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Purchasing a new car, MY vs RAV4 Prime

Hi guys, our family is shopping for a new car. We're replacing our aging RX450h and I'm trying to convince the wife to look at the MY and RAV4 Prime. She definitely has some range anxiety going full EV along with some of the false EV fears like fires/shocks/safety etc. I've got a MY test drive scheduled and have already talked to them about an extended test drive if things look promising because I want to fit the car seats and kids and see how it all goes. I've found a handful of RAV4 Prims locally that are going for MSRP. I'm leaning towards the RAV4 due to immediate availability, tax incentives, and quality concerns with Tesla but I am really attracted to going full EV as well.

I came on here to start learning about MY but figured I'd just make a post. Is there anything I should consider or pay attention to during my test drive that I might find annoying later on or bothersome.

Some thoughts on my mind:
Have any of you gone from PHEV to EV or EV to PHEV? and why?
The RAV4 will have exactly about the daily range we need for EV daily commute and we do still have our minivan for road trips so range is not a concern between the two.
Wife is only interested in SUV body style.
Wife is really interested in the parallel parking feature, is it actually useful?
We have a family of 4 but sometimes travel as 6 with 2 grandparents. With 2 young kids - are the back seats worth it on the Y?
I only have 110 in the garage and don't want to install a level 2 charger at home due to expense and potential moving. I do have 200a service with plenty of room though if needed. We both have free charging available at work as well and there is a supercharger along our daily route if needed.
RAV4 prime has a $7500 tax credit which is appealing.
We typically buy new and keep for as long as possible.

TIA for any thoughts and help.
 
My 2 cents:

1) SUV body style
I think it depends how boxy, how high up you need the back of the car to be to fit the gear you'll normally bring. I brought 2 hockey bags full of gear, sticks, a few overnight bags, etc, to a Tesla showroom to be sure the MY could take what I needed (it could). But the back/hatch does slope down more than the RAV4, so you just need to be aware of that, and the test strollers and other gear you'd want to use frequently.

2) 5 v. 7 seats
We are in the same boat, and I've liked being able to put one kid in the "back back" when needed (exactly your use case, when the grandparents visit). Youngest is 11, and even for a 2-3 hour ride, it's been ok. I wouldn't do it cross country with someone that age, though :). By the way, I keep a roofbag in the frunk in case I need to expand cargo options. Not a perfect solution, but it has come in handy.

3) Range
It sounds like you'll be fine. On 110 level 1 charging, if you came home from work by 7pm and left again at 7am, that's 12 hours, say you can charge at around 1.3Kw (110v x 12a), which might be 16Kwh overnight. That's close to the size of the RAV4's battery and you said that would be enough for your commute (say 40 miles in summer, less in winter, depending on where you live). Having a charging option at work seals the deal, too easy. When really needed to top up in a pinch, run a cable from your dryer for 6-7 Kw (from 0-100% in 11 hours or so) if you can. Or, visit a supercharger. I warn you that you may break down and install a faster charging solution over time, though!
 
My 2 cents:

1) SUV body style
I think it depends how boxy, how high up you need the back of the car to be to fit the gear you'll normally bring. I brought 2 hockey bags full of gear, sticks, a few overnight bags, etc, to a Tesla showroom to be sure the MY could take what I needed (it could). But the back/hatch does slope down more than the RAV4, so you just need to be aware of that, and the test strollers and other gear you'd want to use frequently.

2) 5 v. 7 seats
We are in the same boat, and I've liked being able to put one kid in the "back back" when needed (exactly your use case, when the grandparents visit). Youngest is 11, and even for a 2-3 hour ride, it's been ok. I wouldn't do it cross country with someone that age, though :). By the way, I keep a roofbag in the frunk in case I need to expand cargo options. Not a perfect solution, but it has come in handy.

