Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE: New–and thrifty–kid on the block

2 Sep 2021 | 46 views | No Comment
  By Don Hammonds Looking for an SUV that doesn't look like everybody else's? Want one that gets fantastic mileage? And you want one that is dependable, reliable, and easy to drive? Check out the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE. It gives you all the advantages:   Terrific mileage. Snazzy looks. And the advantage of both electric driving and gasoline motoring. Let's look at Toyota's new baby: 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE all-wheel drive SUV Price as tested: $49,831 Fuel Economy: Hold onto your hat....94 MPGe miles per gallon when using gasoline and electric power (MPGe is the measure used for electric vehicles)  are all yours with the RAV4 Prime. If you are driving on gasoline only, the rating is 38 miles per galloon, and it takes about 2.6 gallons of gas to travel 100 miles. Performance: Let's put it this way. You won't be the last person to leave the stop light.  The RAV4 Prime really moves, with little hint that it's a pretty heavy vehicle.  It moves lightly and instantly when you hit the gas. Braking felt as though it needed a bit more pressure to react, but still got the job done well. Cornering and handling? No problem at all for me.      The car: I've made no secret that the RAV4 is one of my favorite compact SUVs--and for many reasons. It has personality and swagger, a good thing in my book.  It has distinctiveness. I still don't get the SUV craze, and I simply don't want to drive a box that looks like every other box on the street. And to be honest, no matter how many wonderful things they can do, the utility and the safety factors, I loathe just about all of them--except models from Cadillac, Lexus, Lincoln, Audi, Hyundai and Kia, and Mercedes. It's obvious that except for the last two brands I mentioned, you now have to spend big bucks to get a good looking vehicle. So kudos to Toyota to offer a bit of style for the masses, and the RAV4 Prime does that well. Not a problem for the Ravin' RAV4 Prime! But there are other reasons for my RAV4 admiration. First, they are absolutely rock solid to drive. They offer luxury car style comfort, they have impeccable interior design and materials, and they are easy to park,  they are chock full of value, they hug the road, and for the most part, the instrument panel is a beautiful yet practical one, and I love that huge screen that was installed on my RAV4 Prime. The RAV4 Prime is a new model for Toyota, and its main claim to fame is that it is an electric plug-in hybrid. That means that it can travel 42.6 miles running exclusively on electricity, and it also has all the high mileage virtues of hybrids.       Technology:
       So let's take a trip to Prime World. The five passenger, all wheel drive RAV4 Prime comes in both SE and XSE variants for you to choose from. And yes, Toyota does offer a standard Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which also offers excellent mileage, and is considerably less costly than the Prime model. Your task is to decide if being able to drive 42 miles gasoline free matters to you. If you live in the city, and likely don't drive more than 40 miles or so a day at most, and thus not need gasoline often, the money you save is worth it. But if you live in the suburbs, and you usually have long commutes, the case for buying the RAV4 Prime over the RAV4 Hybrid weakens considerably. That's your choice. Okay.  So what do you get for each model? Lots. Standard equipment in the SE Prime version, will include a four-cylinder engine plus three hybrid electric motor-generators, which altogether put out a smokin' 302 horsepower; 18.1-kWh lithium-ion battery back, all-wheel drive; power liftgate (comes in handy because that hatch door can be mighty heavy); heated front seats, an eight-inch touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Of course, the XSE version has its own standard charms to loosen your wallet.  Standard features include a sunroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror; two-tone black roof; a nine inch touchscreen; wireless charging pad; simulated leather upholstery, and interior ambient lighting. To make things more fun, there are a number of optional equipment packages for you to choose from as well for your RAV4 Prime. For a more complete description of standard and optional equipment, see your local Toyota dealer.        Safety:
The list of standard safety equipment is pretty extensive, including Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is on all RAV4 Hybrid models and includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, auto high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control. Aesthetics/Styling: I'll limit my remarks about styling and aesthetics to the interior, since you have read how crazy I am about the exterior styling. You rarely will find the level of materials, quality, and presentation that you see in the RAV4 Prime in many other competitors in its field. This is luxury car level stuff, put together impeccably for your pleasure.  And the seats are also quite comfortable--and I suspect--durable. The back seat has plenty of room, so you definitely won't have a problem in that area.  All in all, the RAV 4 as a group of models has really grown up, matured both inside and outside, and now stands right up there in the top level of competing models.  You will have to pay a lot more for an compact SUV before you will even come close to what the RAV4 offers. Warranty: Three year, 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty.  

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