If you're looking for a mainstream hybrid that takes things up to the next level, you'll want to meet the 2022 Toyota RAV4 PRIME. It's the plug-in hybrid version of Toyota's popular crossover that went through a redesign in 2019. This is the PRIME's second model year and I'm equally impressed with its performance this time around. (I've also reviewed the 2021 model which you can check out here.) My review model this week is the top-of-the-line XSE with all-wheel drive, which slots above the SE trim.
I must say the PRIME looks striking in gorgeous Supersonic Red paired with a black roof and its 19-inch wheels. The front features a silver-painted lower bumper and a unique, slim black-diamond bar front grill. A vertical LED accent strip tells you it’s the PRIME. It's equipped with LED daytime running lights and this model's Adaptive Front Headlight system are optional and upgrade the standard Bi-LED headlamps.
Black-painted power side mirrors fold and are heated. In the rear, you find dual chrome exhaust as well as LED tail lamps. Up top, a low profile roof rack sports optional cross rail bars. Blue Toyota logos in front and back designate its hybrid status.
The PRIME is the most powerful and fastest RAV4 ever with the quickest 0 to 60 time (5.7 seconds) in the lineup behind the Supra. It shares its 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with the regular hybrid. But with more powerful motor-generators, along with a recently developed high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery and a booster converter, it delivers a combined 302-horsepower which is an 83-horsepower boost over the standard hybrid. (It's also more powerful than the just unveiled 300-horsepower GR Corolla.)
Drive modes include SPORT, Eco and NORMAL modes, EV mode, HV mode, AUTO EV/AV mode, CHARGE mode and TRAIL mode.
The PRIME delivers an electric driving range of 42-mile range on a full charge, the best EV range in it plug-in hybrid class.
The XSE's black interior is well-designed, comfortable and user-friendly. Soft-touch surfaces adorn the dash, door and armrests along with some plastic in places. A Premium package features unique black, comfortable SofTex leatherette seats with side bolsters and red accents along with an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat with memory as well as a 4-way power passenger seat and heated and ventilated front seats. An optional panoramic sunroof allows a lot of light in from above.
A 7-inch digital driver display with a blue/green color theme offers standard driver info plus things unique to the hybrid like EV/HV range and EV drive ratio. I do find the text to be on the small side for me. It sits between two analog dials.
The center stack is home to dual-zone climate controls with large, easy to grip rubber dials. The center console hosts your leather-trimmed gear shift knob, electric parking brake, automatic brake hold and drive mode select.
The RAV4 is roomy with plenty of head- and leg-room. The slightly reclined back 60/40 rear split seats are slightly raised due to the battery. A drop-down center armrest provides cupholders. Back seat passengers also get air vents. An optional kick sensor height-adjustable power liftgate operates quickly. There is plenty of trunk space though slightly less than the standard RAV4. A cargo cover hides your valuables.
The PRIMEe comes with a standard 9-inch touchscreen surrounded by glossy black that's responsive and easy to navigate with pinch and zoom capability. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa. Voice command works great, too. I'd love to see a higher resolution backup camera. An optional Premium audio package adds Dynamic Navigation, an 11-speaker JBL sound system and a birds-eye view camera. Wireless charging is standard and the PRIME comes with 5 USB ports.
The RAV4 delivers some seriously effortless, fast off-the-line acceleration thanks to its electric motors. It also offers a great ride and drive quality with a suspension that handles potholes with ease. I found it just really comfortable and easy to get around town in with a great turning radius. There was some road noise in the cabin, but that is not unusual for the segment.
Using the standard 3.3kW on-board charger, the PRIME takes 12 hours to charge using 120-volt Level 1 charging from a home outlet. Using the optional 6.6 kW enhanced on-board charger with Level 2 charging (240v) reduces charging time to 2.5 hours.
The charging cable locks into the port on the passenger side and green light signifies charging is underway. Charging info is displayed on the driver display screen. To disconnect the cable make sure the vehicle is unlocked.
Standard Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) includes Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. The PRIME also comes with standard Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking is part of an optional Premium package.
Options and Pricing
An optional Premium package ($3,350) includes Toyota’s razor-sharp digital rearview mirror, 10-inch head-up display, 6.6 kW on-board charger, panoramic sunroof, LED adaptive front lighting system, kick sensor liftgate, SofTex-trimmed front seats, power front seats, 120V/1500W AC adaptor, bird-eye view camera, and front and rear parking assist with automatic braking.
An optional Premium Audio package ($1,620) includes the 9-inch multimedia screen with Dynamic Navigation along with an 11-speaker JBL sound system. The Weather package ($375) adds the heated leather-trimmed steering wheel and rain sensing wipers with a de-icer function.
Other extras: roof rack cross bars ($315), mudguard ($129), cargo mats/carpet floor mats ($269), rear bumper applique ($69) and wheel locks ($65).
Add all this up and the sticker price on this XSE loaded model comes in at over $51,000, making it more expensive than the similarly equipped 2021 PRIME I reviewed last year that MSRP'd for $49,776.
The RAV4 continues to impress in its second model-year with its looks, power, acceleration and fuel economy.
- What I liked most: Its two-toned Supersonic Red exterior and wow-worthy acceleration.
- What I would change: Improve the back-up camera’s resolution.
- MSRP: Base $43,125 ; As equipped $51,156.
- Fuel Economy: 40 city/36 highway/38 combined/94 MPGe.
- Fuel Tank: 14.5 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
- Dimensions: 180.9” long/ 73” wide/67.2” high.
- Weight: 4,300 lbs.
- Trailer Towing: 2,500 pounds.
- Miles When Tested: 231 miles.
- Official Color: Supersonic Red with Black Roof. ($425).
- Spare tire: Temporary spare.
- Final Assembly Point: Obu, Aichi, Japan.
- 2022 Toyota RAV4 PRIME in a few words: A terrific plug-in hybrid sure to impress with its accelerations and optional amenities, albeit at a slightly higher price for its second model-year.
- Warranty: 36 months/36,000-mile Comprehensive; 60 months/60,000-mile Powertrain; 60 months/unlimited-mileage Corrosion Perforation; 96 months/100,000 miles Hybrid System; 10 years/150,000 miles Hybrid Battery (transferable across ownership);Complimentary maintenance plan with the purchase or lease of every new Toyota for 2 years or 25,000 miles.
- Manufacturers website: Toyota