2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited AWD
Class: Compact Crossover SUV
Miles driven: 474
Fuel used: 13.9 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 34.1 mpg
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
|Big & Tall Comfort
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 41/38/40 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Base price: $37,575 (not including $1215 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Limited-Grade Weather Package ($815), Premium Audio with Navigation package ($1040), Limited-Grade Advanced Technology Package ($1225), Ruby Flare Pearl paint ($425), panoramic glass roof with front power tilt/slide ($500), carpet floor mats/cargo mat ($269), door-edge guard ($140), blackout emblem overlays ($175)
Price as tested: $43,379
The great: Fuel economy, cargo capacity, lots of high-tech features
The good: Acceleration, road manners, control layout
The not so good: Limited front headroom for taller folks
The current-generation Toyota RAV4 debuted for the 2019 model year, and it has received a few nip-and-tuck updates since then, along with a couple noteworthy new variants: the TRD Off Road trim level (new for 2020) and Prime plug-in-hybrid version (new for 2021). For 2022, the RAV4 lineup gets minor tweaks, such as restyled headlamps for most trim levels, slight alterations in standard/available equipment, and a midline Hybrid SE trim level that offers sporty styling touches at a lower price point than the XSE model.
The idea that hybrid vehicles are weak-kneed slow pokes is thoroughly outdated, and vehicles like the RAV4 Hybrid have done a lot to dispel that false notion. The RAV4 Hybrid boasts more horsepower and is appreciably quicker than its regular gas-engine counterpart. The combined output of its gas/electric powertrain is 219 horsepower, compared to 203 horsepower for the regular RAV4’s unassisted 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The Hybrid is at least a half-second quicker in a 0-60-mph sprint too, and the immediate response of its electric-motor-assisted powertrain means it feels appreciably quicker off the line and in around-town driving.
Another bonus of the hybrid powertrain: standard all-wheel drive. The RAV4 Hybrid uses two electric motors—one assists the gasoline engine in powering the front wheels, and the other powers the rear wheels during acceleration, or when slip at the front wheels is detected. So, in addition to notably improved fuel economy and acceleration, you get the inclement-weather/rough-terrain benefits of all-wheel drive.
About that improved fuel economy—in our test of this particular RAV4 Hybrid Limited model, it wasn’t quite as improved as the official EPA economy estimates would suggest. We averaged 34.1 mpg in a test that consisted of about 60 percent city driving in cold-weather conditions—disappointingly shy of the EPA’s numbers of 41 mpg city/38 highway/40 combined. However, in a previous RAV4 Hybrid test conducted during milder weather and consisting of about 80 percent highway driving, we averaged 40.3 mpg, slightly topping the EPA estimates. It’s also worth noting that even the numbers we achieved in this test are almost nine miles per gallon better than our test of a non-hybrid Limited AWD model in a similar driving mix.
The Limited is the top-line trim level of the RAV4 Hybrid lineup, and our test vehicle was further gussied up with several options. The Limited-Grade Weather Package adds a heated leather-trimmed steering wheel, rear outboard heated seats, and rain-sensing wipers with a de-icer function. The Premium Audio package adds a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation and an 11-speaker JBL-brand audio system. The Limited-Grade Advanced Technology Package adds smart-key access to all four doors and the rear liftgate, as well as a hands-free foot-activated power liftgate, wireless charging pad, a digital-camera rearview mirror, and a 360-degree surround-view camera display with perimeter scan and a curb-view feature.
All of that adds up to a bottom-line sticker price of $43,379. That’s very much on the high end for a mainstream-brand compact SUV, especially when compared against the similarly impressive Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson hybrids. It’s also about $1200 more than a comparably equipped non-hybrid RAV4, though we think that’s a reasonable premium for the Hybrid’s improved acceleration and fuel economy. And, forgoing a few of the spendy options and/or choosing a lower-line model makes the RAV4 a more compelling value.
2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)