3) Range
It sounds like you'll be fine. On 110 level 1 charging, if you came home from work by 7pm and left again at 7am, that's 12 hours, say you can charge at around 1.3Kw (110v x 12a), which might be 16Kwh overnight. That's close to the size of the RAV4's battery and you said that would be enough for your commute (say 40 miles in summer, less in winter, depending on where you live). Having a charging option at work seals the deal, too easy. When really needed to top up in a pinch, run a cable from your dryer for 6-7 Kw (from 0-100% in 11 hours or so) if you can. Or, visit a supercharger. I warn you that you may break down and install a faster charging solution over time, though!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. If things go well that is what I anticipate doing with the extended test drive. I have to fit my car seats and make sure its usable. Not sure I can do that in the 30min window they're giving me. The person I spoke with at Tesla made it sound like that would definitely be possible given my situation. My kids are younger than yours, they're on the verge of graduating to booster seats :) so I'm hoping they can utilize the back back with boosters when the time comes. Both my wife and I are about 15miles to work each way. I don't have a dryer outlet to utilize at home. We have gas everything so I'm out of luck there.
 
I have a R4P and love it for short trips in EV mode. I’m less and less enthralled by it for longer journeys because of the noisy/buzzy gas engine (you don’t hear it 95% of the time but occasionally it over revs). It has tons of power in gas/HV mode so that’s not the issue. In fact, it might be only a tad slower than my Model Y between 60-90. R4P is super basic tech wise. The infotainment system is 5-10 years old and the base audio is AM quality. Another reason I’m driving it less for longer trips. All EVs I’ve owned are quieter on the highway than the R4P which I measured around 73 dB. Most EVs are mid-60s.

If you can find a Prime at MSRP, I’d take it. Folks search months across the country to find one without markup - often shipping them from New York. A PHEV is probably better suited for winter climates too. In EV mode, it’s a blast to drive. You can always order a Model Y and accept or not accept delivery in 6 months.

Quality wise. Tesla is great. Don’t listen to FUD. The Toyota is too but remember you are paying for a $25K RAV4 with a $30K drivetrain.

110v is fine if you plan to drive infrequently during the week and make short trips. I started with 110v for a month or so. 12 hours gets you 36-44 miles of charge… It helps to have Superchargers nearby to top up before long journeys.
 

jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
7,138
8,113
Maryland
Have any of you gone from PHEV to EV or EV to PHEV? and why?
I am a Tesla model Y owner who previous owned a Chevrolet Volt PHEV. The Volt taught me a lot about plug-in driving. The Tesla Model Y expands on the gas free driving experience. More room, more power and especially second row seats that average size adult passengers can use. PHEV still need gas, oil changes and emission tests. I said goodbye to all that almost two years ago when I took delivery of my Model Y. The Model 3 would not have been a good choice for me due to the low seating. No regrets with getting the Y.
 
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I went from Prius, to Prius Prime to Model Y.
Easiest would be Rav4Prime(was my other consideration).
Tesla= WAY faster, 7 seat ONLY for TINY humans or babies. Back seat in 5 seater is SUPER spacious compared to Model 3, Some free express lane use :), shitty ride
Prime= ok speed, charge or no charge option, 7500 tax rebate, carpool only benefits, COOLED SEAT OPTION!!!!(one thing i wish i had)
Went to a Tesla instead of a Rav4 Prime due to the speed, didnt bother seeing if rav4prime was in a space comparison to dealers not having, and I hate Stealerships.
 
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I hate Stealerships.
This was the worst part of buying a R4P. I don't mind Ford dealerships in comparison who were all honest about markup upfront and excellent at explaining the custom ordering process.

Toyota dealerships play the "come in a take a test drive" (they don't even have Primes on the lot) game then surprise you with $10K markup and $4K in add-ons. You can't even technically order a Prime... allocations arrive randomly from the distributor.

I serious do not believe the OP has found Primes at MSRP in Minnesota because they do not get Prime allocated there and buyers have to buy out of state. Often you have to be on 3-6 month waitlists (much like ordering a Tesla) at honest dealerships who don't charge markup.

I think Primes are best for families who are not ready to be 100% electric and live further away from urban centers or superchargers or have questionable charging access. One thing a RAV4 has that the Y (or most EVs) doesn't have is ground clearance.
 
