By ALEX NISHIMOTO
Since its debut within the 2021 mannequin 12 months, the Toyota RAV4 Prime has been the benchmark for what a small SUV with a plug-in hybrid powertrain might be. It is environment friendly, quick and nearly as sensible because the common RAV4. However now SUV patrons have an alternative choice to think about: the Hyundai Tucson PHEV. It additionally gives improved efficiency and effectivity over the usual gas-only Tucson.
Each fashions are perfect for off-road patrons seeking to absolutely dive into the EV waters. A plug-in hybrid electrical car, or PHEV, means that you can take a look at drive and cost an electrical car with none worry of being stranded. They’ll drive quick distances on electrical energy after which change easily to gasoline.
So which plug-in SUV is the most effective bang in your buck?
OPERATION AND FUEL ECONOMY
The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes normal with all-wheel drive and a plug-in hybrid powertrain that produces a formidable 302 horsepower. The Hyundai Tucson Plug-in additionally has normal all-wheel drive, however decrease complete output: 261 ponies. That shortcoming turned obvious on the take a look at monitor, the place the RAV4 Prime managed a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds, 2 seconds forward of the Tucson Plug-in’s 7.6-second time.
Sadly, the Toyota’s efficiency ends underneath acceleration because it lacks athletic dealing with qualities, because the Tucson PHEV is extra responsive and comparatively nimble for an off-roader.
The RAV4 Prime boasts an EPA (Environmental Safety Company)-estimated 42 miles of electrical vary, adopted by 38 mpg in metropolis and freeway driving when switched to traditional hybrid operation. The Tucson Plug-in is barely much less gas environment friendly, however nonetheless fairly environment friendly. In accordance with the EPA, the Hyundai can journey as much as 33 miles on battery energy alone and will get a mixed 35 mpg. On a real-world take a look at route, the RAV4 Prime managed 48 miles in EV mode, beating its EPA score by six miles. The Tucson plug-in was barely lower than the battery-only estimate of 29 miles.
Winner: RAV4 Prime
INTERIOR AND APPLIANCES
You will not be disillusioned with any plug-in hybrid SUV in the event you’re on the lookout for a cushty, fashionable cabin the place you may calm down whereas driving. Each the RAV4 Prime and Tucson Plug-in are spacious and full of expertise. Toyota’s inside design is extra typical, with a traditional-looking dashboard and a free-standing touchscreen mounted within the heart part. The Tucson’s design is a bit bolder, with a contoured sprint operating into the door panels, a large built-in heart show and a novel horizontal-spoke steering wheel.
Each electrified SUVs include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity as normal, however solely the Hyundai can connect with your cellphone wirelessly. Nonetheless, you will lose wi-fi capabilities once you improve to the bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen. Whereas the Tucson’s heart media and local weather management panel appears to be like elegant with touch-sensitive buttons, it may be tough to navigate with out taking your eyes off the highway. That is much less of a difficulty with the RAV4, because it makes use of largely bodily buttons and knobs for management.
It is a shut race, however the Tucson wins by a hair because of a barely higher consumer expertise and a richer listing of normal options.
Winner: Tucson Plug-in.
PRICE AND VALUE
Like most different Hyundais, the Tucson Plug-in is seen as a precious participant amongst its rivals. So a beginning value of $36,695 with vacation spot tax drops the RAV4 Prime by about $4,900. For that cheaper price, you get the identical normal superior security options because the RAV4, together with ahead collision mitigation, lane maintain help, blind spot warning, and adaptive cruise management, together with a number of additional options like secure exit and driver consideration. . warning
Winner: Tucson Plug-in.