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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I am stuck in deciding between the premium XLE hybrid with audio and weather package, SE Prime, and XSE hybrid. They all about come out to the same price (after plug in rebate) and I can't decide which is the best option. Any advice or input is appreciated.
Love the Softex which is why I like the higher trim levels. Dealer is not charging over msrp and looking at 2022 models
 

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21 RAV4 XSE Hybrid Magnetic Grey
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Hello all,
I am stuck in deciding between the premium XLE hybrid with audio and weather package, SE Prime, and XSE hybrid. They all about come out to the same price (after plug in rebate) and I can't decide which is the best option. Any advice or input is appreciated.
Love the Softex which is why I like the higher trim levels. Dealer is not charging over msrp and looking at 2022 models
I had to make this choice when I was getting my car 8 months ago. I decided on the XSE Hybrid and I've been really happy with it, but my #1 choice would have been the XSE Prime, it was just very difficult to get in my area without either a huge markup or waiting 4+ months, so I settled with what I could get.

The question to really ask: What features are important to you and do you also have a place to charge if you were to get the Prime? If Softex seating is important, then that automatically cancels out the SE Prime.
However.. the SE Prime is a quieter car overall since you can run it in purely in EV mode in the city if it was charged up enough, and it also has faster acceleration. So would you be ok with giving up your need of softex seating for a faster and quieter car?

I personally didn't get the SE Prime because not having dynamic guidelines for the backup camera was a big deal for me and I didn't like that it had fabric seating. I also didn't like that it didn't come with an auto dimming mirror. Even with the advantage of the Prime being faster and quieter it just wouldn't make up for those few shortcomings that are a big deal to me.

Ultimately for me between the XLE Premium and XSE hybrids it just came down to looks haha. I just really loved the way the XSE looked with the black roof, black mirrors, and black wheels and that's what pushed me to get it over the XLE Premium.

I think it's all personal preference based on what features you need and what kind of look you prefer. There is really no wrong answer, but the only thing to keep in mind is that if you are on the fence about a prime then keep in mind the $7,500 tax credit is likely to go away pretty soon in the next 3-6 months.
 

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2021 Rav4 Hybrid XLE Premium
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There is a minor annoyance about the softex I would like to point out: After 6 months and 4500 or so miles there is already a dimple in the seat from my ass. I’m not sure what sort of leather is in my truck, paid way less attention to detail when I bought it, but it’s going on 9 years old and has 83k on it and the leather seats are just showing some minor wrinkling in the bolster area.

We are very average people physically in all respects so there are no abnormal factors there. Not really a huge deal but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the Softex as time goes on.
 

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Even though I'm about to buy an XSE hybrid, I would probably choose the SE prime on your list, as long as it wasn't any more money than either hybrid (after the tax credit), and that it had those 'gotta have it' features that are unique to each of us.

Where I live primes either have the $5000 to $10000 surcharge, or a 1 year wait, or both. No way I would do that for any vehicle, but I guess a lot of people are willing.
 

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2021 BlizPurl Rav4 Hybrid XLE Premium wJBL
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@ NewtoRavworld .... FWIW, I love my 2021 Hybrid XLE Premium with JBL sound. I know some folks have ragged on that JBL but it rocks for me, as is .... stock.

I'm averaging 40mpg with a mix of highway & city driving.

Since taking possession in May 2021, I've done quite a few upgrades and mods; most are easy to do and reasonably inexpensive ... door bowl lights, illuminated window, side mirror and lock switches, LED interior lights, LED fogs, LED back up lights, 4 port USB Hub splitter, VSS (vehicle speed sensor) on/off mod, added Audio Aux In circuit, Sunvisor (labelectomy) safety label removal, Gentex auto dimming mirror w/compass (about $45 used from ebay), dash mounted USB fast charger port, door edge-guard molding, L/R Headlight rubber gasket seals, custom fit floor mats (inexpensive WT knockoffs).

Good luck with whatever you select.
 

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Hello all,
I am stuck in deciding between the premium XLE hybrid with audio and weather package, SE Prime, and XSE hybrid. They all about come out to the same price (after plug in rebate) and I can't decide which is the best option. Any advice or input is appreciated.
Love the Softex which is why I like the higher trim levels. Dealer is not charging over msrp and looking at 2022 models
I would go with SE Prime if I would be limiting myself to Rav4 only. I do like my leather seats so I would look into custom seat covers or even full leather replacement.
 
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2019 Rav4 Hybrid LE
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Prime is no brainer if you have a place to plug in ( I know someone already mentioned this above ). If you are not driving 200 miles a day or some extensive travel there will most likely be some level of fuel cost savings over what you pay via electric rate. Desired features can be added to the SE as needed for relatively low cost. Hybrid here but the Primes were just being released when I purchased and I wasn't really up to speed on the advantages. One of the current crazy advantages of the Prime is they are selling used for $46-48K, 10k more than the original cost with tax credits applied. That may not last but is something to think about.
 

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Prime SE if you can find and purchase one at MSRP within the next few months.
Hybrid XSE if you don't really care about gas $ and would like a higher quality interior with extra features.
Or put down a deposit on Prime XSE, save up a bit more while waiting, and then enjoy the best Rav4 can offer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had to make this choice when I was getting my car 8 months ago. I decided on the XSE Hybrid and I've been really happy with it, but my #1 choice would have been the XSE Prime, it was just very difficult to get in my area without either a huge markup or waiting 4+ months, so I settled with what I could get.

