Video: Is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Plug-In Hybrid Good Off-Road? Let’s Find Out!

We push the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime – hard.
(Images: TFLoffroad)

This is NO regular small crossover, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV is a powerhouse and – good off-road??

We take the 2021 Toyota RAV4 PHEV (plug in hybrid vehicle) to our Tombstone Hill off-road challenge to give it a whirl. Usually, this is no easy task for a crossover – any crossover. The steep hills are covered in very loose dirt, rocks, pits and off-camber obstacles.

Our 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV has a secret weapon: tons of power and torque. It comes with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine and two electric motors connected to a 17.8 kWh battery pack. Combined output is 302 horsepower. The RAV4 Prime can run (EV only) 42 miles on a charge.

You can read about our off-road run in a Toyota RAV4 Adventure (here).

Like the regular RAV4 hybrid, the Prime has no driveshaft leading to the rear wheels. They have an independent electric motor powering the rear wheels when needed. The thing is: these electric motors put out. a lot more power than the regular hybrid.

Tommy takes the RAV4 Prime up Tombstone Hill. This is an interesting challenge as it may show how future EVs handle the rough.

On the inside, it basically the same storage, seating and overall feel of a regular RAV4. The digital layout and infotainment are more advanced than the regular and hybrid versions of the RAV4 as well.

Granted, the RAV4 Prime isn’t inexpensive, or easy to get. Our tester has an MSRP of $49,160. From what we’ve been told, there were only a few built in its debut year – most of which are spoken for.

In this video, Tommy tries something interesting, he attempts to run the RAV4 in EV-only mode. Basically, he attempts to fight the obstacles of Tombstone Hill driving the vehicle as an electric car. The question is: will it go the distance in EV mode, or will it call-up the needed power addition coming from the gas engine?

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.