The Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular cars/SUVs on sale in America today. Therefore, when Toyota released the RAV4 Prime which is a plug-in hybrid demand was unsurprisingly strong, especially when federal and state tax incentives were factored in. As such, the RAV4 Prime has been and continues to be in very high demand. With its EPA rated 42 miles of pure electric range the RAV4 Prime can complete many daily journies on electric energy alone. Importantly, the Toyota RAV4 Prime can also tow 2,500 lbs.
Key Toyota RAV4 Prime Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 2,500 lbs
- Availability – Now (depending on availability)
- Price – Starting $39,800 (SE) > $43,125 (XSE)
- EPA – 42 miles pure electric range
- Combined (city/highway) – 94 MPGe and 38 MPG
- Maximum Charge Rate – 3.5kW (SE) > 7kW (XSE)
Toyota RAV4 Prime HP & Torque
- AWD: Combined output of 302 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque
- 2.5L Gas Engine: 187 HP and 167 lb-ft of torque
- Electric Motors: 180 HP and 198 lb-ft of torque
Toyota RAV4 Prime Towing Capabilties
As of writing this article in early 2022, I’m aware that in many parts of the US there is a significant waiting list on RAV4 Prime models. Why is that? Well, the RAV4 is indeed a popular car/SUV in the US in any case, but its really to do with the currently available state and federal tax incentives.
Once the tax incentives are factored in for many parts of the US a RAV4 Prime which is a plug-in hybrid can be purchased for just a few thousand dollars more than the standard RAV4 Hybrid. The advantages over the standard RAV4 Hybrid are considerable.
First, the RAV4 Prime has roughly an additional 100 HP over the standard hybrid, add to that the 42 miles of pure electric range if you can get hold of a Prime (and that’s a big if), its definitely worth it over the hybrid. However, there is another benefit, the RAV4 Prime has a larger towing capacity.
Where the standard RAV4 Hybrid is limited to a rather paltry 1,750 lb towing capacity, the RAV4 Prime can tow up to 2,500 lbs which is much more practical for cargo trailers/RVs etc. However, in one sense, its still a bit disappointing.
In the UK/EU for instance, as I’ve written about in my Toyota RAV4 PHEV article over on electrictowcars.co.uk it gets a larger 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) towing capacity. If you have read some of my other articles on this site, this difference between US and UK towing capacities shouldn’t come as too much of a shock.
Toyota RAV4 Prime Reviews
There is a huge number of reviews for the Toyota RAV4 Prime out there and I’ve watched many of them. What I thought I’d do is provide you with just two of my favourites. First, if you’re looking for just a short/quick review check out the review below from Kelly Blue Book which is under 5 minutes.
As discussed in the review above, the EPA rated EV range of 42 miles can potentially be bettered when driving in certain conditions. However, in the colder winter months or when travelling at high speeds expect an EV range in the mid to low 30-mile range.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at the Toyota RAV4 Prime and its capabilities I recommend the Alex on Autos review below. Alex goes into a lot of detail as he does with all his videos including how the 2.5L gas engine works in tandem with the twin electric motors.
My Thoughts On The Toyota RAV4 Prime…
While its a little disappointing that the US-spec RAV4 with a plug does not have the towing capacity of its UK/EU counterpart it can after all tow more than its US-spec sibling the RAV4 Hybrid.
A 2,500 lb towing capacity is sufficient for small cargo trailers and some small RV’s, hence the RAV4 Prime could be a functional electric tow car for many people. Granted, when it comes to towing you’re going to be mainly relying on the gasoline engine as opposed to the electric motors.
The 18.1kWh battery in the RAV4 Prime would drain pretty quickly when towing, with probably a pure EV range of around 20 miles. However, unless you’re towing often or going on lots of long journies I think the EPA rated pure EV range of 42 miles does mean many daily trips in the RAV4 Prime could be conducted by plugging in alone.
As I’ll be discussing in an upcoming article, rapid charging locations suitable for an electric car with a trailer/RV in tow are currently few and far between. Hence, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles such as the RAV4 Prime will have their place until the rapid charging infrastructure develops further.