I cross-shopped Rav4 Primes, Model Ys and Mach-E's.

At the time the MY was low 50s and the Toyota dealer marked the Rav4s up 11k which put it even with the MY. At an even price, I'd get a Model Y. If there's a 10k difference (not counting tax incentives) I'd get the Rav4.
 
I cross shopped the RAV4Prime before getting my model Y. The concept on the RAV4 was that it was the practical choice - at list price, minus the generous federal tax credit, it was to be $10k lower than the Model Y.

Alas, the dealership was asking $10k over list, obliterating the value proposition, so the RAV4 had to compete toe to toe with the Tesla.

On that basis here were my thoughts:

1: RAV4 more conventionally handsome SUV exterior vs rounded-modern-and-a-bit-tame Model Y
2: Build quality went to the Tesla - which surprised me. Lots of fairly cheap plastic in the RAV4 which is at it's heart an entry level SUV for Toyota despite the fancy hybrid drivetrain
3: Tech: no contest, Tesla wins
4: Range Flexibility: This was the RAV4's strong item. You can roll around town in a very Tesla-like manner, but still road-trip hundreds of miles with every gas station in the world as your "surpercharger"
5: Ride/handling: Roughly equal.
6: Expected maintenance: Also equal. The Tesla is simpler with a lot fewer moving parts, but Toyota bolts things together really well in my experience
7: Interior space: Slight advantage for Tesla. Not having two drivetrains saves space
8: Performance: The Tesla is slightly quicker, but the RAV4 Prime is certainly not slow

Happy hunting. It would have been a harder decision if Toyota was selling at list price.
 
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Qbenjamin

Frugal But Classy!
Jan 7, 2017
1,214
780
Bravos
I was in the same boat looking at the R4P and couldn't find one locally, let alone a dealership that wasn't asking at least $10K over MSRP. As soon as I broke the $50K territory, I just couldn't justify spending that type of money on a Rav4 of any kind. So glad I wasn't forced to go back to an ICE vehicle.
 
5: Ride/handling: Roughly equal.

I've test driven both (well, R4, not R4) and disagree with this. R4P much softer ride; MY much sportier. I much prefer the handling of the MY but if you prefer a soft ride, the R4 will be more comfortable. I ordered the MY.

Range anxiety: how often do you drive where you will be more than 150 miles from a super charger? I plugged in all of my favorite trips into A Better Route Planner and also the Tesla trip planner, and all were very easily doable, including to what I thought were kind of remote locations.
 
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I would add that in Minnesota, if you're not going to install a L2 charger at home, you need to make sure the work charger is always or nearly always available in the winter months. Temps below 10F really takes a huge bite out of the range in my experience and I don't believe using the L1 charger at home could keep up in the winter.
 
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nate704

Active Member
Apr 20, 2021
2,282
2,321
Virginia
I don't think MY is good looking car, especially from the front (looks like a frog and weird due to lower hood and larger windshield).
However, I think RAV4 (the current model) is uglier than MY, especially from the sides and front.
Also, its eAWD system is mediocre at best.
 
Last edited:
Hi guys, our family is shopping for a new car. We're replacing our aging RX450h and I'm trying to convince the wife to look at the MY and RAV4 Prime. She definitely has some range anxiety going full EV along with some of the false EV fears like fires/shocks/safety etc. I've got a MY test drive scheduled and have already talked to them about an extended test drive if things look promising because I want to fit the car seats and kids and see how it all goes. I've found a handful of RAV4 Prims locally that are going for MSRP. I'm leaning towards the RAV4 due to immediate availability, tax incentives, and quality concerns with Tesla but I am really attracted to going full EV as well.

I came on here to start learning about MY but figured I'd just make a post. Is there anything I should consider or pay attention to during my test drive that I might find annoying later on or bothersome.

