I should know this is actually my personal vehicle that i bought right after thanksgiving last year in november 2020. This is a 2021 toyota rav4, prime, as you guys know, i owned a tesla before it before this and for my next long term vehicle i decided. I wanted something a little bit more conventional looking so after nearly five months of ownership and roughly around 1 600 miles, i thought i wanted to do a quick follow up video to talk about what the ownership experience has been like if the toyota rav4 prime, is Truly worth all the hype and where toyota is going to go in the future as well as myself, so stay tuned for all that Music. So a couple of quick reminders in case you guys have never heard of the rav4 prime remember this is designed to sit at the very tippy top of the rav4 hierarchy, it's their plug in hybrid version. Essentially, it takes the regular rav4 hybrid. It gives us an even stronger electric motor. It comes sooner with all wheel drive, it has a total of three electric motors and, of course, a two and a half liter gas engine for a total combined output of 302 horsepower. This is technically the quickest, accelerating toyota vehicle that the company actually makes sure you could also say the supras faster. But let's be honest here. The toyota supra is built by bmw in austria, it's, not technically a toyota by its drivetrain.
While this is now, i took deliver this car, like i said back in november, and i have to say, it's been a car that a lot of people have been really surprised to hear me actually say that i purchased, because it probably is completely different versus any Other vehicle that i bought, i came from a tesla model, 3 performance and a porsche cayman gts. Those are my two other vehicles before i sold both and decided to get this, but i have to admit the rav4 is certainly an enticing vehicle and, as i continue to get older, i can see exactly why so many people are just scrambling to get one of These and toyota is having a tough time with keeping up with demand. Now that strong demand is exactly the reason why toyota dealers are having trouble keeping these in stock. In fact, toyota said for the first year of production, this was all pre covered. They were supposed to build roughly 5 000 of these in their first year and then for 2021 and so forth. Toyota was going to do around 20 000 units well uh completely. Last year, toyota managed to sell around 3 200 units and then in their first quarter, they've done like another 1 600 units in the q1 of 2021. So in total the company has moved a little under 6 000 units total. They say that production of these are continued to be ramped up. However, there's been like a chip shortage um, so especially those of you who want this particular model here, which is the xse version with the premium package.
This has all the bells and whistles i've been seeing a lot of consumers report that dealers are charging anywhere between a couple thousand over msrb to as much as 10 000 over msrp. So this is still a very hot vehicle and it's pretty easy to see. Why, with 302 horsepower 0 16 5.7 seconds and an epa estimated 42 miles of range electric only range? This is probably the perfect middle ground for somebody who has been used to a gas vehicle but wants to transition over to an electric electrified vehicle, but doesn't necessarily want to make the full switch to where you at least have a gas engine to come in. To back you up, because this car, when it has a full tank and a full charge, will go a maximum of 550 miles and there's no full electric car that can do that kind of range. Just yet now the beauty about the rav4 prime is. Nobody really knows that you're driving a special version of the rav4 by looking it on the outside, i mean yes, we have special wheels, a special front and rear bumper there's, a plug in hybrid badge, on the back and a prime badge on the back, but really I'M coming over to the passenger side here, because this is really where you're going to have your first clue, if you guys aren't looking for the badges on the driver's side, you have, of course, a fuel tank uh, where you have your nozzle to fill up the Gas on the passenger side there's an identical, looking door which, to be honest, i wish toyota had made this door a little bit more high tech.
Looking i don't like how it's, basically a manual door. It looks like a fuel gauge, but this is where you'll find the j1772 plug to charge this vehicle. Remember the primes do not have a dc fast charging port. You don't really need it, because the battery size is only 18.1 kilowatt hours. Toyota says basically on a level one charger, which is the standard charger that the car comes with you're, going to spend roughly 12 hours to fully charge this vehicle from empty to full. Now, at my home i actually upgraded to a charge, point level, two charger and i had a nema 1450 plug installed at my house, which did significantly increase the charge times which reduces it from 12 hours to four and a half hours. If you guys have just a regular rav4 prime, if you guys go for this model here with the premium package, toyota says: that'll cut that down to around two and a half hours, because i have the faster 6.6 kilowatt hour onboard charger, which again makes this a Lot easier to fully charge overnight or just in a couple hours, as opposed to having to spend 12 hours on a plug. Now i do want to mention that, even though the epa rates this thing at 42 miles, i drove this car for most of the time when it was cold, because i took delivery of it right before winter time, and in that time it was getting roughly around ' miles on a full charge in freezing cold temperatures, we had a pretty cold winter here in pennsylvania, where we had a foot of snow almost every month during the winter months.
