What about financing instead? Read on.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is not your typical RAV4. It's not your typical compact family crossover, for that matter. No, the RAV4 Prime is the most powerful OEM RAV4 ever. It also happens to be the first-ever plug-in hybrid RAV4. Packing a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine combined with a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, a booster converter, and two electric motors, there's a total of 302 horsepower. To compare, a Ford Mustang EcoBoost has 310 ponies. The RAV4 Prime also hits 62 mph in just 5.8 seconds, making it the second-quickest Toyota after the GR Supra. Demand has been high and Toyota has rightly seen little to no need to offer attractive financial incentives.
And now, CarsDirect has learned lease pricing has just dramatically increased for the 2021 model year. Starting now, the RAV4 Prime SE is now $90 more per month to lease, now listed at $439 per month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing.
Taking that upfront payment into account, lessees are really paying $495 a month. Last month, that effective cost was $405. Typically, lease prices for new vehicles decrease, not increase. For whatever reason(s), Toyota sees things differently here. And just to compare, a new RAV4 LE has an effective cost of $355 a month, assuming one gets a deal with that same upfront payment and $299 per month for 36 months. Okay, so perhaps that RAV4 Prime lease offer is above your budget; what about financing instead?
Unfortunately, there are no APR deals at the moment. Toyota is advertising a $665 a month for 72 months plan based on a $0-down, 4.75 percent loan. Yes, we now live in a world where a RAV4 model has luxury vehicle pricing.
Still, it's important to remember the RAV4 Prime does have some additional savings because it's a plug-in, making it eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit. Many states offer additional credits. Toyota Financial Services, however, has not been passing along the tax credit as additional lease cash, which has been and continues to be done with other PHEVs and EVs, such as the Nissan Leaf, which has more than $10,000 in factory lease cash.
It's easy to see why the RAV4 Prime remains in high demand given the aforementioned power and performance, plus great styling and Toyota's rock-solid reliability. Toyota continues to kindly request buyers to pay a premium for all of that.