2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime Release Date – Toyota has been applying a “Prime” moniker to its Toyota Prius for a few years now. That plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Prius has a slightly higher price and a somewhat bigger battery that enables 25 miles of electric driving before the engine comes to life. It’s sensible — if you can plug it in and recharge it nightly — but that’s about all. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime shares that nondescript suffix, and perhaps unfortunately so. This is a much more interesting and more compelling plug-in hybrid than the Prius Prime.
The reason why boils down to two points. The RAV4 Prime’s battery is significantly bigger, and that gives this small SUV an estimated all-electric range of 42 miles. That’s a truly useful number that will cover most daily commutes — especially when you know you can safely run it to zero and let the gasoline engine seamlessly keep the party moving. On top of that, the RAV4 Prime has bigger electric motors that make it significantly quicker than any other RAV4. Or just about any other small SUV for that matter.
Even with 302 horsepower, the RAV4 Prime isn’t particularly fun to drive. But it is a compelling plug-in hybrid that delivers exceptional economy and practicality.
The plug-in-hybrid Prime version of Toyota’s best-selling RAV4 is finally here and will land in dealerships this summer. The 2022 RAV4 Prime will start at $39,220. Toyota says the vehicle can cover an estimated 42 miles on battery power alone. Plus, Toyota claims it will be able to go from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds via a 2.5-liter inline-four engine. Combine that powerplant with the Prime’s electric motors, one powering the rear wheels, and you get a combined 302 horsepower. Not bad for a “green” SUV.
The plug-in RAV4 will have all-wheel drive as standard, and the automaker is estimating that it will achieve 94 MPGe combined.
The RAV4 Prime will be available in two flavors: SE and XSE. The XSE gets larger 19-inch wheels instead of the 18-inchers on the SE, plus paddle shifters, wireless smartphone charging, and a 9.0-inch touchscreen instead of the SE’s 7.0-inch.
Both versions will have Toyota’s Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) driver-assist package that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane centering.
The vehicle was unveiled at the 2019 Los Angeles auto show and joins the RAV4 hybrid and the gas-only RAV4.
Which RAV4 Prime does Edmunds recommend?
Consider sticking with the SE to maximize the RAV4’s affordability. The XSE has more standard features — and offers optional features you can’t get on the SE — but none of them are must-haves. You get the same fuel economy and performance with either trim level.
Toyota RAV4 Prime models
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid variant of the standard five-passenger RAV4 that is classified as a small SUV. It is offered in SE and XSE trims that are equivalent to the higher trims available on the standard RAV4.
The base SE trim is well appointed with feature highlights that include:
A four-cylinder engine plus three hybrid electric motor-generators
18.1-kWh lithium-ion battery back
Combined output of 302 horsepower
Heated front seats
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
The SE also includes:
Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the RAV4 Prime and the car in front)
Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
Lane keeping assist (steers the RAV4 Prime back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
The XSE adds several niceties, such as:
Two-tone roof (black)
Sunroof (optional on SE)
Auto-dimming rearview mirror
Wireless charging pad
Simulated leather upholstery
Interior ambient lighting
The Weather package starts off the RAV4 Prime’s bundled options with:
Heated steering wheel
Heated rear outboard seats
Automatic wipers with de-icers
The Audio package is only offered with the XSE trim and includes:
JBL audio system upgrade
Built-in navigation system and online destination help
Finally, the Premium package (also XSE only) rounds out the add-ons with:
Front and rear parking sensors with automatic braking
Quicker hybrid battery recharging capability
Ventilated front seats
Driver-seat memory settings
Digital rearview mirror (allows you to see out the back even with a fully loaded cargo area)
Household-style power outlet in the cargo area
Surround-view parking camera system