Now that we are finally in the warmer months so i'm well welcoming spring um, the most that i've seen right now is around 48 miles on a full charge. I'Ve seen some owners go up to around 60 miles as much as 60 miles on a full charge. So toyota is obviously conservative with the range of this vehicle and they're also limiting the actual full battery capacity usage, it's rated at 18.1 kilowatt hours. But really you can only fully charge this vehicle to around 15 kilowatt hours, because they're trying to preserve the battery life. Now i've had the opportunity to test a lot of other plug in hybrid vehicles, especially suvs, including a lot of the luxury brands and i'm pretty happy to say that the rav4 prime is better than every one of those vehicles. I'M, talking about cars even like the bmw x3 plug in the audi q5 plug in the i haven't tested, the mercedes benz glc plug in, but the beauty about the rav4 prime is that you get basically this large battery pack which lines up the floor. But you don't actually lose anything in the cargo capacity, not by much just maybe like five cubic feet or so with the seats up, you still got around 29 cubic feet, fold them down and you get around 69 cubic feet of space. That is still plentiful and it only reduces the space like i said earlier, compared to the gas model by about five cubic feet now.
Last summer, when i first drove the rav4 prime, when toyota sent me the car for a two day loan at my home, i probably told you that i wanted to primarily drive the car in hybrid mode, because that's, where you get the full 302 horsepower. However, after owning the car for a few months i'm, realizing quickly that the beauty about the rav4 prime is being able to charge it up and drive it in just pure electric, only mode, because this car has plenty of horsepower and torque in just its ev mode. Even though it's not as fast 0 60, i find it much more satisfying to not use an ounce of fuel. In fact, in the five months that i've owned, this car i've actually had to fill it up once in the 600 miles that i've put in it because most of the times i just plug it in at home, it goes 42 miles on a charge. I basically plug it in once a week to drive it just around town for my normal errands and when you, whenever you guys just put your foot down on this thing, it actually has enough torque, even in ev mode, to spin the tires that is with just Pure electric only mode, i have it in sport right now, you can feel it like still has enough power to push me back into the seat. The torque is instantaneous, even though the zero to 60 times around the nine second range, with the electric only powertrain.
It really shows you the toyota, when they put their mind to it, can deliver a pure battery electric vehicle and really, it starts to make me wonder. The gas engine in this car seems like it's a waste i feel like i'm, just lugging around this gas engine. If i primarily just drive this in electric, only mode i'll only really use the gas engine. When i take it on a longer trip, that's longer than 30 miles, which, how often do you actually do that anyways, i mean longer than 40 miles. This car offers plenty of real world range and it's pure electric mode and don't forget about the associated maintenance that you get with a gas engine. So that's kind of the reason why i'm deciding that i want to get rid of this and go to a full battery electric vehicle i'll reveal that at the end of the video. But i mean this car for those of you who have never had a full ev. It is the perfect stepping stone. Remember it's got an electric rear motor to give you the all wheel, drive so there's, no actual physical connection, so it technically has a motor two motors in the front one in the rear, Laughter, spinning the tires in pure stealth in all electric mode in the rav4 Prime that's, what makes this car so satisfying is the fact that there's no noise, because let's be honest here when the engine is on it – is a buzzy unrefined, noisy experience.
Yes, the car feels noticeably faster, but the sound is just unpleasant. It makes the car feel cheaper, it makes it feel like a noisy economy, car and really luxury cars have always been about smoothness and quietness, and now that full electric cars are here and coming they're kind of making. You question what's the purpose of buying an expensive gas car like a mercedes like a bmw when you can get this luxury smoothness and quietness in a mainstream car and that's kind of what makes the rav4 prime so enticing for a lot of buyers. Who'Ve never experienced a luxury brand or you know a full ev brand. All day, long all day long, the gas engine has not come on i'm still spinning the tires i'll feel the front spin first and then the rear will spin because there's more horsepower at the front electric motor versus the rear. It only offers like 53 horsepower at the rear, but i'm genuinely impressed with the prime those heavy battery packs. Also in the floor, make this the best handling wrap for today. Yes, it feels a little bit heavy, but it doesn't feel necessarily top heavy like some of the other competitors in the segment. The steering doesn't really offer much in terms of feedback and the suspension is soft, but the car feels very stable. It feels very compliant. It feels very engaging for a rav4, at least the one thing i did notice about the prime.
