The infotainment system is easy enough to use for anyone who can trade a smartphone, while integration for Apple and Android phones is standard.
As it is a plug-in hybrid, the 2022 RAV4 Prime has a large battery that encroaches on the cargo space. Behind the 60/40 split/folding rear seats is a 33.5 cubic foot luggage compartment. When folded, the maximum volume of the cargo area increases to 63.2 cubic feet. Compare those numbers with 37.5/69.8 in the rest of the RAV4 lineup.
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Other than a few minor details, like special wheel covers and aerodynamic underbody panels, there’s not much that sets the 2022 RAV4 Prime apart from its less fuel-efficient counterparts.
The top XSE trim has two-tone paint as standard – a choice of five colors with a black roof.
It’s an electric form of all-wheel drive, so it’s not the kind of thing a Jeep-owning off-road enthusiast might want. But it does the job of providing traction and grip, while delivering excellent fuel economy.
To reassure wary buyers about all this new-fangled electrification, Toyota is backing its technology with excellent warranties. There is 10-year/150,000-mile transferable coverage for the hybrid battery and hybrid driveline components have an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty.
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Available in SE and XSE trims, the 2022 RAV4 Prime features all-wheel drive and a slightly sportier suspension setup than a non-hybrid base RAV4.
The SE trim comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights/daytime running lights/taillights, roof rails, heated side mirrors, keyless entry/start, power tailgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, 8-way electric control. adjustable driver’s seat, fabric upholstery and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Safety features include Audible Pedestrian Alert, Forward Collision Warning with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Running Lights automatic road and adaptive cruise control.
The infotainment system features an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple AAPL,
Smartphone integration CarPlay/Android Auto, Amazon AMZN,
Alexa compatibility, Wi-Fi, satellite radio, Bluetooth, voice control, five USB ports and six speakers.
The SE is eligible for a power sunroof, which is standard in the XSE. This top trim also includes 19-inch alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, auto-dimming mirror, garage door opener, blue ambient cabin lighting, wireless charging and infotainment touchscreen 9 inches.
Both trims have rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated steering wheel, heated rear outboard seats, and premium paint on their option lists.
The XSE also offers adaptive headlights, panoramic sunroof, hands-free tailgate operation, heated/ventilated front seats, 4-way power front passenger seat, 360-degree camera system, head-up display , a digital rearview mirror, a 120-volt power outlet, front/rear parking sensors with automatic emergency braking, navigation, JBL 11-speaker audio system and 6.6 kW on-board charger.
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Engine and transmission
A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine provides the RAV4 Prime with combustion power powered by 87 octane regular gasoline.
A permanent magnet synchronous motor spins the rear axle, another helps the motor drive the front wheels and acts as a starter/generator. They both get their spark from a lithium-ion battery.
The combined power is 302 horsepower, distributed by an automatic transmission. Operating only in electric vehicle mode, the RAV4 Prime can travel 42 miles. With a full battery and a full gas tank, the range is 600 miles.
The Environmental Protection Agency calculates energy consumption in miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The RAV4 Prime is designed to achieve a combined EPA rating of 94 MPGe. When operating as a regular hybrid (without the EV range), the Prime can average 38mpg.
Charge times can be as fast as 2.5 hours with the XSE’s optional 6.6 kW/240 volt power supply. Or as long as 12 hours when connected to a 120 volt household outlet. A 3.3 kW / 240 volt configuration reduces that to 4.5 hours.
Maximum towing capacity is 2,500 pounds.
2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine + two electric motors
302 horses in total
EPA Combined Fuel Economy: 94 MPGe (PHEV), 38 mpg (regular hybrid operation)
Range in EV mode: 42 miles
This story originally took place on KBB.com.