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2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review - Trims, Release Date, Price, MPG, Interior, And Rival

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Kartik Jetly

Senior Correspondent

October 19, 2020 at 12:02 PM

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets a new XLE Premium trim priced at $32,500 which slots it right in between the line-up. It also brings in new comfort and technology features in line with the standard 2021 RAV4. Efficiency remains its strong point with the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid providing a combined 40 MPG to a gallon. The 2021 RAV4 is priced from $28,500 and is available in a total of 5 trims. It is already on sale and is available in 6 vibrant colors. The newly introduced 2021 RAV4 Prime that pumps out 302 hp, is also based on the RAV4 Hybrid.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Latest Updates:


Toyota has provided us with some of the most practical and efficient cars over the years. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid sticks to this formula and adds a host of upgrades to keep it at the top of its segment. It is mostly a carryover of the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid in terms of performance which continues to provide for a highly efficient yet fun to drive layout. It, however, gains a lot in terms of safety and comfort features. The aesthetics remain unchanged with a vibrant bunch of colors being offered for the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid.


Read More on the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid:


Another key addition for the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid is a new XLE Premium trim which is derived from the gasoline trim but adds a host of Hybrid centric features. The XSE trim is now exclusive to only the RAV4 Hybrid which also adds a host of new features. Toyota has also introduced a new RAV4 Hybrid Prime, which pumps out over 300 hp and is the most powerful RAV4 ever. Hybridization is surely not as boring as expected!

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Model Specs

Price Range

$28,500 - $37,030

Release Date

Currently On-Sale

Engine

2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 (219 hp) + 2 electric motors (88kW on front axle/ 40 kW on rear axle)

Transmission

CVT

Drivetrain

AWD

Trims

5 trims - LE/ XLE/ XLE Premium (new)/ XSE/ Limited

Colors

6 exterior shades - Magnetic Grey Metallic/ Blizzard Pearl/ Midnight Black Metallic/ Ruby Flare Pearl/ Blueprint/ Silver Sky Metallic 

Changes

  • New XLE Premium trim added
  • Added technology and comfort features
  • Added safety features
  • Gets a new RAV4 Prime model based on the RAV4 Hybrid
  • Numerous aesthetic upgrades both inside out

It also comes with Standard Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) in all the 2021 RAV4 models including the standard gasoline ones. Competiton still is stiff, as the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid continues to face the likes of Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, and Lexus UX250h. The RAV4 Hybrid has always been the better performer of this bunch and with the updates 2021 MY, it stands to get back at it.

What are the Prices and Trims of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The 2021 RAV4 Hybrid line-up starts with the LE which costs nearly $28,500 and the ladder climbs up to #37,0 for the XSE trim. The RAV4 is one such vehicle wherein if you go for the base trim, you’ll still be getting a lot of features on offer to make the drive comfortable and convenient. The newly introduced XLE Premium trim slots right in between the bunch at an MSRP of $32,500.

This trim will be a balancing point in terms of comfort, MPGe, and safety. Even the base LE trim is well equipped for the price and doesn't feel like a prodigal option. The top of the line Limited trim will grant you the best available package in the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid line-up. But if you are willing to go even further, then the trims offered for the 2021 RAV4 Prime that pumps out 302 horses starting from $38,100 makes for a compelling choice.

Trim

LE

XLE

XLE Premium

XSE

Limited

MSRP

$28,500

$29,795

$32,500

$34,450

$37,030

Key Features

Traffic sign reader

Adds to/Replace with LE

Adds to/Replace with XLE

Adds to/Replace with XLE Premium

Adds to/Replace with XSE

 

LED Headlights

Keyless entry

Raised suspension

Electric Parking Brake

Chrome exterior trim

 

7-inch touchscreen infotainment

Keyless ignition

18-inch multi-spoke chrome sport alloy wheels

18-inch 5-spoke black-painted sport alloy wheels

Digital rearview mirror

 

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0

Additional USB charging ports

Driver’s seat memory 

Ash Gray fabric-trimmed headliner

Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic 3-spoke steering wheel

 

17-inch 5-spoke silver alloy wheels

Integrated fog lights

Power tilt/slide moonroof

8-inch touchscreen infotainment

Soft-touch dash

Apart from the standard bunch of features on offer, Toyota also puts forth a refreshed bunch of optional packages that are inclined towards the addition of technology, safety, and protective features against forces of nature. The packages range from $1.015 to $2,955 and can be nit-picked upon at their official Toyota Build page.

