2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime vs. 2020 Tesla Model Y

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/13

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 Model Y 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.

The Rav4 Prime XSE offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Model Y only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the Rav4 Prime’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model Y doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 Model Y doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Rav4 Prime and the Model Y 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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The Rav4 Prime’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Model Y’s (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

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. Tesla doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Model Y.

There are almost 9 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Rav4 Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/13

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Tesla vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 19th in initial quality. With 73 more problems per 100 vehicles, Tesla is ranked 34th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Tesla is ranked 23rd.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/13

The Rav4 Prime’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 622 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model Y’s range is only 330 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 8 hours and 30 minutes for only a 45% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Rav4 Prime’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Model Y:

Rav4 Prime

Model Y

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Rav4 Prime has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model Y doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels

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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 Model Y; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For greater off-road capability the Rav4 Prime SE has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Model Y (8 vs. 6.6 inches), allowing the Rav4 Prime to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 Prime XSE’s minimum ground clearance is 1.6 inches higher than on the Model Y (8.2 vs. 6.6 inches).

Chassis

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The Rav4 Prime is 6.1 inches shorter than the Model Y, making the Rav4 Prime easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Rav4 Prime has .5 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Model Y.

Cargo Capacity

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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 Model Y doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Payload and Towing

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The Rav4 Prime has a 2500 lbs. towing capacity. The Model Y has no towing capacity.

The Rav4 Prime has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Model Y (1295 vs. 954 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Rav4 Prime to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model Y.

Ergonomics

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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 Model Y doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Model Y 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 wiper. The Model Y doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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 Model Y doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Rav4 Prime’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model Y doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

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 Model Y doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Rav4 Prime’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Model Y’s power mirror controls are embedded in the infotainment system, seriously distracting drivers who have to adjust them while driving.

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 Model Y doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Rav4 Prime’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Model Y doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Model Y doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Rav4 Prime XSE offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Model Y doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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