2021 Toyota RAV4 Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos

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The 2021 Toyota RAV4 compact crossover SUV still has a few tricks up its sleeve. It adds a plug-in hybrid this year, with a twist: the 2021 RAV4 Prime has the quickest acceleration of the lineup. 

For 2021 the RAV4 Hybrid can be ordered as an XLE Premium, too.

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The 2021 RAV4 gets a 6.5 TCC Rating but that could rise higher when official safety data rolls in. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Review continues below

Like last year, the 2021 RAV4 comes in a wide range of trims: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Limited, TRD Off-Road, SE, and XSE RAV4s can have a gas engine, while the RAV4 Hybrid comes in LE, XLE, XLE Premium, and Limited trims. The RAV4 Prime comes in SE and XSE trims. 

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The good news: All RAV4s get the same mini-’ute good looks that started in 2019. The roofline and chunky body sides are a boon to curb appeal, even if they make the RAV4 slightly more uncomfortable inside this time around, with less head room for tall passengers.

All RAV4s start with an inline-4 under the hood, although what happens down the driveline depends on how deep your pockets are. The base 2.5-liter inline-4 makes 203 horsepower and drives the front or all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. 

The RAV4 Hybrid teams that engine to a hybrid battery pack and electric motors for 219 hp net that drives all four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission. It’s fuel-efficient and rates up to 40 mpg combined, according to the EPA. 

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The RAV4 Prime adds bigger electric motors, a bigger hybrid battery pack, and bumps up overall output to 302 hp. Unlike other plug-in hybrid crossovers, the RAV4 Prime’s song is performance: it’s the quickest RAV4 to 60 mph at an estimated 5.7 seconds (two seconds faster than the RAV4 Hybrid) and can travel 42 miles on electrons alone, according to the EPA.

Every 2021 RAV4 gets active safety features that include automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. 

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Base RAV4s get cloth upholstery, 17-inch wheels, a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with smartphone compatibility, and at least one USB port. Top trims get synthetic leather, better performance, off-road hardware, a bigger touchscreen, or better audio. 

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