What are the engine updates for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid continues to be powered by a 2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 motor coupled to an electric motor coupled to the rear axle. This combination of powertrains produces 219 horses and 163 lb-ft of torque in its standard avatar. Toyota has started to have improved on the voltage output of the battery pack that should provide improved acceleration and efficiency.

Hybridization has also allowed it to have a standard AWD layout which is incremental in providing for an involving driving experience. All of the trims are coupled to a CVT transmission that also offers various drive modes that includes SPORT, ECO, NORMAL, EV, and TRAIL modes for varying terrain conditions. Toyota uses the same powertrain layout but with more 2 electric motors in the 2021 RAV4 Prime, to provide with its 300+ horses.

Model

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

2020 Lexus UX 250h

MSRP

$34,450

$35,145

$35,050

$35,700

Engine

2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 + electric motors

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 + electric motor

2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 + electric motors

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 + electric motors

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

FWD

AWD

Transmission

CVT

CVT

CVT

CVT

Power

219 hp @ 5,300 rpm

152 hp @ 6,000 rpm

198 hp @ 5,250 rpm

181 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Torque

163 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

145 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

152 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

151 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

Toyota has always provided for an efficient driving layout with the RAV4 Hybrid but at the same time also happens to be the most powerful of the bunch, even in its standard layout. Its closest competitor is the Ford Escape Hybrid which pumps out 198 hp but is still costlier than the RAV4 with an FWD layout. Clearly, Toyota has smashed this segment it's its VFM proposition. Being the cheapest offering of this bunch rolls a lot of eyeballs for the RAV4 Hybrid as compared to its competition.

How quick is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid in acceleration from 0-60 mph?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid does 0-60 mph in  7.3 seconds and does the quarter-mile run in 15.6 seconds, marginally better than the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid. It surely is swifter than most of its competitors but that doesn't make it hard to drive. Tottering around town is a breeze because of two reasons: first, being a hybrid the RAV4 enables you to coast along silently using the battery power from the electric motor.

If you do need power, just put the pedal down and the petrol engine provides a burst of power to make you jerk out of your sleep. Second, being an SUV you sit up high and get a very clear view of what’s in front of you. This raised driving position and long wheel travel mean that the RAV4 is excellent in negotiating with speed bumps. All of this while having a top speed of 120 mph which is kind of restricted so as to provide for a more efficient driving range.

Model

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

2020 Lexus UX 250h

0-60 MPH

7.3 seconds 8.3 seconds 8.7 seconds 8.5 seconds

Quarter Mile

15.6 seconds 16.5 seconds 16.7 seconds 17.38 seconds

Top Speed

120 mph N/A 130 mph 110 mph

The competition still isn't anywhere near the sober-looking 2021 RAV4 Hybrid. A key reason for the RAV4 Hybrid's acceleration is the usage of two motors whereas most of its competitors have to struggle with just one unit. The efficiency part is surely taken care of even with one electric motor, but Toyota went ahead and added another one, and made hybridization, not so boring. Ford Edge Hybrid, however, is the one with the highest top speed of this bunch because of its lower curb weight that can help increase the momentum, thus more top speed.


Also Read:


What about the MPG figures of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

Talking of how efficient this CVT and hybrid powerplant combination is, the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid is good for pumping out nearly 41 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on the highway. The EPA estimates that the RAV4 hybrid is good for a combined 40 miles per gallon. These wholesome numbers are because of its well-balanced powertrain tuning and also for the available driving modes that help manage performance as per the terrain.

