- 2022 Toyota RAV4 review ($26,525 – $35,230)
- Best Buy Award – Kelley Blue Book, Editor’s Choice Award – Car and Driver
- Pros: Smooth ride, excellent fuel economy, tons of standard features
- Cons: Wind noise at higher speeds, limited tech
You can’t go wrong with the 2022 Toyota RAV4, which is why it continues to be one of the most popular SUVs in an increasingly crowded segment. We learned that the love the owners have for their RAV4 models runs deep, as multiple owners stopped by during our off-road photoshoots.
The RAV4 is often praised for having a smooth ride, spacious interior, and intuitive controls with an excellent reputation for safety and reliability. However, critics are also quick to point out that it isn’t as sporty compared to rivals like the Mazda CX-5.
There are multiple trim levels to suit various driver needs. You can select the affordable base model, the hybrid models, fully loaded options with luxury features, the rugged TRD Off-Road trim for adventuring, and everything in between.
We enjoyed a week with the 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road trim, including a skid plate, all-terrain tires, and unique suspension tuning. While this SUV won’t keep up with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, it does have some serious off-roading chops.
2022 Toyota RAV4: What’s new?
There aren’t many Toyota RAV4 updates for the 2022 model year. It’s part of the fifth generation introduced in 2019 and may receive a mid-cycle refresh soon. On the inside, the 8-inch touchscreen was replaced by a 9-inch unit.
Updated headlamps with an aggressive style are available with each trim except for the base model, and the new shade of Calvary blue paint looks great. Also, LED fog lamps are now standard with the Adventure, TRD Off-Road, XLE Premium, and Limited trims.
Which Toyota RAV4 trim level is best?
There are six Toyota RAV4 trims:
- Toyota RAV4 LE – $26,525
- RAV4 XLE – $27,995
- XLE Premium – $30,885
- Adventure – $32,780
- TRD Off-Road – $36,465
- Limited – $35,230
While it’s difficult to pass on the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road model, the mid-range RAV4 XLE Premium trim is a great way to gain luxurious upgrades and more standard features without increasing the price too much.
Opting for the XLE Premium model adds faux-leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone climate control, a power liftgate, a sunroof, 19-inch wheels, LED foglights, and a slightly lifted suspension.
You can upgrade to the Limited trim for a power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, and an 11-speaker JBL audio system. Available features for some trims consist of a wireless charging pad, surround-view camera, and a built-in navigation system.
How does the Toyota RAV4 drive?
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is a well-rounded daily driver, but it could use a little more pep in its step. It comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque—the engine pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
It can feel a little slow when it comes to getting off the line, but it has enough power to easily merge into traffic and for passing others on the highway. The gas-powered models can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.0 seconds.
While the RAV4 feels a little heavier than its rivals, it provides confident steering and responsive handling. The brakes are strong, smooth, and predictable, and the tires offer tons of grip around steep curves and inclines.
There are driving modes for Eco, Normal, and Sport. The Eco mode has the quietest engine and slowest acceleration. You can speed things up with the Normal mode, and the engine starts to roar. The Sport mode offers the most fun with the fastest response times.
The RAV4 is surprisingly agile and easy to maneuver around obstacles on the trail and in tight city areas. We’re impressed by the tight turning radius and recognize the RAV4 as extremely easy to park.
With the upgraded all-wheel drive system, you get rear-axle torque vectoring and enhanced transaction control settings with selectable terrain modes and hill descent control. The extra ground clearance is a nice perk too.
The RAV4 gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and up to 35 mph on the highway. We averaged between 28 to 30 mph during our entire week.
Can the Toyota RAV4 go off-roading?
Yes, the 2022 Toyota RAV4 can be well-equipped to tackle the trails. It has an 8.6-inch ground clearance for clearing obstacles, and the front skid plate protects the undercarriage from rocks and other debris.
The 18-inch six-spoke matt-black TRD flow-formed alloy wheels wrapped in Falken all-terrain tires look great, and you can see the red coil springs with a revised spring rate to enhance the ride quality.
There’s a TRD-tuned independent MacPherson strut suspension and stabilizer bar in the front that’s paired with a multi-link suspension and another stabilizer bar in the rear. This makes sense, as the RAV4 feels stable and in control on slippery surfaces.
The dynamic torque-vectoring AWD and Multi-Terrain Select systems include off-roading modes for Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, and Snow. Plus, you can access hill start assist and hill descent control with the ability to turn traction control off.
How comfortable is the Toyota RAV4?
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is remarkably comfortable. The large faux-leather seats are well-padded and supportive for long drives. The driver’s seat has plenty of controls for finding the perfect driving position.
We were a little bummed because the passenger seat in the model we tested didn’t have adjustment controls, but the seat is still large and supportive for people of all shapes and sizes. The rear seat is equally as comfortable, and the backrest is at a nice angle, but taller folks may want more legroom.