The question to really ask: What features are important to you and do you also have a place to charge if you were to get the Prime? If Softex seating is important, then that automatically cancels out the SE Prime.
However.. the SE Prime is a quieter car overall since you can run it in purely in EV mode in the city if it was charged up enough, and it also has faster acceleration. So would you be ok with giving up your need of softex seating for a faster and quieter car?

I personally didn't get the SE Prime because not having dynamic guidelines for the backup camera was a big deal for me and I didn't like that it had fabric seating. I also didn't like that it didn't come with an auto dimming mirror. Even with the advantage of the Prime being faster and quieter it just wouldn't make up for those few shortcomings that are a big deal to me.

Ultimately for me between the XLE Premium and XSE hybrids it just came down to looks haha. I just really loved the way the XSE looked with the black roof, black mirrors, and black wheels and that's what pushed me to get it over the XLE Premium.

I think it's all personal preference based on what features you need and what kind of look you prefer. There is really no wrong answer, but the only thing to keep in mind is that if you are on the fence about a prime then keep in mind the $7,500 tax credit is likely to go away pretty soon in the next 3-6 months.
Great info thanks! I was set on the prime till I found out the rebate is probably going away so I switched to the hybrid. I test drove the limited and they said the XSE has a stiffer steering wheel. How comfortable is the XSE to you? I personally don't care about the softex but the wife does so it's a factor haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@ NewtoRavworld .... FWIW, I love my 2021 Hybrid XLE Premium with JBL sound. I know some folks have ragged on that JBL but it rocks for me, as is .... stock.

I'm averaging 40mpg with a mix of highway & city driving.

Since taking possession in May 2021, I've done quite a few upgrades and mods; most are easy to do and reasonably inexpensive ... door bowl lights, illuminated window, side mirror and lock switches, LED interior lights, LED fogs, LED back up lights, 4 port USB Hub splitter, VSS (vehicle speed sensor) on/off mod, added Audio Aux In circuit, Sunvisor (labelectomy) safety label removal, Gentex auto dimming mirror w/compass (about $45 used from ebay), dash mounted USB fast charger port, door edge-guard molding, L/R Headlight rubber gasket seals, custom fit floor mats (inexpensive WT knockoffs).

Good luck with whatever you select.
Sick!! I don't have any car sense so I don't think I could do that myself but like the idea of a lot of those
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There is a minor annoyance about the softex I would like to point out: After 6 months and 4500 or so miles there is already a dimple in the seat from my ass. I’m not sure what sort of leather is in my truck, paid way less attention to detail when I bought it, but it’s going on 9 years old and has 83k on it and the leather seats are just showing some minor wrinkling in the bolster area.
Noted I'll keep an eye out if we end up with softex.

We are very average people physically in all respects so there are no abnormal factors there. Not really a huge deal but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the Softex as time goes on.
I'd go with the XSE or Limited but not the Prime as I find it way overpriced.
Good luck,
Claude.;)
I think it was fair if the rebate was sticking around but with it being reduced or gone I don't think it's worth the cost anymore
 

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NC '19 Rav4 Hybrid Limited, Entune 3.0, Adaptive Headlights, Advanced Technology Package
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Great info thanks! I was set on the prime till I found out the rebate is probably going away so I switched to the hybrid. I test drove the limited and they said the XSE has a stiffer steering wheel. How comfortable is the XSE to you? I personally don't care about the softex but the wife does so it's a factor haha
You can change the steering feel to softer by turning off the lane sensing that warns you if you are too close to the lines.
 

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21 RAV4 XSE Hybrid Magnetic Grey
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Great info thanks! I was set on the prime till I found out the rebate is probably going away so I switched to the hybrid. I test drove the limited and they said the XSE has a stiffer steering wheel. How comfortable is the XSE to you? I personally don't care about the softex but the wife does so it's a factor haha
Happy to help.

It may be a little bit of a risk but you should still have time to get the rebate on the prime as long as it doesn't take too long to arrive. Also just another food for thought that I realized is that If not having softex seats is the only problem then you can always have your wife pick out seat covers or aftermarket leather seats.

I think realistically there isn't much of a difference between the XSE and the Limited driving dynamics as the steering wheel on the XSE doesn't feel stiff at all to me. It feels very light and easy to move around. I actually like to put it in Sport mode if I'm driving around mountains to stiffen it up. For driving feel it doesn't feel like you're driving a SUV, it feels more like you're driving a smaller car which I really like.

In terms of seat comfort, the XSE seats feel very comfortable to me. The only thing I wish it had was a passenger power seat.
 

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2021 Prime SE
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Yeah, does your dealer have any in stock for MSRP? Buy the Prime, resell it when the hybrid comes in. Make money.
 

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2021 Rav4 Hybrid XLE Premium
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Regarding the steering: IMO feeling wise it’s excellent. Someone here noted that changing to sport mode stiffens up the steering, so I checked and it sure does! It isn’t “too stiff” by any means normally, and if you want it a little firmer I suppose just put it in sport mode. Nice to change it up every now and then. I didn’t even notice the drive modes altering the steering until someone pointed it out though so I’m probably the wrong person to listen to in this instance.
 
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