It also gets a Trail drive mode so as to provide for an efficient driving experience even when towing cargo. Toyota has also provided the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid with a large 14.5-gallon fuel tank that provides for a driving range of 580 miles which is ample for a cross country drive as well. The surprising fact is that the most powerful RAV4, Prime provides a combined 38 MPGe to a gallon which is not even a difference when compared with respect to the performance.

Model

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

2020 Lexus UX 250h

MPGe (City)

41

36

44

41

MPGe (Highway)

38

34

37

38

MPGe (Combined)

40

35

41

39

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

14.5

13.2

14.2

10.6

Range (City/ Highway/ Combined) (mi.)

595/ 551/ 580 475/ 449/ 462 625/ 525/ 582 435/ 403/ 413

Ford Escape is the only other hybrid SUV in this bunch that comes closer to the figures of the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid. But that is irrelevant as Ford provides the above-mentioned numbers in it's FWD configuration, whereas its AWD as standard for the rest. Lexus sacrifices a lot for its futuristic design language, with its minuscule 10.6-gallon fuel tank, being one!

What are the updates for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Interior?

The 2021 RAV4 Hybrid gets a host of new comfort and technology features. Many of the new features added to the RAV4 Hybrid comes in for the newly introduced  XLE Premium trim. The upscale interior with leather upholstery looks pleasing to the eye and modern at the same time. The dashboard and the center console have been refreshed to give this SUV a new lease of life. The seating layout is comforting but the headroom could have been improved as taller occupants might find it to be a tight fit.

The 2021 RAV4 Hybrid is equipped with two infotainment layouts. It comes with a 7-inch touch screen infotainment with six speakers and Bluetooth music streaming. The higher trims get a JBL audio system with 11-speakers which includes subwoofers and amplifiers. It also includes connected services that can help you in times of emergency. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard in all the trims.

Model

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Ford Escape Hybrid

Lexus UX 250h

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

First Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.5/57.8/41.0

39.8/56.7/43.1

40.0/57.6/42.4

37.2/55.0/42.0

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.5/56.4/37.8

37.4/55.6/36.7

39.3/56.0/38.9

36.3/52.9/33.1

Cargo Capacity (cu.ft)

37.6 15.9 30.7 17.1

In terms of practicality, the cargo capacity of the RAV4 is commendable, despite having the battery pack located under the floor and an electric motor on the axle. Compared to the competition, the trunk volume is the largest and interior storage spaces on offer are plentiful. The seating layout is more or less the same in all these SUVs, but Ford Escape Hybrid has an edge because of one less motor and FWD layout. Notable interior features of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid are:

  • SofTex synthetic leather upholstery (top trims)
  • 7-inch Multi-Information Display
  • Weather & Moonroof Package
  • Heated steering wheel and rear outboard seats
  • 7.0-in. touchscreen
  • Standard six-speaker audio system
  • Android Auto, Apple CarPlay & Amazon Alexa compatible
  • Hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth
  • SiriusXM with 3-month All Access trial subscription

How has the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Exterior changed?

There hasn't been a major change for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Exterior. The quirky yet sharp front and rear fascia are maintained and this Hybrid powerhouse comes in a total of 6 vibrant colors, some even in dual-tone shades, as an optional extra. New bits are included for the XLE Premium trim that includes restyled 18-inch alloy wheels, generous chrome highlights, and a moonroof.

When it comes to the design, its business as usual with youthful styling complemented by a touch of sportiness.  It's easily recognizable as a Toyota but on a side note, if you squint, it might give off an uncanny resemblance to a Lexus, but that's a far-fetched catch! Other cues are carried over from the 2020 MY and this time around you don't have to search for the blue-halo laden "Toyota" logo to know about its Hybrid powerhouse as additional badging have been added to both the front fenders.

