2021 Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid: range, prices and specifications

New plug-in hybrid Toyota RAV4 promises impressive fuel economy and up to 47 miles of electric-only driving on a full charge

James Allen
Oct 30, 2020

Looking for a new plug-in hybrid family SUV with good fuel economy and an impressive electric range? Then it may be worth taking a closer look at the new Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid when it goes on sale in early 2021.

Like the conventional Toyota RAV4 hybrid, the plug-in model uses a petrol engine that’s assisted by a pair of electric motors. However, because it has a much bigger battery pack, the plug-in RAV4 can cover up to 47 miles on electric power alone - which is one of the best ranges you’ll find in any plug-in hybrid car of this size.

This means that if you charge the batteries every time you get home, you should be able to cover around 50% further on electric power alone than most plug-in hybrids. That means it should offer lower emissions and petrol bills than most alternatives.

As with all plug-in hybrids, however, the petrol-electric plug-in RAV4 may boast impressive on-paper fuel economy - in this instance, a claimed 282mpg - but you’ll only be able to match this in day-to-day driving by regularly recharging the car and making the most of its electric-only range.

If you don't keep the batteries topped up, though, you’ll spend much of your time running on petrol power like a conventional car, with little economy benefit from the batteries, but still having all the weight of the batteries and electric motors to lug around.

Full tech specs and prices will be revealed closer to the car’s launch. However, it’s expected the RAV4 Plug-in will command a premium over the standard RAV4’s £31,090 base price when it goes on sale in the UK. Considering that the closely related Suzuki Across, which borrows much of the same tech is around the £45,000 mark, it's likely the RAV4 will have a similar price tag.

Quick facts

  • Claimed economy of up to 282mpg
  • Up to 47 miles of electric range
  • 302hp from petrol-electric 'powertrain'
  • All-wheel drive and automatic gearbox
  • Prices and specs yet to be confirmed
  • On sale from spring 2021

Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid power and performance

Just like the standard Toyota RAV4, the plug-in hybrid version has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet. However, thanks to the different electric motor setup, it has a lot more power to play with: whereas the standard RAV4 has 219hp, the plug-in version produces 302hp.

This means the RAV4 Plug-in is pretty quick for its size: According to Toyota, the car has a 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.0 seconds, which is a figure you’d expect to see from a hot hatchback or a sports car, rather than a family-sized SUV.

Like many plug-in hybrids, the RAV4 also has very impressive fuel economy - the 282mpg figure that Toyota quotes for the car is a huge on-paper improvement over the 50mpg that the standard RAV4 hybrid is capable of. How close you’ll get to that in day-to-day driving, though, will greatly depend on how long your journeys are, how fast you travel and how often you recharge the battery.

Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid range and charging times

While the claimed power and performance are plus points, the RAV4 Plug-in is arguably more impressive when it comes to electric-only range. According to Toyota, the RAV4 can be driven up to 47 miles on battery power alone, which is a lot higher than what most of the Toyota’s rivals can manage (the plug-in hybrid version of the Ford Kuga, for instance, has an electric-only range of 35 miles).

As a result, the Toyota should be capable of regularly covering shorter trips without using the engine at all - providing, of course, that you recharge the batteries between journeys. Likewise, while Toyota says the RAV4 can be driven at motorway speeds using electric power alone, you’ll likely drain the battery much quicker at those speeds than when covering the same distance in town.

Considering how big the battery pack is, charging speeds are quite reasonable: according to Toyota, it takes around 2.5 hours to fully recharge the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid using a 6.6kW public charging point or a similarly powerful wall box unit at home. You can also recharge the car by plugging it into the mains, though this a full charge from a three-pin plug takes around 7.5 hours.

Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid vs Suzuki Across

When it goes on sale, the Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid will go up against quite few rivals, such as the plug-in versions of the Ford Kuga and Vauxhall Grandland X. Arguably the Toyota’s closest competitor will be the Suzuki Across, though - mainly because, underneath, it’s very closely related to the RAV4.

Unsurprisingly, that means there aren’t many areas where the two cars are noticeably different. Both the Toyota and the Suzuki have a claimed electric-only range of up to 47 miles and, while fuel economy figures for the Across haven’t been revealed yet they're likely to be extremely similar to the Toyota's figures as the pair share very low CO2 emissions of just 22g/km (which should directly correlate with the fuel economy).

One of the few areas the two cars diverge is performance. The Suzuki's power output of 180hp is quite a bit down on the 302hp that Toyota quotes for the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid - which goes some way to explaining why the Suzuki’s 0-62mph acceleration time of 8.4 seconds is a lot slower than the Toyota’s.

Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid specs and in-car tech

Toyota hasn’t revealed the full technical specs for the plug-in RAV4, and won’t do until closer to the car’s launch. However, the details Suzuki has revealed for the Across give us an idea of what to expect from the Toyota.

Because of the space constraints in having a bigger battery to fit in, the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid likely won’t be able to match the standard RAV4’s luggage volume of 580 litres. However, with an expected capacity of 490 litres, the Toyota will likely still have a decent amount of boot space.

The official images of the new plug-in RAV4 suggest that it’ll have similar amounts of tech to the regular car - expect features like an eight-inch touchscreen media system, a reversing camera, dual-zone air-conditioning and safety assists like blind spot monitoring and autonomous emergency braking to come as standard.

Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid price and release date

Toyota has confirmed that the plug-in RAV4 will go on sale in early 2021. Prices will be revealed closer to the car’s launch, though we expect this plug-in hybrid version will be notably more expensive than the base Toyota RAV4’s £31,090 starting price.

As the less powerful Suzuki Across is set to cost more than £45,000, it's a safe bet that the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid will cost slightly more than this.

 

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