2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime bests 2020 Ford Escape PHEV on all-electric range, but not mpg
The Environmental Protection Agency has certified the results of all-electric range testing for the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Prime, the company's new plug-in hybrid variant of the best-selling SUV in the U.S.
The RAV4 Prime delivers 42 miles of all-electric range and 600 miles of overall range. This is good for 94 MPGe ad 38 mpg (when running as a traditional hybrid).
MPGe, or miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent, is an Environmental Protection Agency metric to compare the amount of energy consumed by alternative fuel vehicles to what traditional gas-powered vehicles consume.
The chief rival to the 2020 RAV4 Prime is the new 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). It delivers best-in-class EPA-estimated all-electric fuel economy rating of 100 MPGe. However, it's all-electric range is just 37 miles. When running on strictly gasoline, the SUV gets 41 mpg.
The front-wheel drive Escape is powered by a new 2.5-liter hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Its liquid-cooled, 14.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery is positioned below the second-row seats. The Escape is significantly less powerful than the RAV4, getting just 221 horsepower.
Toyota has given the all-wheel drive RAV4 Prime a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine and paired it with an 18.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The SUV has a total system output of 302 horsepower. Like the Escape, the Toyota's engine is paired with a CVT. The Toyota has two pound-feet of torque less than the Ford (168 vs. 170).
Buyers can get the PHEV powertrain on every Escape trim level except S and SE Sport. The Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a starting MSRP under $35,000. That MSRP is lower than the RAV4 Prime, but the Toyota model's over $38,000 starting price is reflective of the fact that it features mid-grade and higher features and equipment right off the bat.
Photo courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency
The RAV4 Prime has a starting MSRP of $38,100. Toyota offers the model in just two grades: SE and XSE.