Model

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Ford Escape Hybrid

Lexus UX 250h

Curb Weight (lbs)

N/A

3,717

3,554

3,605

Length (in)

180.9

175.8

180.5

177.0

Width (in)

73.0

71.0

74.1

72.4

Height (in)

67.0

62.8

66.1

60.6

Ground Clearance (in)

8.4

8.7

7.9

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

105.9

104.9

106.7

103.9

Utilitarian aspects of the RAV4 are complemented further by 8.4 inches of ground clearance. Furthermore, the RAV4 is dimensionally one of the largest compact Hybrid SUVs alleviating issues regarding space and usable real estate. This helps provide for street presence as well. Notable exterior features included in the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid are:

  • 18-in. 5-spoke super-chrome-finished sport alloy wheels
  • LED projector headlights with chrome bezels, Automatic High Beams, and auto on/off
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) with Accent Lighting
  • Privacy glass on all rear side, quarter, and liftgate windows
  • Integrated Fog Lamps
  • Dual Chrome exhaust tips

What are the new and improved safety features in the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid?

The RAV4 is a very feature-rich package and to top it off, Toyota equips each and every RAV4 with its Safety Sense 2.0 suite of safety features which adds a lot of driver assistance features to the safety quotient of the SUV. Talking of the crash-test ratings by NHTSA the 2021 model year hasn’t been crash-tested yet but the 2020 model year, which is the same as 2021, has been and it has scored perfect 5-stars in the crash tests.

The same is the story with the IIHS. The 2020 RAV4 Hybrid has impressed the folks at IIHS so much so that they have awarded it as the Top Safety Pick for 2020 in the ‘SMALL SUV / 4-DOOR SUV’ category. All of these are carried over unchanged for the 2021 MY as well. The newly included safety features are:

  • Road Sign Assist: detects all the road signs on the road using the cameras on the SUV and displays them on the MID to let the driver know.
  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection: is designed to detect a vehicle or a pedestrian using both the camera and the radar in the SUV. When it does detect one, it provides an audio/visual warning to the driver of a possible collision. This system will apply the brakes if it feels necessary.
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist: detects the white/yellow markings on the road’s edge above 32 mph and will alert the driver using audio/visual if it detects an inadvertent lane departure. The Steering Assist will take corrective action if the driver fails to do so.
  • Automatic High Beam: helps the driver to see more clearly in the night at speeds above 25 mph. this system detects the headlights of the oncoming vehicles and toggles between high and low beams accordingly.

Is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid worth the Money?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has an efficient powerplant setup which can munch miles as well as not bore the driver while doing it. This provides for a very serene driving experience both in the city and the highway. Reliability is never a questionable factor when it comes to Toyotas as well.

Toyota has further strengthened the 2021 RAV4 with a wide variety of safety features on offer; all at an affordable price. The expanding trim table, an impressive list of both standard and optional comfort and technology features all the while without breaking your bank makes the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid worth your investment. The marginal bump in pricing will not make it tough to go forth and buy a new RAV4 as well.


Also Read:


2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid FAQs

Is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD?

Yes, the usage of an electric motor, gives all of the trims of the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid standard AWD layout.

Does the Toyota RAV4 have a moonroof?

Yes, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 can be had with an optional moonroof that comes bundled in the add-on packages.

What are the MPG figures of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is one of the most efficient Hybrid SUVs and provides with 41 MPG in the city, 38 MPG on the highway, and a combined 40 MPG.

What's new in the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets a slew of new comfort, technology, and safety features similar to the standard 2021 RAV4. It also gets a new XLE Premium trim that slot right in between the line-up and brings in its set of new features as well.

Is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid a plug-in hybrid?

No, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is not a plug-in hybrid, but it is sold as one in the European countries.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid three quarter view
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid rear three quarter view
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid rear view
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid front view
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid three quarter view
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid rear view
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid front view
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid three quarter view
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid cockpit area
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid sunroof
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2021 toyota rav4 hybrid interior 2
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