Updated: Mar 14
It's been two years since my first review of the Toyota RAV4 Prime.
For those who aren't obsessive about such things, that's the plug-in hybrid version of the RAV4, a compact crossover that is the second-best selling vehicle in the USA, trailing only the Ford F-Series pickup trucks.
A handsome re-design in 2019 helped sales immensely, as did a hybrid model that boosts EPA-estimated fuel economy to 41 miles per gallon city, 38 highway.
But the hot ticket in the two years it's been on the market has been the Toyota RAV4 Prime, a 302-horsepower hot rod with an all-electric range of 42 miles and combined fuel economy once the hybrid gas/electric powerplant kicks in of 38 mpg. All while doing 0-60 sprints in 5.8 seconds. Five-point-eight.
The question I had two years ago was---would it sell, given that, with options, the price of a RAV4 Prime XSE AWD was almost $50,000 ($49,577 on the car we tested)? And the answer has been a resounding yes. This is the RAV4 people want. Even at $50k (and more as dealers pack them with "local market adjustments").
For 2022, the RAV4 Prime XSE AWD has a base price of $43,125 (there's a less-expensive SE model that just squeezes in under $40k). You get a lot standard---Toyota's comprehensive Safety Sense 2.0 suite, all-wheel drive, LED projector headlights, a moonroof, 19-inch wheels, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a nine-inch touchscreen with a six-speaker audio system.
But the extra-cost options on our tester, combined with $1,215 delivery, processing and handling fee, actually pushed the as-tested price over the $50,000 mark. An upgrade of the audio system to a nine-speaker JBL premium system with subwoofer, combined with navigation, adds $1,620. The Weather Package (heated leather-trimmed steering wheel and rain-sensing variable intermittent wipers with de-icer) is $375. The Premium Package (10-inch color head-up display, an upgrade of the moonroof to a panoramic moonroof, a birds-eye view camera, red-stitched upholstery, eight-way power driver's seat with memory and four-way power passenger seat, HomeLink, smart key, cargo area power outlet, height-adjustable, foot-activated power liftgate and parking assist with automated braking) puts an eye-watering $3,350 onto the tab.
And then there's the "assorted options"---$315 for roof rack cross bars, $269 for carpeted floor mats and cargo mat, $199 for a door sill protector, $69 for a rear bumper appliqué', $129 for mudguards and $65 for wheel locks---bringing the bottom line to $50,731.
I'm holding myself back from pointing out that the basic vehicle we're talking about here---a Toyota RAV4, starts in non-hybrid, non-plug-in, LE form at $27,575, so the price tag on our 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE AWD is nearly double that. But the people are speaking with their pocketbooks. For those who want them and can afford them, a $50,000-plus RAV4 is not out of the question.