by KBB.com

2022 Toyota RAV4The 2022 Toyota RAV4 does everything most people need a compact SUV/crossover to do. And does it well. Not surprising, really, since Toyota pretty much invented this kind of vehicle with the first RAV4. So the company has had a lot of customer feedback as well as time to perfect the recipe.

 

This is also one of the best-selling compact crossovers in the world, with more than 10 million finding homes since the RAV4 launched in 1994. The current generation is the fifth, which debuted for 2019. So here is a compact crossover employing technology that perhaps isn’t cutting edge but still sufficiently modern, with the benefit of an outstanding pedigree.

 

Spacious, safe and fuel-efficient, the RAV4 has to be on the short list of anyone looking at a new compact crossover SUV.

 

2022 Toyota RAV4 Pricing

We anticipate a starting price in the region of $27,000, plus a destination charge, for a 2022 RAV4 in the most affordable LE trim. Budget around $1,500 for all-wheel drive.

 

At the top of the range is the TRD Off-Road RAV4, with all-wheel drive as standard, which we expect to be around $37,000.

 

Among the many rivals, there are a few standouts. The Honda CR-V starts at about $25,000, Kia Sportage kicks off around $25,200 and the Ford Escape is a few hundred more.

 

Driving The 2022 Toyota RAV4

When engines are tuned with more of an emphasis on fuel economy than performance, that can sometimes be frustrating on steep uphill stretches. The 4-cylinder unit in the 2022 RAV4 is one of those engines.

 

For commutes, school runs and local errands, though, that fuel efficiency becomes more appreciated, along with Toyota’s impeccable reputation for reliability. The engine sounds a little coarse at high revs, but that’s probably a rare occasion in a RAV4.

 

Toyota has laid out the controls and calibrated things like steering feel to make the RAV4 as easy as possible. It doesn’t ask too much of a driver. And the raised position helps with outward vision.

 

The suspension is tuned for comfort over poise, but can feel unsophisticated on occasion, as if it can’t respond quickly enough to whatever the road surface has just thrown at it. In general, the RAV4 doesn’t disguise its weight particularly well.

 

Although the TRD Off-Road has all-terrain tires and a specialist suspension, it still has the same ground clearance of 8.6 inches as the XLE Premium, Adventure, and Limited models. That’s only 0.2 of an inch higher than the LE and XLE. Anyone hoping for rock-crawling thrills shouldn’t throw away the Jeep catalogs just yet.

 

Interior Comfort

It’s hard to believe the 2022 RAV4 is a compact crossover when sitting in the cabin. Headroom and legroom are plentiful in both seating rows, and cargo space expands from 37.5 to 69.8 cubic feet when both the 60/40 split rear seats are folded down.

 

As the trim levels become plusher, so does the interior. The XLE Premium has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and simulated leather seating surfaces. Adventure trim adorns the upholstery with orange stitching, the TRD Off-Road has red stitching. Limited has dark brown interior accents with blue ambient lighting. All versions have soft-touch plastics up front.

 

The infotainment system is easy enough to negotiate without referring to the manual. Our only wish is that Toyota had been a little more generous with the sound insulation. It gets a bit noisy at freeway speeds.

 

This year, every version of the 2022 RAV4 gains a locking glove box with LED illumination. Starting with the XLE trim, various switches are illuminated. And the Limited trim gains an 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat.

 

Exterior Styling

One of the changes for the 2022 RAV4 is the inclusion of sharper-looking headlights on all trims except for the base LE. Various versions have different grille treatments. For example, the LE, XLE and XLE Premium have a black hexagon pattern, while the Limited’s is dark gray metallic.

 

The Adventure and TRD Off-Road models are eligible for 2-tone color schemes. Cavalry Blue is a new paint choice offered on the TRD Off-Road.

 

Favorite Features

ALL-WHEEL DRIVE

Not everyone needs all-wheel drive, but the systems available with the RAV4 provide reassurance in rough weather as well as helping the vehicle track around corners with stability and efficiency.

 

JBL AUDIO SYSTEM

The parent company that makes JBL is also behind the superb Mark Levinson systems in Lexus vehicles. JBL has its roots in producing excellent speakers. The 11-speaker/800-watt system that’s optional in the XLE Premium and TRD Off-Road, standard in the Limited, is clear and powerful.

 

Standard Features

Trim levels for the 2022 RAV4 with the regular gasoline drivetrain are LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, Limited and TRD Off-Road. The LE comes with 17-inch steel wheels, LED headlights/daytime running lights/taillights, roof rails, single-zone climate control, cloth upholstery, four cup holders, and four bottle holders.

 

Safety features include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

 

The infotainment system has a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, Amazon Alexa compatibility, satellite radio, USB port, Bluetooth, advanced voice recognition, and six speakers.

 

Factory Options

LE trim can be ordered with blind-spot monitoring, which is standard across the rest of the 2022 RAV4 range. A better way to bring more features into a new RAV4, however, is to choose a higher trim.

 

The XLE has 17-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, keyless entry/ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, illuminated vanity mirrors in the front shades, and five USB ports.

 

XLE Premium is more recommendable, adding 19-inch alloy wheels, powered moonroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel, simulated leather upholstery, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a height-adjustable powered tailgate.

 

Adventure comes with all-wheel drive, turns the moonroof and height-adjustable tailgate into options, then adds a digital driver information display, 120-volt outlet, panoramic back-up camera, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen.

 

Limited reinstates the moonroof and height-adjustable tailgate as standard, and makes all-wheel drive optional again. It also has puddle lights, heated front seats, 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat (new this year), digital rearview mirror, garage door opener, ambient blue cabin lighting, front/rear parking sensors with automatic emergency braking, Wi-Fi, navigation, and an 11-speaker/800-watt JBL audio system.

 

As its name implies, the TRD Off-Road is specialized, with all-wheel drive as standard along with an off-road-focused suspension, plus 18-inch alloy wheels wearing all-terrain tires, heated side mirrors, and a front skid plate. The parking sensors and upgraded infotainment system migrate to this model’s options list.

 

All trims except the LE can come with a heated steering wheel. Limited is eligible for a panoramic moonroof, heated outboard rear seats, and hands-free tailgate operation. The top two trims offer heated/ventilated front seats with perforated seating surfaces, plus a 360-degree camera system.

 

Engine & Transmission

Although the broader 2022 RAV4 range includes hybrids, this conventional version has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine developing 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends this to the front wheels (FWD) as the basic configuration. All-wheel drive (AWD) is optional — except in the Adventure and TRD Off-Road models, where it’s standard.

 

Maximum towing capability is 3,500 pounds. That’s with the Adventure and TRD Off-Road models only. The rest of the range can pull 1,500 pounds.

 

Regular 87-octane gasoline is fine. These fuel economy estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are from 2021, but there shouldn’t be any changes for 2022.

 

2.5-liter inline-4

203 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm

184 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy, est.: 27/35 mpg (LE FWD, Limited FWD), 27/34 mpg (LE AWD), 28/35 mpg (XLE/XLE Premium FWD), 27/22 mpg (XLE/XLE Premium AWD), 25/33 mpg (Adventure AWD, Limited AWD), 25/32 mpg (TRD Off-Road AWD)


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