The RAV4 has a relaxing, smooth ride over most road imperfections. However, on gravel and uneven dirt trails, it rides rough. Passengers bounced around a bit more in the RAV4 while off-roading than in the Mazda CX-50.
At most speeds, the RAV4 is relatively quiet. But there is a bit of wind and road noise at highway speeds. Depending on which mode you’re driving in, you may hear the engine while accelerating.
The climate controls are solid and quick. You can use the air conditioning and ventilated seats to cool off in a snap. There are rear vents to provide airflow for passengers in the back. It was too warm during our week to test the heat.
Does the 2022 Toyota RAV4 have a nice interior?
While the base trim is a little lacking with plastics and cloth seats, moving up trim levels provides access to premium soft-touch covered surfaces, a leather leather-wrapped wheel, and attractive accent stitching.
The interior has a well-planned and simple layout. Everything is positioned within reach, and the controls are clearly labeled. There are plenty of storage trays and cubbies for storing personal items.
Outward visibility is excellent, but the rear windshield is a bit narrow. The regular sunroof is a little small, but we appreciated the amount of fresh air and natural light that filtered into the cabin. We wonder how the panoramic sunroof compares.
The TRD Off-Road trim features rubberized flooring and all-weather mats to protect the interior. They provide an upscale and durable feeling and can stand up to mud, moisture, and pet fur. Plus, they are extremely easy to remove and clean.
Does the Toyota RAV4 have good tech?
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is a well-rounded vehicle, but it could use some tech upgrades. The 9.0-inch infotianment system is fast and easy to use, but the graphics look a little dated. This was disappointing to discover since the RAV4 was recently updated.
We were impressed by the voice recognition, and the safety features worked well without being too sensitive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, but rivals feature wireless connectivity for these systems.
Our model didn’t have a head-up display, which is fine. Sometimes they can be distracting. However, the surround-view camera would be beneficial for off-roading. The backup camera is a little blurry, so we relied on the parking sensors more.
We were impressed by the digital gauge cluster. It’s easy to customize for viewing different stats. It also displays how much power is going to each wheel in off-roading modes, which can be helpful for climbing over obstacles.
How much cargo space does the Toyota RAV4 have?
You can access up to 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and up to 69.8 cubes total. The rear seats are easy to fold flat, and they have enough space to make installing child seats hassle-free.
The power liftgate is convenient. Plus, the load floor has a low liftover height, and the hatch opening is wide, making it easy to load heavy or bulky items. You can fit more cargo than expected in this SUV.
The cup holders are adequately wide, and the center console is a bit shallow. There are multiple storage trays and cubbies for storing smaller items. Our favorite storage bin is a small tray to the left of the steering wheel for your waller or keys.
If you need even more space, opt for the available roof rails or a cargo basket. Plus, the RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 lbs.
Is the 2022 Toyota RAV4 safe?
The RAV4 earned a ‘Marginal’ rating for its seatbelt reminders. The initiation time for passengers in the front seat without a seatbelt is too long. The reminders in the rear seat don’t last long enough. But the reminder to check the back seat before exiting the vehicle is nice.
The RAV4 was able to avoid collisions at 12 and 25 mph. The RAV4 avoided a collision at 37 mph, and a warning was issued 2.4 seconds before impact. In other tests, the speed was reduced by 11 to 21 mph before crashing.
Standard safety features with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite include:
- Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane-departure warning
- Lane-keeping assistance
- Traffic sign recognition
- Automatic high beams
How reliable is the Toyota RAV4?
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 has an average predicted reliability ranking. Problems related to the fuel system and body integrity for the 2019 and 2020 models impacted its score. However, the 2021 model has fewer complaints, indicating that the issues may have been corrected.
With the proper care and maintenance, the Toyota RAV4 can last over 200,000 to 250,000 miles on average. Some owners that take good care of their RAV4 models are still going well past 250,000 miles.
You can expect your Toyota RAV4 to last between 13 to 16 years on the road if you drive about 15,000 miles annually. If you drive below the average yearly miles, your RAV4 can reach 20 years of ownership.
It costs about $429 to maintain the RAV4 annually. Costs may vary based on age, condition, mileage, and shop location. This is good compared to the average maintenance cost of $792 or $66 per month for SUVs.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 Toyota RAV4 an expert rating of 8.4 out of 10
The MotorBiscuit experts award the 2022 Toyota RAV4 with an overall rating of 8.4 out of 10. While the RAV4 is affordable, practical, and well-rounded, it doesn’t seem to excel in one particular area except for off-roading.
Some critics feel as if the RAV4 isn’t sporty enough, but it’s perfectly fine for relaxing rides around town. It provides a smooth and comfortable ride but does get a bit noisy at highway speeds.
You can access plenty of cargo space and access peace of mind with its high safety ratings. However, we found the tech to be a little lacking. We hope to get behind the wheel of a model equipped with the panoramic sunroof, head-up display, and surround-view camera to see how it compares.