Some thoughts on my mind:
Have any of you gone from PHEV to EV or EV to PHEV? and why?
The RAV4 will have exactly about the daily range we need for EV daily commute and we do still have our minivan for road trips so range is not a concern between the two.
Wife is only interested in SUV body style.
Wife is really interested in the parallel parking feature, is it actually useful?
We have a family of 4 but sometimes travel as 6 with 2 grandparents. With 2 young kids - are the back seats worth it on the Y?
I only have 110 in the garage and don't want to install a level 2 charger at home due to expense and potential moving. I do have 200a service with plenty of room though if needed. We both have free charging available at work as well and there is a supercharger along our daily route if needed.
RAV4 prime has a $7500 tax credit which is appealing.
We typically buy new and keep for as long as possible.

TIA for any thoughts and

We are both retired with a few grandkids, my wife is now a mobile Notary and does about 100 miles per day; Currently drives our 10 year old Prius with over 250K. Need a hatchback because she needs to set up her printer/scanner. A few months ago we were set on buying a new Rav-4 Prime, but couldn’t find a dealership that had one in our area ( SoCal) Then I talked her into getting a MYP 😬 because of my selfishness in wanting to drive fast car and not pay for expensive gas. We are now waiting on the Tesla and don’t know if I made the right choice 🤷🏻‍♂️ could have saved about $30 K 😲 Don’t know how that’s going to help you, other than; Please take your time, think it over carefully and choose what’s best for you & family.
 

MG535

3SR+ Red/black/19s (18s for winter)
Jul 22, 2021
248
188
NJ USA
Hi guys, our family is shopping for a new car. We're replacing our aging RX450h and I'm trying to convince the wife to look at the MY and RAV4 Prime. She definitely has some range anxiety going full EV along with some of the false EV fears like fires/shocks/safety etc. I've got a MY test drive scheduled and have already talked to them about an extended test drive if things look promising because I want to fit the car seats and kids and see how it all goes. I've found a handful of RAV4 Prims locally that are going for MSRP. I'm leaning towards the RAV4 due to immediate availability, tax incentives, and quality concerns with Tesla but I am really attracted to going full EV as well.

I came on here to start learning about MY but figured I'd just make a post. Is there anything I should consider or pay attention to during my test drive that I might find annoying later on or bothersome.

Some thoughts on my mind:
Have any of you gone from PHEV to EV or EV to PHEV? and why?
The RAV4 will have exactly about the daily range we need for EV daily commute and we do still have our minivan for road trips so range is not a concern between the two.
Wife is only interested in SUV body style.
Wife is really interested in the parallel parking feature, is it actually useful?
We have a family of 4 but sometimes travel as 6 with 2 grandparents. With 2 young kids - are the back seats worth it on the Y?
I only have 110 in the garage and don't want to install a level 2 charger at home due to expense and potential moving. I do have 200a service with plenty of room though if needed. We both have free charging available at work as well and there is a supercharger along our daily route if needed.
RAV4 prime has a $7500 tax credit which is appealing.
We typically buy new and keep for as long as possible.

TIA for any thoughts and help.
As with anything in life, the answers you get will depend on who you’re asking. Would be worth asking this question on a RAV4 forum as well.
 
I've test driven both (well, R4, not R4) and disagree with this. R4P much softer ride; MY much sportier. I much prefer the handling of the MY but if you prefer a soft ride, the R4 will be more comfortable. I ordered the MY.

Range anxiety: how often do you drive where you will be more than 150 miles from a super charger? I plugged in all of my favorite trips into A Better Route Planner and also the Tesla trip planner, and all were very easily doable, including to what I thought were kind of remote locations.

R4P much heavier and thus firmer than base R4. But yes I could agree that it's a notch softer still than the MY especially shod in 20" wheels
 
I'm surprised that you're able to get a Rav Prime at MSRP. If you can, then that's what I'd get -- it's just far cheaper than a Tesla with the rebate.

Yeah it doesn't add up. On various Prime groups I belong to... Minnesota Toyota dealers don't get Prime allocations so potential buyers have to look out of state. You could buy the Prime, flip it to Carvana/CarMax/Vroom for more than you paid for it plus the $7500 tax credit then go buy a Model Y :)
 
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