We test the facelifted 2022 Toyota Rav4 ahead of its arrival in Australia in a new off-road themed model.
The Allroad-Cross-Country-Alltrack-type look went from big to forgotten in the last two decades, but here we have the RAV4 Adventure, with black plastic trim, beefier skidplates, redesigned bumpers and standard all-wheel drive. It is not a model Toyota Australia has confirmed, although the running updates to this 2022 in Europe will mirror updates arriving in local showrooms later this year.
But it’s still worth taking a look at this new version of Toyota’s range staple, because it is certainly a model that would appeal to many Australians and give the Big T something closer to Subaru’s adventurous-looking line-up.
Along with the Adventure grade, the 2022 RAV4 gains redesigned LED projector headlights, electric adjustment for the passenger seat on some trims and… drum roll… four USB-C ports in the interior. All good things, but just a tad half-hearted.
The current RAV4 has been around since 2018, so we would have liked to see a more full-featured facelift bringing proper matrix LED headlights and an update for the dated, slow infotainment system. The latter now has (wired) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but Toyota has a more modern interface in the latest Corolla and some US-market models, so now would have been a great time to introduce it to the RAV4 as well.
To drive, it’s much the same as any other RAV4, other than perhaps the plug-in hybrid RAV4 (which isn’t available in Australia), whose greater kerb weight may have prompted some suspension changes that improve the ride comfort. The regular hybrid RAV4’s chassis feels quite soft but underdamped, meaning it’s neither particularly dynamic in the corners nor perfectly comfortable. At least the cabin is quiet on the freeway when cruising.
Toyota knows how to do hybrids by now, though. Sure, it has the typical CVT drone under hard acceleration, but the two electric motors in this all-wheel drive version – 88kW working with the engine in the front and 40kW electric motor on the rear axle – give plenty of torque to make the powertrain perfectly relaxed and quiet in most scenarios, while also returning an easy 6.6L/100km.
While this generation of RAV4 was launched in 2018 and was the only hybrid SUV in its class, four years on the options are not much better right now. The lack-luster Subaru Forester Hybrid (although the normal version is much better) doesn’t match the efficiency here, although if hybrid versions of the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage come along, the Rav4 Hybrid won’t have quite as much breathing space.
As for the Adventure model we’re testing? Other than adding imitation leather seats with a red stripe, the Adventure trim is the same inside as any other new RAV4, which means it’s very spacious, there are lots of chunky buttons and everything feels like it’ll last forever.