The 2022 Toyota RAV4 isn’t the most thrilling compact SUV, but its practicality and economy boost its value and earn it an Editor’s Choice award. The entry-level model is inexpensive but straightforward, while mid-level trims provide many features that customers in this sector will love.
It has a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a front-wheel-drive. All-wheel drive is available, but even the toughest RAV4 model won’t compare to a 4Runner or a Tacoma at the trailhead. The RAV4 comes with a bucket load of driver-assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control.
2022 Toyota RAV4 offers luxury amenities like faux-leather upholstery, heated seats, and a JBL radio in higher versions. While it cannot compete with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, it does offer strong off-road capabilities.
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Toyota RAV4 upgrades for the 2022 model year are limited. It’s part of the fifth generation, which debuted in 2019 and might get a mid-cycle redesign shortly. Toyota has replaced the 8-inch touchscreen with a 9-inch device on the inside.
Except for the base model, updated headlights with an aggressive shape are available, and the new Calvary blue color looks terrific. LED fog lights are now a primary feature on the Adventure, TRD Off-Road, XLE Premium, and Limited models.
Performance, Engine and Transmission
The 2022 RAV4 has a 203-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to an eight-speed automated transmission. Front-wheel drive is still available, but Toyota now provides a selection of all-wheel-drive systems depending on trim level.
The Adventure model we tried had an all-wheel-drive system with the ability to disconnect the back wheel to boost fuel efficiency. The RAV4 surpassed its forerunner on our road course, coming in at 8.0 seconds for the base variant of 2019 and 8.3 seconds for 2018.
The four-cylinder engine may be loud, especially when overtaking on the highway, and the transmission on our test vehicle seemed to stutter when a downshift was requested. In our hands, the RAV4 Hybrid ran a 7.4-second 60-mph pace. The RAV4 feels robust and steady on the highway and holds its own when thrown into a curvy piece of road, but it lacks the confidence of our segment favorite, the Mazda CX-
The EPA gave the RAV4 class-competitive fuel-economy figures. Front-wheel-drive RAV4s can achieve up to 35 mpg on the freeway. On our 100-mile highway fuel-economy route, the all-wheel-drive model returned 32 mpg, one mpg less than the EPA’s predicted figure for that model.
This is similar to the Honda CR-V and is a significant gain over the 2018 Adventure model (which only earned 25 mpg), although Volkswagen Tiguan exceeded this, which achieved 33 mpg.
The RAV4 emphasizes ergonomics and excellent storage. The big center console supplements with a convenient shelf that spans the dash. The version we tried included soft-touch surfaces and beautiful plastics. The LE trim level is the base and cheapest model, featuring fabric seats, a plasticky steering wheel, and single-zone manual temperature control.
Toyota includes a few extras on the XLE, but the XLE Premium adds faux-leather upholstery, a leather-covered wheel and gear knob, and a stitched and cushioned dashboard and center-console armrest. The RAV4’s back seats fold nearly flat and are easy to stow, opening up the space for storage.
We fit ten carry-on baggage behind the back seat and 22 with it folded. The Nissan Rogue equaled the RAV4, but the Subaru Forester outperformed it by one point in each statistic.
Lower trims come with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, while an 8.0-inch touchscreen is available starting at the XLE level. The infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE mobile hotspot.
Optional extras include a JBL premium music system, GPS, and a wireless charging station for a smartphone. Don’t worry if you choose a trim level without navigation. All other versions include Scout GPS Link, which lets compatible cellphones show a map and turn-by-turn directions on the dashtop.
Yes, the Toyota RAV4 is secure. It’s a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It achieved the highest possible score of ‘Good’ in most crash scenarios.
Seatbelt reminders earned the RAV4 a ‘Marginal grade. The commencement time for passengers in the front seat is very long. The reminders in the back seat are ineffective. The warning to check the rear seat before entering the car is helpful.
At 12 and 25 mph, the RAV4 avoided crashes. At 37 mph, the RAV4 averted a collision, sending a warning 2.4 seconds before contact. The speed was dropped by 11 to 21 in another test.
The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite includes the following standard safety features:
- The emergency braking system with pedestrian detection
- Cruise control with adaptive settings
- Warning for lane deviation
- Help with lane maintenance
- Recognizing traffic signs
- High beams that activate automatically
Toyota will set prices before the end of the year, but if you can get a dealer to agree to MSRP, expect to pay around $28,000 for a RAV4 LE. It boasts cloth upholstery and a 7.0-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Choose the RAV4 XLE Hybrid, and you’ll receive an efficient crossover with a large touchscreen and impressive fuel efficiency ratings for under $30,000.
While the RAV4 is reasonably priced, functional, and well-rounded, it does not appear to excel in any one area except off-roading.
Some detractors argue that the RAV4 isn’t sporty enough, yet it’s perfectly sufficient for leisurely trips around town. It has a smooth and pleasant ride. However, it can be loud at highway speeds.
With its outstanding safety ratings, you may access lots of cargo space and peace of mind. However, we found the technology to be quite inadequate. We plan to test drive a model with a panoramic sunroof, head-up display, and surround-view camera to see how it compares.