The Toyota RAV4 is consistently one of the best-selling vehicles on the market, and if you’re looking for a small SUV, chances are the 2022 Toyota RAV4 is on your shortlist.
Highlight qualities include a roomy interior, a smooth ride, and easy-to-use controls. It’s an SUV you can get in and drive without thinking much about it.
ENGINE AND IMPLEMENTATION
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 uses a 203-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive remains standard, but Toyota now offers a choice of all-wheel-drive systems, dependent on trim.
The Adventure model we drove was equipped with an all-wheel-drive system that can disconnect the rear axle when needed to improve fuel economy. At our test track, the RAV4 proved to be quicker than its predecessor: We recorded a 60-mph time of 8.0 seconds with the 2019 model and 8.3 seconds with the 2018.
The dutiful four-cylinder can be noisy, especially during highway-passing attempts, and the transmission on our test vehicle seemed to stumble when called upon for a downshift. The RAV4 Hybrid—reviewed separately—snapped off an even quicker 7.4-second 60-mph time in our hands.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 feels solid and stable when cruising the interstate and holds its own when pitched into a twisty section of road, but it doesn’t inspire the same confidence as our segment favorite, the Mazda CX-5.
ENERGY AND REAL-WORLD MPG
The EPA estimates the 2022 Toyota RAV4 will get 27-30 mpg in combined city/highway driving, depending on the powertrain and trim level.
We drove an AWD Adventure carrying three people, equipment and luggage for more than 7,000 miles. And over a variety of road and weather conditions, we averaged 28.6 mpg. Our best tank was 32.3 mpg and the worst was 25.6 mpg.
INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH
The driving position, roominess, and ease of entry and exit are all good. But the 2022 Toyota RAV4 would score higher if the front passenger seat wasn’t set so high or could be adjusted down. The driver’s seat and steering wheel have a good range of adjustment, but tall drivers might want a smidge more of each. Outward visibility is praiseworthy.
The control layout is intuitive with large, easy-to-read labeling. The audio system and climate system controls are islands unto themselves, and everything else is right where you expect it to be. The big rubberized climate control knobs are nice too. Our only gripe is that the touchscreen is too far away from the driver. The tuning knob, in particular, requires a reach to twist.
The RAV4’s cargo hold is nearly the biggest in its class. You get 37.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 69.8 cubic feet with them stowed. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is also easy to load thanks to a low cargo floor.
Upfront, the cabin has numerous shelves and bins to handle assorted road-trip paraphernalia. If you’re planning on towing, certain versions of the RAV4 can pull up to 3,500 pounds, which is above average for a small SUV.
IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS
Lower trims of the 2022 Toyota RAV4 come with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, but an 8.0-incher can be had starting at the XLE level. The infotainment system includes a 4G LTE mobile hotspot and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
A JBL premium audio system, navigation, and a wireless charging pad for a smartphone are optional. If you opt for a trim level without nav, don’t fret. All other models come with Scout GPS Link, which allows compatible smartphones to display a map and turn-by-turn directions to the dashtop screen.
PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is available in six trim levels: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, TRD Off-Road and Limited. All come with a 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Front-wheel drive is standard on most of the trim levels, with all-wheel drive offered as an option. The Adventure and the TRD Off-Road come standard with an upgraded all-wheel-drive system that can enhance traction on loose and slippery surfaces.
Starts you off with:
- LED headlights
- 7-inch touchscreen interface
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity
- Six-speaker sound system
- Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of safety features:
- Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
- Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the RAV4 and the car in front)
- Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
- Automatic high beams
- Traffic sign reader
Adds more convenience features such as:
- Keyless entry and ignition
- Power-adjustable driver’s seat
- Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Additional USB charging ports
Dresses up the RAV4 with:
- Larger wheels
- Slightly raised suspension
- Power liftgate
- Simulated leather upholstery (Toyota’s SofTex)
- Soft-touch dashboard materials
This trim goes without the sunroof and power liftgate but adds some off-road appearance and mechanical elements that include:
- Fender flares
- Taller roof rails
- Selectable terrain drive modes
- Hill descent control
- 8-inch touchscreen
It gets the sunroof and liftgate back and adds more capabilities with:
- All-terrain tires
- Off-road-tuned suspension
- Unique black trim elements and interior trim
Builds on the XLE Premium equipment list and adds:
- Chrome exterior trim
- Heated front seats
- Digital rearview mirror (allows you to see out the back even with a fully loaded cargo area)
- 8-inch touchscreen
- Navigation system
- 11-speaker premium JBL audio system
Some features are available as options on supporting trims. Other notable options are dependent on trim level and include:
- Surround-view camera system
- Panoramic sunroof
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Wireless charging pad