2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is best off-road with EV Mode
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You identify it. Inside motive, the Toyota RAV4 Prime can deal with it. 

The flexibility of the Toyota RAV4 Prime continues to amaze us. It gives 42 miles of all-electric vary good for the commute, runs as a perky, easygoing 38-mpg hybrid for additional lengthy errands or weekend journeys, accelerates to rival sports activities vehicles, presents good cargo area and seat-folding, and carries all-wheel drive with first rate floor clearance. It’s concerning the closest you will get to the equal of a Swiss Military knife for the household. 

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Over greater than a yr of varied driving experiences, throughout the U.S.—even on a visit by which we strategically used its Cost Mode—we’d by no means finished one vital factor with the RAV4: take it off-road. 

2021 toyota RAV4 Prime off-road testing – NWAPA – September 2021

2021 toyota RAV4 Prime off-road testing - NWAPA - September 2021

2021 toyota RAV4 Prime off-road testing – NWAPA – September 2021

2021 toyota RAV4 Prime off-road testing - NWAPA - September 2021

2021 toyota RAV4 Prime off-road testing – NWAPA – September 2021

Fortunately, simply final week I had the chance to check the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime off-pavement, over a brief however very difficult off-road course specifically designed by The Ridge Motorsports Park, in Shelton, Washington, for the 2021 Northwest Outside Exercise Car of the Yr competitors run by the Northwest Automotive Press Affiliation. 

The course included circumstances weekend adventurers may encounter alongside Forest Service trails on the best way to campsites or trailheads—similar to a steep peak that examined breakover angles, a steeply sideways-banked path, a free log bridge, a rutted path with free rock, and a collection of moguls that examined not simply wheel articulation however all-wheel-drive techniques’ skill to adapt to restricted or no traction at a number of wheels. 

2021 toyota RAV4 Prime off-road testing - NWAPA - September 2021

2021 toyota RAV4 Prime off-road testing – NWAPA – September 2021

The RAV4 Prime did terribly properly on the course, though its 8.0 inches of floor clearance was the limiting issue. Traction was the straightforward half. And in this sort of venue, the RAV4 Prime was at its greatest locking out the gasoline engine completely. 

The Prime could be very, very fast on the highway, with its 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds—or truly a bit faster, from what we’ve informally seen. However if you’re on a path, you actually don’t want all that thrust. What you do want is torque, and in its electrical mode the RAV4 has a great deal of it, all good and linear and manageable with a long-travel accelerator. In response to Toyota, locking in all-electric operation with the EV mode limits you to a 0-60 mph time of 9.2 seconds.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

You most likely will not miss that decrease general output of EV Mode off-pavement. Choose EV Mode to lock the gasoline engine out, and we discovered that for nuanced off-roading the RAV4 Prime’s traction techniques are a a lot better match with the electrical motors alone than when the gasoline engine fires up.

Versus Path Mode, the RAV4 Prime counterintuitively felt extra assured, spinning its wheels far much less on the steep, free hill, and having a neater, much less dusty time of the moguls when making an attempt to keep up momentum with a number of wheels free or lifted. 

After I consulted the RAV4 Prime’s proprietor’s handbook, the shortage of composure in Path Mode is sensible. In response to it, Path Mode is “meant to be used when driving on bumpy tough roads,” and it “controls the automobile in order that it will probably use the utmost quantity of drive power when driving on bumpy roads.” So if it is advisable to churn up an extended, steep hill with numerous energy and wheelspin the place traction techniques would usually shut you down, Path Mode is what you’d use; it overrides an EV Mode choice and can begin up the gasoline engine if it is advisable to go all-in. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime track driving - NWAPA - September 2021

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime observe driving – NWAPA – September 2021

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime track driving - NWAPA - September 2021

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime observe driving – NWAPA – September 2021

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime track driving - NWAPA - September 2021

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime observe driving – NWAPA – September 2021

The occasion additionally reminded us how completely sufficient—even sprightly—the RAV4 Prime feels all-electric at metropolis (or backroad) speeds with a dealing with course at The Ridge. On it, we spent more often than not negotiating the tight turns of a course designed for go-karts, largely under 40 mph, and in addition discovered the EV Mode to supply extra surefooted traction and extra instantaneous, exact responsiveness.

About the one factor left is to tackle deep snow, on the best way to sledding or snowboarding—one thing we’ve little question by now the RAV4 Prime will deal with properly. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

As outfitted, the loaded Prime I examined added as much as $49,776, not counting eligibility for the $7,500 EV tax credit score or different incentives. That weighs in versus the Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid and Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid, neither of which fairly match the Prime’s electrical vary or options. 

Which leads us to 1 want: to see extra of them out on the streets and highways. With a automobile this multifaceted and well-conceived, a fast scan of vendor inventories reveals them to be briefly provide, and availability stays restricted. 



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