Consumer Reports Barely Recommends the 2022 Toyota RAV4

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular SUVs in the world. However, is it really one of the best options available? Consumer Reports gave it the coveted “recommended” label for the current model year, but the RAV4 barely squeezed through the cracks. Eight different compact SUVs scored higher than the popular model overall. Consumer Reports barely recommends the 2022 Toyota RAV4.

Front angle view of Silver Sky Metallic 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Silver Sky Metallic 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | Toyota

In the crowded compact SUV segment, there are plenty of models Consumer Reports recommends buying. One of those is the Toyota RAV4. However, the RAV4 failed to beat any of the other recommended models. Behind the RAV4 in the overall rankings are exclusively models CR doesn’t recommend to consumers. Why isn’t the RAV4 as good as the best compact SUVs?

Consumer Reports’ favorite compact SUV is the 2022 Subaru Forester. Overall, it scored much higher than the RAV4. Between it and the Toyota model, there are seven other options that CR found to be better than the RAV4. Both the Forester and RAV4 are affordable and cheaper than many SUVs in the class. However, one ranked far higher than the other. What’s wrong with the 2022 Toyota RAV4?

Why did Consumer Reports rank the RAV4 eighth?

2022 Toyota RAV4 parked in nature
2022 Toyota RAV4 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

On CR’s list of highs and lows, there are fewer highs than lows for the Toyota compact SUV. Moreover, the publication doesn’t like the RAV4’s engine noise, ride quality, or fit and finish. Furthermore, CR calls the engine noise “raucous-sounding” with a “gritty throb that’s very pronounced and unbecoming of a $30,000 vehicle.” However, Consumer Reports did indicate that the same problem does not exist for the hybrid version, which is much quieter.

Next, the ride quality took a step backward from the previous model year. CR says it feels “jumpy” on certain surfaces. Contrarily, the handling and steering responsiveness is improved over earlier iterations of the vehicle. Finally, the fit and finish are poor because the interior feels cheap. There are many hard plastics, firm surfaces, and plastic trim inside that don’t look or feel high quality. Additionally, CR says it found some panel gaps that usually tell of a low-quality build.

2022 Toyota RAV4: Affordability isn’t enough

RELATED: What Comes With a 2022 Toyota RAV4 Limited?

In short, Consumer Reports likes every other recommended compact SUV more than the 2022 Toyota RAV4. These models include the Subaru Forester, Hyundai Tucson, RAV4 Prime, Honda CR-V, Ford Bronco Sport, Mazda CX-5, Chevy Equinox, and Kia Sportage. These ranked ahead of the RAV4 on CR’s rankings but are all “recommended” models. Most are similarly priced as well, starting around the $24,000-$27,000 mark.

For the RAV4, customers will pay $26,975 for the base model. Opting for a fully-loaded version costs $38,075, more than a fully-loaded Forester but beats other compact SUVs. For example, Toyota’s other compact SUV, the RAV4 Prime, starts at $40,300 and costs $43,625 in its range-topping form.

Should you buy a Toyota RAV4?

In conclusion, the 2022 Toyota RAV4 is still one of the best available compact SUVs. Despite the lowest rating of any Consumer Reports-recommended model, the RAV4 is still recommended. The popular model didn’t become popular by accident with excellent pricing, standard safety features, and a surprising amount of interior space. It’s no surprise people are still buying it, despite a lack of significant changes in recent model years. That’s why like most experts, Consumer Reports barely recommends the 2022 Toyota RAV4.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Not to Buy the 2022 Toyota RAV4