If you guys are considering the accessory roof, rack make sure you don't mind the wind noise because they are a little bit noisy with them on and if i open the sunroof it's even noisier, the wind buffeting is deafening. So my recommendation take those off if you're going to be constantly driving this on the highway, and you don't necessarily need the roof racks. They are noisy they're, adding drag they're, probably lowering the fuel economy and the range and i'm also noticing at higher speeds above 80 miles an hour. The prime definitely doesn't handle those high speeds as well i'm noticing the hood flutters a little bit at those speeds. Now there are only a few places in the country where you can actually go 80 plus miles an hour legally, but just know that if you do the prime doesn't really like those higher speeds, although it will get up to those higher speeds quite easily and quite Quickly so that's something to keep in mind. It makes this car again super fun to drive the other thing i'm. Also really appreciating in terms of tech. Is this electronic digital rear view mirror? If you don't like it, you can again flip it on and off. You can also adjust the angle, the brightness, the clarity of it. I think this is a wonderful addition. Unfortunately, it only comes with those of you who pony up the extra money for the premium package like mine. Has i also really like the jbl sound system in this car? It is definitely a worthy upcharge over the horrible six speaker unit that you find in the base models and you need to be sure to get the upgraded packages to get that premium.
Sound system now let's switch it over to the hybrid mode here and i'm going to show you the slight differences in the acceleration i'm going to make sure i'm going to leave the traction control turned off. You can hear the gas engine has come on it's idling right now, but i'll just floor. It here actually i'm going to break torque. It slightly burn out the front tires. That is the coolest thing about their f4. Prime is the fact that you can do that, and you can do it in electric mode. You can do it in gas mode, and this is where the cvt starts working as well, because the transmission acts like a direct drive unit when it's electric only mode, but when it's in hybrid mode, you feel that it mimics a cvt. There are paddle shifters here to kind of mimic the gear changes, although i mostly only used it to do some engine braking which there's another thing i want to talk about. The engine braking in this car is definitely weak. I would much prefer that toyota offered me a stronger one pedal drive feature, but again you hear that buzziness and that noisiness of that four cylinder really the most satisfying part about this car is putting it into electric only mode and making sure you have enough charge To be be able to drive this thing in ev only mode, i did find that when i have it in sport mode here, the regen braking is noticeably stronger versus in normal or in eco mode.
So i found myself driving the car, mostly in sport mode, because i did want to take advantage of that regen braking. It can actually add a mile or two of range. If you guys are, you know, coming down a hill and you're letting the regen braking do its job with putting the energy back into the battery pack a couple of final housekeeping in terms of the drive in terms of range here, uh the gas engine i'm noticing On the highway, it'll get around 35 miles to the gallon and in the city it'll, when you blend the electric motor and the gas engine, it'll do around 40 mpg. So that is pretty good. Although the range in the trip computer for the gas engine, i noticed that it tends to drop a lot quicker. I mean i fill it up. Full it'll show 500 miles of range, i'll drive 100 miles and the range will drop like by 130 miles so that's. Something to keep in mind – i imagine those of you who do more regular highway drives are probably going to get a little bit more closely accurate range from the chip computer. I found that this car, when you're on the highway it's best to drive it in hybrid mode and then, when you're in the city, put it into the electric only mode and take advantage of it that, because the electric motor really isn't quite as efficient on the Highway and i noticed that it only allows for speeds up to 85 miles an hour before switching on the gas engine.
So after five months of ownership, i have no doubts that i believe that the rav4 prime is currently the best available plug in hybrid mainstream. Compact suv that money can buy, there are simply no competitors even in the luxury space that match the level of technology, refinement, range acceleration and just honestly build quality that you get with the rav4 prime. So it's no surprise to me that this continues to be a very sought after model, especially in the marketplace. Dealers just can't keep up with demand, which is why so many people are ending, ending up paying sticker or more for this vehicle. Now. That being said, i do have a couple of gripes that i mentioned earlier. The infotainment system in the rav4 prime still shows that toyota likes to be behind the curve. There it's got really crummy graphics, the bird's eye view 360. Camera is nice, but the graphics are again look like they're about five years old, the app the phone app the toyota offers for this car is just terrible most of the times it didn't work very well. I can't lock and unlock the car from my actual app and most of the times as well. I had to re log in and refresh it it's just really slow. So toyota really needs to work on the app for this car because phone app integration is really a huge part of modern car ownership and i think that's, where toyota continues to drop the ball and, as you can see here is my biggest problem with the toyota App it is insanely slow, especially when you're trying to refresh things as you can see, there's a vehicle status part that i tried refreshing and it's still trying to refresh it after, like literally at two minutes, almost of it showing that little thinking screen it won't.
