A red 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is parked in a modern compound.

Why the 2021 RAV4 Is a Popular Eco-Friendly Pick

Toyota seems to have certainly hit the winner’s circle once again with its range of environmentally-friendly Toyota RAV4 models. It’s a vehicle for a wide range of drivers: families, environmentalists, and even off-road enthusiasts all praise its features. Toyota RAV4 dealerships are having a hard time keeping them in stock, and drivers are reporting that they like what they see (and drive). The RAV4 model line-up includes the new Prime plug-in hybrid, the traditional Hybrid XSE, and the TRD off-road trim, giving you new ways to protect and enjoy nature.

Consumers are particularly clamoring for the Toyota RAV4 Prime. Launched during the summer of 2020 as a 2021 model, demand for the new model has been heightened since it is only available in limited quantities. Just in the month of March, the Toyota RAV4 Prime was the second fastest-selling new car in the U.S., according to iSeeCars data. Dealers were thrilled because it only took, on average, 10.2 days to sell a RAV4 Prime. Seeing this surge, Toyota is adding more production of the Prime and hoping to sell 20,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2021 from the previous year’s allocation of 5,000 vehicles.

A Modern Plug-in Hybrid SUV

Many environmentally sensitive drivers are making a mad dash for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime. That’s because the vehicle gives them the best of both worlds: a battery-powered electric motor for quick thrust and efficiency around the city and a gas engine for long-distance travel. When Prime drivers operate the vehicle with a fully charged battery, they can drive solely on electric power. The engine only turns on in certain circumstances, like faster road speeds or heavy acceleration. After the battery has been used up, the engine takes over full-time.

The RAV4 Prime features a much larger and more powerful lithium-ion battery than traditional hybrids, which has been mounted under the floor to provide more passenger space. Owners enjoy the fact that the vehicle’s battery can be plugged into any 120-volt (or 240-volt) household wall outlet or a public charging station. Plus, its engine offers the convenience of being fueled at numerous filling stations.

Speed, space, and savings are all part of the RAV4 Prime’s allure. Drivers will appreciate its fast acceleration from 0-to-60 in just 5.7 seconds, making it the quickest four-door model from Toyota. The powertrain is no slouch when it comes to efficiency either, coming in at 94 MPGe with an electric-only range of 42 miles. The Prime stands out as Toyota’s first-ever plug-in SUV, paving the way for the upcoming Toyota bZ4X fully-electric SUV.

The RAV4 Prime also offers a friendly interior with a roomy cabin for up to five adult passengers. The driver can choose from many different music or data options, all from a large and easy-to-read infotainment display. Passengers have plenty of storage room as well. Another perk is the fact that the Toyota RAV4 Prime qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax rebate.

The wheel of a red 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is shown.

The RAV4 Hybrid XSE

Customers looking for luxury and style in an eco-friendly compact SUV should look closely at the XSE (Extreme Sport Edition) trim of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The XSE, like the other four RAV4 hybrid trim levels, delivers more power and better fuel economy with its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Owners also praise its smooth and quick driving experience. While it may not be as fast as the RAV4 Prime, the XSE Hybrid is also not as expensive as the plug-in version.

The large interior space of this vehicle is perfect for families or extra passengers. Drivers will appreciate the heated steering wheel and the comfortable seats that hug around them, while its ambient lighting sets the tone and mood. It’s easy to decipher how efficiently you’re driving: the red button lights up for high performance while the green button indicates better gas mileage. For those who plan to tow a camper or boat, the RAV4 Hybrid XSE offers 1,750 pounds of towing capacity.

The Toyota SafetySense 2.0 system (pre-collision system, radar cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering alert, lane-tracing assist, automatic high beams, road-sign assist) is standard and can automatically avoid collisions with people or bicyclists. Additional aspects of this advanced technology will help you maintain your lane, automatically control your high beams, and help avoid sideswipe accidents.

The RAV4 Hybrid XSE is a vehicle that is meant to be noticed. Toyota designers have included more aggressive styling in this model, featuring LED lights and gloss black and metallic accents. A large panoramic roof opens for fresh air and sunlight, and the RAV4 Hybrid XSE will delight drivers who like to personalize their vehicles with paint options. It is available in seventeen different options, including a variety of two-tone exterior schemes with separate colors for the roof and body.

Off-Roaders Take Note of the RAV4 TrTRDd

For drivers who like a vehicle for both city life and off-road adventures, the Toyota RAV4 TRD is a popular choice. Who knew that Toyota is catering to its customers who enjoy the thrill of driving over rocks and dirt, snow, mud, or sand? What’s even better is that Toyota has maintained the best features of the RAV4 in this off-road package from Toyota Racing Development. Its suspension still brings the smooth ride that you are used to in a traditional RAV4 model.

Under the hood, Toyota kept the same powertrain as its other gasoline RAV4 variants, which is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Toyota paired it with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, giving the TRD excellent grip in bad conditions.

TRD owners need not worry that their vehicle stands out and looks like it doesn’t belong in the great outdoors. Toyota has equipped its TRD version with more aggressive fender flares, mudguards, running boards, red interior stitching, all-weather floor and cargo mats, two-tone paint, and dark gray lower front and rear fascias. The Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires display a unique tread pattern that will bite into mud and dirt while remaining compliant on the highway.

Drivers who require a bit more pampering in their off-road RAV4 will appreciate the choice to add an optional Off-Road Weather Package. Perhaps the weather is inclement outside, but inside their RAV4, they’ll enjoy rain-sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel, and heated and cooled front seats. The features don’t stop there: the vehicle offers dual-zone climate control, a moonroof, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto to keep you comfortable on the road or trail.

Toyota is also offering additional optional features for those who embrace the latest gadgets such as a wireless cell phone charger and lots of help to drive and park. Font and rear parking assist with automated braking, a digital rearview mirror, and 360-degree view cameras that display all four wheels and how they are performing make off-road trails and city parking lots easier to handle. If owners are towing a camper or boat, the 2021 RAV4 TRD Off-Road tows an impressive 3,500 lbs.

A red 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is driving past a lake after leaving a Toyota RAV4 dealership.

The 2021 RAV4 Remains a Market Leader

Toyota is banking that its family of RAV4 models offer the perfect ride and features for a large swath of drivers. So far, they have been right, and the RAV4 has maintained its position as the best-selling SUV in America. Now it’s time to check out the latest RAV4 models in person and take them for a test drive.