2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Rav4 Prime have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Rav4 Prime has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Rav4 Prime XSE offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Rav4 Prime has standard Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Rav4 Prime and the Outlander PHEV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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The Rav4 Prime’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander PHEV’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 Prime for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Outlander PHEV.

There are almost 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Rav4 Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 50 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The Rav4 Prime’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 105 more horsepower (302 vs. 197) than the Outlander PHEV’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 Prime running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander PHEV running on electricity:

MPGe

Rav4 Prime

Electric Motors

105 city/84 hwy

Outlander PHEV

Electric Motor

78 city/70 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 Prime running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander PHEV running its gasoline engine:

MPG

Rav4 Prime

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

40 city/36 hwy

Outlander PHEV

2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

25 city/26 hwy

The Rav4 Prime’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 42 miles, almost twice as far as the Outlander PHEV’s 22-mile range.

The Rav4 Prime has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander PHEV (14.5 vs. 11.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Rav4 Prime’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander PHEV:

Rav4 Prime

Outlander PHEV

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.9 inches

The Rav4 Prime’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Outlander PHEV are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Rav4 Prime XSE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outlander PHEV (235/55R19 vs. 225/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 Prime XSE has standard 19-inch wheels. The Outlander PHEV’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Rav4 Prime has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Outlander PHEV; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 Prime is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander PHEV.

For greater off-road capability the Rav4 Prime SE has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Outlander PHEV (8 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Rav4 Prime to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 Prime XSE’s minimum ground clearance is .9 inch higher than on the Outlander PHEV (8.2 vs. 7.3 inches).

Chassis

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The Rav4 Prime is 3.9 inches shorter than the Outlander PHEV, making the Rav4 Prime easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Rav4 Prime uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Rav4 Prime has .1 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Outlander PHEV.

Cargo Capacity

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The Rav4 Prime has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Outlander PHEV with its rear seat up (33.5 vs. 30.4 cubic feet). The Rav4 Prime has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Outlander PHEV with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 66.6 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Rav4 Prime XSE’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Rav4 Prime’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outlander PHEV’s (2500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The Rav4 Prime has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Rav4 Prime XSE, the optional memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Rav4 Prime offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Rav4 Prime and the Outlander PHEV have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Rav4 Prime is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander PHEV prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the Rav4 Prime the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Outlander PHEV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Rav4 Prime has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Outlander PHEV only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Rav4 Prime XSE offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Rav4 Prime has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Rav4 Prime and the Outlander PHEV have standard heated front seats. The Rav4 Prime also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Outlander PHEV.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Rav4 Prime XSE keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Rav4 Prime XSE. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a navigation system.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Rav4 Prime XSE/Limited offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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