Actually, let me exit out of it. The only way i can think of is maybe just throwing the app away and trying to pull it up again, which occasionally it does that it's very slow and laggy. It doesn't give me the ability to lock and unlock the car. I mean, as you can see. I can start the vehicle here and turn the air conditioning and the defrost on, but i can't actually lock and unlock the car. If i go here to view status now, it finally updated it's telling me that the doors are on or unlocked it's telling me that a few windows are down, but it doesn't give me the option to actually put the windows up or actually lock the doors from The app it shows all these different, you know alerts there, showing that there's 12 different issues that it's seeing it does show your range and your trip, computer information or your odometer information. Although right now the distance to empty isn't actually showing for the gas engine, but clearly toyota has some work to do with the app. They really just need to look at what tesla is doing because for me, that's still the best in the industry in terms of phone to car, app integration. Sure the interior is not the most luxurious, but i love the soft tex leather seats. I hope toyotic offers a different color combination as opposed to this black with the red interior. The prime version, with the premium package does include most of the stuff that you want, but trying to find them or find.
This model is a little bit of a challenge and if you do find it you're gon na be paying a pretty penny for it, because it's like an extra six thousand dollars and at last tested price. I bought mine for a little over fifty thousand dollars with most of the accessories on it. It does make this car considerably more expensive than its closest rival, which is the ford escape plug in which i haven't driven. Yet, although it should be noted that the ford has significantly less range and it isn't available with all wheel, drive there's also a new mitsubishi outlander plug in hybrid uh, that should also be considered a competitor. Although i haven't had a chance to drive that yet by the numbers, its range and acceleration is not as good still as the rav4 prime now a lot of you are probably wondering what's next for me, you know i always tend to replace my cars constantly. I mean i had the miata for three years. I had the porsche and the tesla for two years and i'm pretty sad to say that i'm actually going to be getting rid of this car a lot sooner than those other vehicles, not because i don't like it. I actually really like this car a lot. It just doesn't suit me for what i'm looking for, because i don't think toyota has pushed the envelope enough to make this car truly feel like a special electric car.
It feels like a special rav4 but there's. So many rav4s out there and pretty soon they're, going to probably be a lot of these out there. As an enthusiast, i want something that stands out a little bit more. So, as of last month, i actually put a deposit down for a 2021 machi gt painted in grabber blue i'm, still kind of trying to decide between grabber, blue and cyber orange leave a comment below and let me know what color you think i should get. But ford says that that vehicle should start production or deliveries by late this summer. So whenever my maki gt actually arrives that's when i'll actually be putting this car up for sale and if you're interested in buying this car leave me a comment below or just send me a direct message, i'm going to actually compile a list of people, because i Do have several individuals. Family members, of course, are going to come first, who are interested in buying this vehicle later this summer and, of course, i'm not going to tell you what i'm going to be selling it for later that's going to be decided at that time. Whatever these things are done or selling for on the marketplace, but i just want to reiterate that the rav4 prime is one seriously interesting plug in hybrid electric suv. It kind of shows you that toyota, when they put their mind to it, can deliver a rav4. That is truly, very competitive, in fact, at the top of most of the segment, and really it gets me wondering what's next for toyota, because the company has been teasing telling us that there are three new electrified cars coming out for 2022 or in the next couple Of years, i have no doubt that they're, probably going to put the prime powertrain in something like a venza or a sienna or a highlander i'm, expecting them to basically start putting the prime powertrain in everything, because it's a great powertrain they're, also saying that a full Battery electric suv is coming that's, going to be roughly the same size as the rav4, but i've been hearing rumors that the range isn't, quite as good as the 250 benchmark that volkswagen and ford and tesla, of course, has been setting with their electric vehicles.
But we should be seeing something from toyota and lexus by the end of the year i'm, just hoping that toyota continues to push the envelope because it and honda have honestly been kind of more or less resting on their lawyers. Loyal laurels, they're very behind in the electric car space and while the rav4 prime is an excellent stepping stone, it's, a great alternative for somebody who isn't quite ready for a full ev as an enthusiast as an electric car early electric car adopter, it gets me super Disappointed the toyota isn't kind of at the forefront here, but it also gets me excited that the company realizes that and they're looking to make some changes. But with all that said, i hope you guys have enjoyed my update video on my personal 2021 toyota rav4 prime. If you're also looking to see the latest cars, i'm testing be sure to follow me on instagram redline underscore reviews like us on facebook and as always guys, please keep subscribing to the redline reviews youtube channel for all the latest reviews. Thank you.