2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime: First Look Review

  • Fourth model year for Toyota's popular PHEV
  • Delivers an EPA-est. electric range of 42 miles
  • Priced from USD 43,690 (excl. USD 1,350 DPH fee)
  • Available at U.S. dealerships in limited quantities

Plug-in hybrid vehicles are the right solution for customers who want to get the EV experience but without fully committing to the technology, and there’s no better model than the 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime suited for an all-rounder role in this category. Unlike its gas-powered donor model, it comes exclusively in two sporty trims – SE and XSE. Recently, I checked out a Supersonic Red unit in the XSE trim, and here are my first impressions of the PHEV:

Design

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime’s dynamic styling neatly integrates electrification without overtly emphasizing its primary goal of efficiency. This design approach makes the transition to an eco-friendlier vehicle feel more natural and less forced. While Supersonic Red is the variant’s communication color, the Blueprint gets my vote as the shade that suits it the best.

I like the rugged and aggressive character of the SUV being mixed with sporty details like the exclusive black diamond-patterned radiator grille, the piano black finish on the lower front bumper, overfenders, rocker panels, mirrors, and rear bumper, the silver front lower spoiler, and the 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels. Toyota is marketing the RAV4 Prime as a performance model instead of a fuel-sipping PHEV, and in my opinion, it looks the part.

Interior

I find the exterior of the 2024 RAV4 Prime quite attractive even four years after its debut, but I can’t say the same about its interior after having seen many of its alternatives. The slim dashboard, silver accents, free-standing central display, and red stitching look quite alright, but the cabin fails to create any excitement anymore.

Compared to the interior of the 2024 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid, 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and the 2024 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid, I find the cabin of the 2024 RAV4 Prime a little humdrum. The 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster offers custom layouts, but they look basic. The 10.5-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia infotainment system, from my past experience, is responsive and doesn’t leave you feeling wanted for any information.

As a six-foot-tall person, I felt that headroom in the front was ample. The legroom was comfy, and under-thigh support was also surprisingly good for someone of my height. The artificial leather-trimmed seats with fabric inserts didn’t feel firm and offered the right amount of cushioning.

I spent time feeling the underside of the dashboard, the lower part of the floor console, the headliner, and other places and operated the various analog controls, including switches, buttons, knobs, and stalks to get a good idea of the interior build. I felt that the quality of parts Toyota has used in the 2024 RAV4 Prime varied perceivable. While the sections like the top of the dash and door cards were soft touch material with sporty red stitching, the rest of the parts were lower quality material.

I knew that the battery pack of the 2024 RAV4 Prime is located under the floor, not under the rear seats like in some other PHEVs. Thus, I wasn’t concerned about the space and comfort when I stepped into the back. Under-thigh support was fine. The legroom behind my adjusted driver’s seat was ample, while headroom felt just about sufficient. As for shoulder room, if three adults like me were to sit together, I think it would be tight.

2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime cargo area

Driving Impressions

The Toyota RAV4 Prime combines a 2.5-liter gas engine with two electric motors, with the secondary motor mounted at the rear and enabling AWD. The net result is an impressive 302 horsepower, which is enough to do 0-60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. I find the EPA-est. 94 MPGe (combined) rating is even more impressive. I think its EPA-est. 42-mile electric driving range is quite practical for urban use.

Gauging from various media reviews, the RAV4 Prime seems like a mixed bag. When driving normally, its powertrain almost always feels as if it’s sending power to the wheels via the electric motors. The plug-in hybrid SUV is quick off the line, and the momentum doesn’t die at higher speeds. Even at highway speeds, overtaking doesn’t require planning for gaps.

2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime side profile

The RAV4 Prime offers a smooth ride, as the weight of the batteries keeps it pinned to the ground, avoiding bounciness. Still, body roll can be felt at sharp turns. Another downside is that the engine can be a bit noisy at high speeds. Overall, though, none of the negatives feel unsettling, leading to the conclusion that the RAV4 Prime offers a good balance of fuel economy, comfort, and performance.

Price

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime has been priced at USD 43,690 in the SE trim and USD 47,560 in the XSE trim. Both prices exclude a DPH fee of USD 1,350. It is available at U.S. dealerships, but its availability is limited.

TopElectricSUV says

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime is one of the best-selling plug-in hybrid models in the United States. Backed by the renowned Toyota brand promise, it packs plenty of style and is big on fuel efficiency, but its interior feels a little outdated, and it’s quite expensive, too. I think the 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, priced significantly lower and with an additional row of seats, presents better value. Customers who don’t need the third row may find the 2024 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid as a good alternative.

2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime FAQs

What is the 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime release date?

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime is available at U.S. dealerships.

What is the 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime price?

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime has been priced from USD 43,690 (excl. USD 1,350 DPH fee).

Which models are 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime rivals?

2024 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the 2024 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid & 2024 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid.